ARCAD Bolsters ALM Integration with Third Party Tools
June 12, 2012 Alex Woodie
ARCAD Software is exposing more of its application lifecycle management (ALM) suite to third-party products, including Microsoft .NET, IBM Rational Team Concert, the popular JIRA bug tracker, and even Rocket Aldon, with version 8.15 of its suite, which was recently released.
The most visible component of the ARCAD suite of ALM tools is probably Skipper, the software configuration management (SCM) component that provides change management and version control for IBM i and open systems environments. But the French company’s ALM suite goes way beyond SCM, and includes a variety of other modules, including customer request tracking (Customer), build management (Builder), deployment and release management (Deliver), data extraction (Extract), regression testing (Verifier), cross-referencing (Observer), bulk data transformation (Transform), data configuration management (Datachanger), and impact analysis and auditing (Audit).
It’s been over a year since ARCAD first hooked its ALM suite into IBM’s Rational Team Concert (RTC) change management system. As part of that integration, RTC began to serve as the main code repository for applications that customers are otherwise managing with the ARCAD tools.
With the April release of ARCAD ALM version 8.15, customers can now access the functions of the ARCAD Observer cross-reference tool from their IBM RTC interfaces. The vendor says this encourages customers to make RTC their main code repository, while facilitating the transfer and availability of organizational knowledge about the inner workings of applications. Previously, Observer could be used within the RDP development environment.
While ARCAD has a well-respected code repository, it’s been very welcoming of RTC as the new holder of the crown jewels of an organization. The company is selling something it calls the “ARCAD-Rational Power Pack,” which delivers the integration between two currently validated ARCAD products–Deliver and Observer–with the Rational tools. (Deliver is currently only validated to work with RTC.) The Power Pack also provides ARDCAD customers with access to Rational’s Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) suite, which combines RTC with Rational Requirements Composer and Rational Quality Manager. For more information on the ARCAD-Rational Power Pack, see this IBM document.
ARCAD-Observer 8.15 also includes the capability to retrieve changed software components from Microsoft’s Visual Studio development environment and the company’s Team Foundation Server ALM software. ARCAD says this enables customers to automatically build cross-references between native IBM i components and .NET, and also to automate and secure their synchronized deployment to production.
Finally, this release of Observer also includes better management of changes to the DB2 database. The vendor says it has optimized reference constraint management functions, such as validity controls and comparisons.
The customer request tracking system, ARCAD-Customer, has also been enhanced with a new report designer and a new integration point with Atlassian‘s JIRA incident, bug, and project bug tracking system. The vendor says that JIRA users can now easily link their software into ARCAD’s version control functions.
The final major new feature in version 8.15 is better integration into the Lifecycle Manager for IBM i (LMi) product from Rocket Aldon. ARCAD says that its Transformer and Observer modules have improved visibility into the compilation specifications managed by Aldon LMi. This gives ARCAD customers capabilities they didn’t have before, such as for using Transformer to expand the size of database fields of applications that were managed with LMi. It also gives Observer better insight into IBM i applications managed by LMi for the purposes of impact analysis and application documentation.