Vendors Offer Agile Support

Command Information, Agile Logic, SolutionsIQ roll out offerings aimed at helping agile developers.

WASHINGTON—The use of agile development methodologies is creeping into the enterprise, and vendors are lining up to provide tools and services to support it.

At the Agile 2007 conference here Aug. 15, some of the leading development companies announced new offerings for agile developers.

Command Information, of Herndon, Va., released its new white paper entitled "Agile in the Enterprise," which helps development teams implement agile software development practices in enterprise situations.

"These larger agile implementations have identified common roadblocks and challenges to the enterprise adoption of agile and Command Information has developed an Enterprise Agile Framework to address these slowdowns," said Jeff Nielsen, chief agile officer at Command Information, who also spoke at the conference. "In order to really take advantage of agile methods across the enterprise, business process changes need to be made across key functional groups outside of IT."

Command Information acquired Digital Focus, an agile development company focusing on custom agile solutions, in February 2006, company officials said.

The folks at Agile Logic, in Fullerton, Calif., agreed that traditional approaches to agile development need help catching on in the enterprise. For the enterprise with multiple or distributed teams, complex architectures, outsourced development and large product portfolios, there has been no repeatable or safe way to successfully implement agile practices, said Paul Hodgetts, CEO of Agile Logic.

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To address this, Agile Logic at the show introduced Absolute Agile. Absolute Agile is the companys approach to solving enterprise-class challenges for large to mid-size organizations. In addition, Absolute Agile extends Agile Logics service offerings by addressing three major challenges to the agile enterprise—method selection in complex environments, sequencing for business value and governance in initiating and steering the transition across the organization, Hodgetts said.

Agile Logic also released a new suite of service offerings to support lean product development.

"Recently there has been a trend in agile organizations to implement practices borrowed from lean manufacturing in an effort to simply drive waste out of the software development process," Hodgetts said. However, that approach is flawed in that lean manufacturing is more about production, not product development, he said.

"Delivering great software requires a heuristic approach and a broader view of the product development process," Hodgetts said.

Agile Logic also announced Organizational Scrum, a new service supporting enterprise-class transitions and continuous improvement by using the Scrum method of agile development. The Organization Scrum service is delivered through on-site seminars, workshops and coaching, the company said.

Meanwhile, SolutionsIQ, an agile development consulting and training company in Redmond, Wash., announced StoryTestIQ (STIQ) 2.0, an open-source testing tool for creating executable requirements for agile software development projects.

StoryTestIQ is based on two other open-source testing tools, Selenium and FitNesse, combining the browser-based testing facilities and command language of Selenium with the wiki-based editing and pluggable Framework for Integrated Test fixture loading of FitNesse.

STIQ 2.0 also enables developers to go beyond testing using user-interface scripting by delivering new features including domain-specific language support, enabling increased productivity and better team-to-client collaboration.

"STIQ supports an agile project team by extending the value of Selenium and FitNesse and making it much easier for developers to collaborate with customers and realize more fully the promise of requirements-driven development, said Charles Rudd, president and CEO of SolutionsIQ.

StoryTestIQ is a free download available here.

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