In our mission to improve the productivity of software development, our focus to date has been the developer. With Mylyn for the masses and Tasktop for the Enterprise, we have provided developers the tools that they need to focus on coding amidst constant interruptions and organizational shifts between disparate application lifecycle management (ALM) tools and ever-evolving flavors of Agile. Mylyn and Tasktop provide developers a single pane of glass through which to view all parts of the application lifecycle relevant to their work. But other key stakeholders, who do not live in the IDE, are missing this visibility. Over the course of the past decade, as the heterogeneity of ALM has increased the vantage of these stakeholders decreased. Today we are announcing a new product that will bring all members of the development process into the modern software delivery loop.
Tasktop Sync moves our existing Task Federation(tm) technology from a developer’s desktop client to the server. Developers’ need for Task Federation arose from the fact that in larger organizations, development tasks span multiple systems, from requirements definitions to defects, from issues to change sets and from tests to builds. But tasks not only span systems, they also span stakeholders. If a tester needs to email a developer to get clarification on a fix, or to email a business analyst for details on a requirement related to testing, the ALM stack is broken. With application complexity continually rising, it is no longer feasible to effectively collaborate and report over disconnected chains of email. Just as Tasktop, Mylyn and the task-focused interface have been instrumental at starting to bring about the end of email between developers, today we are embarking on connecting the other members of the software lifecycle. The difference is that unlike developers, most other stakeholders do not live in an IDE-type rich client capable of bringing the many disparate forms of software project information together. Their window on the software delivery process is the web browser. To support them, we needed to integrate directly with the data models of the tools that they use.
Tasktop Sync is the first real-time synchronizer for ALM. While synchronization is largely solved for email and contacts, with protocols and synchronizers working seamlessly across Microsoft Exchange, IMAP, Google Apps and iOS, the lack of a scalable and generic solution has been an endemic problem in large-scale ALM. With Tasktop Sync, the ALM architect simply sets up a mapping between the various ALM systems of record for requirements, Agile, development and testing. For example, the mapping may specify that defects should be one-to-one mapped between the Agile tracker and the defect tracker. Once Tasktop sync has built up its cache, every change in the test system is propagated instantly to the agile tool, and back again, ensuring that all stakeholders can work in their system of choice. We have built on the Mylyn frameworks, Tasktop Certified ecosystem of connectors, and our deep partnerships with the leading Agile and ALM vendors to create this entirely new level of ALM interoperability.
If you are involved in an Agile rollout or ALM modernization effort that is struggling with disconnected tools and increasing presence of open source in the stack, Tasktop Sync will provide you with the integration that you need for all stakeholders to collaborate with context in their tool of choice.
About Mik Kersten
Dr. Mik Kersten is the CEO of Tasktop Technologies, creator of the Eclipse Mylyn open source project and inventor of the task-focused interface. At Tasktop, Mik sets the strategic direction of the company as well as drives many of Tasktop's key partnerships and key customers accounts. He created Mylyn and the task-focused interface during his PhD in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. Mik has been an Eclipse committer since 2002, is a 3-time elected member of the Eclipse Board of Directors and serves on the Eclipse Architecture Council. Mik's thought leadership on task-focused collaboration and improving the software economy makes him a popular speaker at software conferences, and he was voted a JavaOne Rock Star speaker in 2008 and 2009.