Towards an industrial ALM (Application Lifecycle) Tool Integration

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Sektionen för datavetenskap och kommunikation; Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Sektionen för datavetenskap och kommunikation

Abstract: Context. Application Lifecycle Management refers to the coordination of all aspects of software engineering, through a collection of integrated software development tools. More and more organizations are heavily relying on the ALM tools nowadays. Objectives. In this study we research ALM first as a business strategy, its roots, its advantages and disadvantages. As well as making a theoretical research, we seek out the setbacks of the practical side of ALM in order to find the areas needed for improvement, by investigating the ALM’s existing tools, interviewing ALM’s users, and using gained statistical data to derive practical facts about ALM. The goal of the thesis is to find out how ALM can be improved. Methods. The vast amount of sources, including articles, books, and journals is used to support our arguments and conclusions. A long online survey was carried with many participants to understand the practical side of ALM, as well as gain access to information about ALM’s setbacks. Results. The problems of ALM are recognized and named. Proposals are made in respect of how to deal with these problems. A list of what options need to be studied in the future, in order to improve the overall ALM design, and make it a powerful tool, is presented. A detailed plan for further research regarding this highly important issue is presented. Conclusions. We conclude that there are several ALM tool options on the market, all having their strengths and weaknesses. But in order for ALM to become an industrial solution and to be truly successful and effective in supporting the broader goals of the different organizations using it, the requests of the stakeholders towards deeper semantic integration between the various tool involved in the ALM processes need to be embodied in the current ALM offerings. We conclude that further research is needed in order to assess the proposals, and test the design ideas that are presented in the last chapter of this thesis.

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