Tasktop Enterprise 2.0 Offers New Level of ALM Interoperability and Cross-tool Agile Planning

Innovative new Task Federation capabilities leap-frog point-to-point integrations to unify disparate ALM tools within the developer IDE, connecting developers, testers and management

VANCOUVER, BC, March 22, 2011 Tasktop Technologies, creators of the Eclipse Mylyn open source tools and a leader in Agile Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) integration and productivity, today announced Tasktop Enterprise 2.0, which features new Task Federation™ capabilities. Task Federation includes bi-directional task synchronization between ALM components (such as HP Quality Center and IBM Rational Team Concert) and cross-repository Agile planning. Additionally, this release includes several new Mylyn connectors and the general availability of Tasktop for Visual Studio.

"When moving to Agile or modernizing the ALM stack, many organizations are finding that the lack of integration between vendors' tools has put their Agile and ALM deployments at risk," said Mik Kersten, CEO of Tasktop and creator of the open source Eclipse Mylyn project. "The ability to view plans that span repositories, and to federate tasks across a wide variety of them with full fidelity bi-directional task synchronization, is a major breakthrough in solving the challenges of integrating Agile methodologies, legacy systems, departmental silos and open source tools. By connecting these tools not just to the IDE but also to each other, Tasktop is creating opportunities for collaboration between teams and between departments that is resulting in significant returns for the enterprise, ranging from increased productivity to more predictability in software delivery to improved application maintenance over its lifecycle."

Tasktop created its task management tools to help developers be more productive by making it effortless for them to organize their work around tasks. Serving as an ALM interoperability suite, Tasktop Enterprise has become the standard for integrating disparate development tools and platforms that are the reality for today's enterprise software development organizations. By providing traceability and knowledge sharing between tools and platforms that are often provided by separate companies, Tasktop helps reduce the complexity and challenges of successfully scaling Agile programs beyond small teams. Organizations using Tasktop are able to integrate and gain added value from heterogeneous systems, improve the happiness and productivity of development teams, and integrate and manage emerging technology platforms, such as cloud computing and mobile applications, into existing development practices.

Task Federation for ALM Interoperability

Tasktop's Task Federation can be deployed to unify an ALM stack. Currently, Task Federation supports IBMs Rational Team Concert (RTC) and HP's Quality Center (QC). Additional federation support will be added for other Tasktop Certified connectors in future releases. Task Federation provides bi-directional synchronization of all key tasks and fields between RTC and QC. In a common use case, RTC has the state needed for planning, while QC remains the system of record for quality management.

Since each Tasktop client has full federation functionality and uses Mylyn's hardened bi-direction synchronization functionality and user interface, the solution can be deployed in a scalable and secure fashion without requiring any new servers. A Task Federation broker can be added to the solution for companies requiring additional capabilities that a server solution can provide.

Task Federation for Agile Planning

The most significant new feature in Tasktop Enterprise 2.0 is the release of the Tasktop Agile Planner for the Eclipse IDE. The Tasktop Agile Planner provides an offline-capable Scrum task board and release planner that can span repositories. For instance, user stories within an Agile planning tool can be shared, tracked and displayed directly in HP Quality Center or a popular open source issue tracker. Cross repository dependencies are displayed in release plans, and Tasktop Enterprise can display and reconcile task status across repositories. All relevant content from a Web-based planning tool, such as burn down charts, are available when connected via Tasktop's embedded Web UI gadgets. All of the cross-repository state is stored in existing ALM tools – there are no new servers needed.

Currently, Agile plans can be displayed from HP's Agile Accelerator and Rally Software (more tools will be supported in upcoming releases). Cross-repository linking is supported for all Tasktop Certified connectors. The Tasktop Agile Planner for the Eclipse IDE is available as part of Tasktop Enterprise. For product owners and project leads, the planner is also available as part of the standalone Tasktop desktop application.

Task-Focused Continuous Integration

As always, Tasktop's commercial efforts have been driving framework and open source tool improvements in Eclipse Mylyn. A notable example is new Hudson tooling, which also supports Jenkins. Developers can now work with Hudson day-to-day entirely from within the Eclipse IDE, monitor and run builds, and inspect results. Accessing build information is instant and available offline from Mylyn. Added automation features include the ability to run tests that failed on the server within the workspace, with just one click. Finally, developers using Tasktop Enterprise's task activation and automatic change set tracking features, resulting in traceability between Hudson builds and the tasks that changed for a given build, providing an unprecedented level of traceability between tasks, source and builds.

New Mylyn Connectors

Tasktop continues on its mission to improve the lives of developers through integrations with the leading ALM tools in use today. Tasktop Enterprise 2.0 includes the following new integrations:

  • HP Agile Accelerator: This builds on existing support for HP Quality Center and HP ALM to provide both Task List integration and IDE-based Agile planning facilities.
  • Accept360: This full-featured Mylyn connector brings requirements and other product management artifacts to the developer's desktop in order to better connect development to planning activities.
  • SmartBear CodeCollaborator: Tasktop's first code review integration is for SmartBear's popular peer code review tool, CodeCollaborator.
  • Polarion ALM: Tasktop now offers full support for the Polarion's Track & Wiki and ALM solution.
  • Hudson/Jenkins: Tasktop has contributed a full-featured Hudson integration to Mylyn, on top of which Tasktop provides traceability with ALM tools such as HP Quality Center. This Hudson connector also supports Jenkins. The integration is currently available in Tasktop Pro and Tasktop Enterprise and will be released in Mylyn later this year.

Tasktop for Visual Studio

Tasktop Enterprise 2.0 includes the general availability of Tasktop for Visual Studio, which brings the ecosystem of Tasktop Certified connectors into the Visual Studio IDE. .NET Developers now can harness Mylyn's functionality, including instant opening of tasks, offline access to the Task List, and a full-featured task editor.

Pricing and Availability

Tasktop Enterprise 2.0 is available now and pricing starts at $199 per-user per-year. To read more about Tasktop Enterprise 2.0 please visit: http://tasktop.com/blog/news/tasktop-2-0-release or attend Kersten's Tasktop Enterprise 2.0 webinar on March 31, 2011 by registering at http://tasktop.com/about/webinars/

About Tasktop Technologies

Tasktop Technologies is the company behind the Eclipse Mylyn ALM integration framework and its revolutionary task-focused interface technology. The task-focused interface is proven to make developers more productive by showing only the relevant information for each task, dramatically reducing search time and facilitating multitasking. Tasktop Enterprise is the company's commercial product based on Mylyn, with task-focused support for web browsing, time tracking, documents, email, calendars and commercial ALM components. Tasktop also provides consulting, connector development services and training to the growing number of companies adopting the task-focused paradigm and tools. For more information please visit http://tasktop.com.

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