As organizations increasingly become software driven, the role of the application lifecycle is taking a new meaning. Connecting stakeholders in the software lifecycle ceases being a nice to have and any gap in connectivity quickly becomes the bottleneck of software delivery. The organizations are now noticing the friction of having developers do duplicate data entry between their issue tracker and Agile tool, or testers and business analysts queuing up weeks of defects and requirements before handing them off to developers. The application lifecycle is only as efficient as its weakest link, and if that link is manual and based on large batches and handoffs, frustration for the individuals and large-scale inefficiencies result.
With Tasktop Sync we created the first general way to connect software delivery stakeholders working in best-of-breed tools across the application lifecycle management (ALM) stack. As we’ve been rolling out Tasktop Sync over the past year to IT organizations around the world, we’ve noticed a number of things. Organizations, especially those who have been around for a while, are trying desperately to apply ALM Automation across the enterprise. To do this, these organizations are having to inventory their tool sets and identify the information flows and the workflows between stakeholders and between their tools, usually for the very first time.
Often acting as a cross between marriage counselor and coach, the Tasktop expert’s first activity in a deployment is to gather they key stakeholders from management, quality assurance, development, and business analysis in a room with as big a white board as possible. In this meeting, the organization will identify the important tools used by each stakeholder, how information needs to flow between these tools, what are the key workflows within each stakeholder silo, and what activities kick off workflows in other silos. The edges connecting the ALM repositories turn out to be various kinds of tasks that represent the lines of collaboration between the stakeholders, and that are then mapped between the various vendors’ tools with Tasktop Sync’s real-time ALM artifact synchronization solution.
In the forthcoming release of Tasktop Sync, we have formalized the lessons learned of the past year with a new authoring tool called Sync Studio. Our expertise is now captured in visual tools for cross-ALM system task and workflow mapping, ALM architecture design, monitoring tools to ease integration maintenance and alert notifications for project and system administrators. To help IT organizations scale Tasktop Sync deployments and better manage the growing number of ALM systems in a typical tool stack, Sync Studio provides a whole new set of ALM infrastructure management tools. Capabilities include:
|A Unified View across the ALM Stack: Sync Studio presents ALM architects and administrators with a comprehensive and “live” architectural view of current tools and processes, and the associated interdependencies and roadblocks that need to be addressed.|
|Visual Mapping for ALM Administrators: Sync Studio provides automated mapping capabilities for ALM administrators to author and configure task, data and workflow connectivity and integration between ALM servers.|
|Cross-repository Monitoring and Administration: Sync Studio helps maintain the health and performance of enterprise-wide ALM architectures through the regular monitoring of inter-tool functionality and centralized administration of changes, maintenance, trouble-shooting and alert notifications.|
|End-to-end Traceability for the Lifecycle: through its Task Federation platform, Sync Studio provides complete ALM traceability that is available through the visual mapping and visibility capabilities now available in the tool.|
Tasktop Sync is being announced today as part of our coordinated Tasktop 2.3 release. A notable feature from Sync the instantaneous task querying needed for Sync’s conflict resolution, is getting pushed down into Eclipse Mylyn for the benefit of our developer users as we continue to build out both the Tasktop commercial tools and the underlying Mylyn frameworks needed to support Task Federation, both on the server side with Tasktop Sync and on the developer’s desktop with Tasktop Dev and Mylyn.
Tasktop Sync 2.3
|Sync Studio: Visual Mapping, Monitoring, Validation and Notifications|
|Sync Server: Scalability & failover support|
|New connectors: Accept 360, ThoughtWorks Mingle, full RTC Schema support|
Tasktop Dev 2.3
|New OEM Edition for HP Quality Center|
|Mylyn 3.7, including instant Task List search|
|New connectors: Gerrit code reivew|
|See New & Noteworthy for more|
Contact us for a demo of Sync Studio.
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.