CA Acquires Grid-Tools to Bolster DevOps Portfolio

CA Technologies announced it has acquired Grid-Tools, a maker of DevOps solutions.

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A week after announcing plans to acquire Rally Software to enhance its Agile tools portfolio, CA Technologies today announced it has acquired Grid-Tools, a provider of enterprise test data management, automated test design and optimization software solutions.

With the addition of Grid-Tools, along with Rally, CA has beefed up its portfolio to provide a delivery chain of DevOps technologies from Agile planning to continuous delivery to agile operations.

Financial terms of the deal to acquire privately held Grid-Tools were not disclosed. Founded in 2004, Grid-Tools has offices in Oxford, U.K., and New York.

"The global application economy requires our customers to deliver higher quality applications faster than ever before. Legacy testing tools and reliance on manual testing are not suited for the speed and number of changes necessary to achieve continuous delivery," said Jacob Lamm, executive vice president of Strategy and Corporate Development at CA, in a statement. "Adding Grid-Tools' test solutions, development and test teams can accelerate the entire lifecycle while freeing up valuable resources to perform more value added activities."

CA officials said time-consuming manual testing and data management have prevented organizations from realizing the true potential of Agile development and continuous delivery (CD). The Grid-Tools products help organizations accelerate their quality lifecycle by providing greater test coverage, faster test creation and repeatable test execution for software assets.

For its part, CA offers a set of continuous delivery solutions that enable organizations to adopt a model-based approach to generating test cases and a test data management toolset, providing greater coverage to deliver a better user experience. CA's offerings also help companies achieve true CD by testing every code change automatically across the entire promotion path and free up development and quality assurance resources previously engaged in test data and test case creation to perform more productive tasks, like new code development.

"Our customers have seen dramatic reductions in release test cycles and time required to fix defects while increasing quality of their applications," said Huw Price, co-founder of Grid-Tools, in a statement. "The combination of CA Technologies and Grid-Tools provides enterprises with a strong option to bring testing to the next level by removing bottlenecks in their software development lifecycle."

The demand for functionality such as that from Grid-Tools is growing. For instance, Forrester Research's TechRadar: Continuous Software Delivery, Q2 2015 report, said: "As automated API-based testing, driven by the CD pipeline, becomes more prevalent, test data management will become essential. We expect the tools in this space to gain popularity as they disaggregate their functionality: in data generation tools, data obfuscation and masking tools and test data life-cycle management."

Mik Kersten, founder and CEO of Tasktop Technologies, which also produces Agile application lifecycle management (ALM) tools for enterprise developers, said he believes CA's acquisition of Rally and now Grid-Tools is an unambiguous indicator of where the Agile and ALM space is at, and where it's going. Agile tools have come of age, he said. Every organization building large-scale software needs an Agile tool. As a result, every app dev platform vendor needs an Agile tool that it's built, acquired or integrate with. Whereas all the tool excitement used to be around helping developers build and deploy code, the insanely complex code bases and customer needs that are now in play have made Agile a critical and primary part of the software lifecycle, he said.

"The challenge these acquisitions shine the light on is that an Agile tool alone is not enough," Kersten told eWEEK. "No Global 2000 company can deploy Agile and hope for the success that the startups and 'unicorns' are having, since they are deploying that tool into a morass of enterprise, in-house and legacy systems. Now CA gets to connect Rally's Agile and functionality with CA Clarity PPM, a leading enterprise-grade project and portfolio management tool. That connection is indicative of exactly how the software lifecycle needs to evolve.

"Just as the last 10 years were about Agile and DevOps coming of age, and caused a best-of-breed tool proliferation, so will the next 10 years be about integration," he said. "For example, Tasktop already works with some of CA and Rally's biggest customers by providing them integration between the dozens of other Agile, ALM, DevOps and ITSM tools on the market with Clarity and Rally. With these two products combined we expect to see the market presence of both Clarity and Rally grow and to further drive innovation across the vendor ecosystem, making Agile tools scale beyond the features needed by Silicon Valley 'unicorns' and to the needs of enterprise 'horses,' where the majority of the world's software is built."