ARCAD Opens ALM Suite a Little More
June 8, 2010 Alex Woodie
Companies that use ARCAD Software‘s suite of application lifecycle management (ALM) tools are now able to mange the release and deployment of applications on open systems platforms, such as Windows, Unix, and Linux, as well as System i servers. The French company’s latest version 8.9 release also brings improved testing capabilities, as well as improved support for CASE tools.
In recent years ARCAD has focused on opening its suite of tools to provide its customers with ALM functionality beyond i/OS, where it has a solid reputation and hundreds of System i customers around the world. This includes last year’s release of version 8.8 of the ARCAD suite, which introduced Open Repository Connectors that allowed customers to connect any help desk or workflow product into the ARCAD repository.
In May, ARCAD continued that movement with a new release of ARCAD-Skipper, its product that provides software configuration management (SCM), version control, and deployment capabilities. The version 8.9 release of Skipper introduces a new module, called the Integrator for Open Systems (IOS), which extends release management across open systems platforms like Unix, Linux, and Windows.
ARCAD says the IOS component delivers an “open, flexible interface that interconnects with all source code development and configuration management software already in place at the company.” ARCAD uses the notion of “strategies” for connecting IOS to other SCMs and integrated development environments (IDEs). Today, the company offers strategies for CVS, Subversion, and Microsoft‘s Team Foundation Server and Visual Source Safe products functionality. More IOS strategies could conceivably expand this list.
Specifically, IOS provides the tooling needed to include non-i/OS development into the workflow routines managed in ARCAD’s central code management repository, such as release management and logging, as well as other code-related services, such as roll-back and impact analysis. It also allows customers to push updates and application code changes to remote sites using either a System i server or an open system server.
This positions ARCAD’s software as a central control mechanism for wider ALM needs, says Marc Dallas, ARCAD Software Research and Development Director. “Version 8.09 demonstrates ARCAD’s drive to position itself as a genuine coordinator of automation for lifecycle development processes for multi-technology applications,” Dallas states in a press release.
“Our business is no longer just managing developments,” Dallas continues, “but truly orchestrating effective transfers to production of heterogeneous versions in a single process and ensuring distribution to multi-technology sites,” including i/OS or open systems platforms.
ARCAD also improved its i/OS software testing capabilities with the version 8.9 release of ARCAD-Qualifier. The updated product gains the capability to perform functional (non-regression) testing for i/OS applications with a Web interface. ARCAD says it ensures that all HTTP activity can be exposed to the tool and connected back to the database and spool-file jobs running on the System i server. This extends the coverage of Qualifier from basic 5250 and batch jobs to include the new Web interfaces that so many i/OS shops are building or already using.
The third major enhancement with version 8.09 is greater support for CASE tools. ARCAD can support open system CASE tools two different ways. First, development in CASE tools can be handled in-line during development. Alternatively, the ARCAD software can grab coding changes from the file via the new IOS module for the Open Repository, the vendor says.
The French vendor, which has U.S. offices in Softlanding Systems old stomping grounds of Peterborough, New Hampshire, also announced support for RDi 7.5, the Eclipse-based IDE that replaced WDSc. IBM has since replaced RDi with Rational Developer for Power Systems Software (RDP) version 7.6 during the i/OS 7.1 launch; ARCAD plans to support i/OS 7.1 and RDP 7.6 later this summer, says ARCAD CEO Philippe Magne.