Top 8 Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites Tools
JiraMicrosoft Azure DevOpsMicro Focus ALM Quality CenterTFSMicro Focus ALM OctanePlanview LeanKitInflectra SpiraTeamDigital.ai Agility
Jira is flexible and accessible for the end-user. It lets users track their requests. The look and feel are good for our purposes.
One of the most valuable features is querying because the jQuery function is very good. Additionally, we can create good designs very easily.
The work items option is incredibly flexible.
You can have test cases in DevOps but not in JIRA. And, DevOps has advantages in terms of executing those test cases.
It is a tool, and it works. It has got good linkage and good traceability between the test cases and the defects. It has got lots of features for testing.
Basically, the capacity to construct various products is something I find handy.
I feel that the test plan and test tools are more manageable in TFS.
The key feature is the usability. It is fast to learn and easy to use. It's very intuitive to work with. Most of the important functions are available via a few clicks, compared to other tools where I have to open a sub-menu and then a sub-menu and another sub-menu, and then press a button.
Every feature is valuable. LeanKit is a Kanban-based tool where you have a visual interface that you can use to create various cards and to create boards to house those cards. You can create a board for managing project work. You can create a board to do PI planning. It is pretty close to the agile way of doing business.
The initial setup and configuration are straightforward and relatively simple.
The solution is fast and very accessible.
It can generate reports showing a burndown chart, burnup chart, and the planned vs actual velocity.
It allows my clients to have one central tool to manage their agile projects.
Why is ALM used?
To be effective, application development requires standardization of processes and documentation. ALM provides this, along with a central hub where all the resources concerning that application’s lifecycle are stored.
Application lifecycle management tools and practices help organizations manage the requirements for their projects, appropriately determining the needs of each stage of the app’s lifecycle. By following an ALM approach, an organization can streamline all processes and resources required for the management of the app, from its inception to the end of its lifecycle. It also improves the development process by integrating frequent testing and fostering collaboration, thus providing a high level of accountability.
ALM plays a key role in app development, ensuring that all things run smoothly. By covering all the phases, from planning to usage, the quality and efficiency of the entire process can be controlled. ALM uses methodologies and tools to monitor, curate, and streamline app development.
By integrating all aspects of the application lifecycle into a single framework, ALM results in faster deployment and better visibility and control over the application development process. Ultimately, this results in higher quality products, because of the frequent testing and control all the way through until the application’s end of life.
What are the common stages in application lifecycle management?
Application lifecycle management integrates the entire process of creating and managing an application into a single platform. To achieve this, the methodology is divided into several stages:
1. Application governance
Governance is the group of decisions made around an application. When you begin the process of creating an application, you start with the main concept for the app, including how it relates to your business needs and goals. Stakeholders gather and declare the goal for the application and how it can support their business case.
Next, you gather the requirements, defining them and agreeing to them. Specifying requirements is usually done from the top down. You start by declaring the most general and follow into the more specific. Teams applying the agile methodology implement an iterative development method, which implies listing requirements according to their use cases.
This stage involves managing resources, data, security, and user access. Defining who will use the application, what permission you will grant during the development and to whom, what security measures will be implemented to secure the data, and so on.
ALM standardization results in governance automation, speeding up application delivery.
2. Application development
Once you’ve defined requirements and governance for the application, you can start development. At this stage, the development team creates a development plan based on the application requirements.
Implementing AML helps teams follow diverse methodologies, but it is especially useful for development teams following an agile methodology. Agile teams develop and deploy once or several times a day.
3. Software testing
In agile environments, testing and quality assurance often overlap with development. In DevOps, unit tests integrate into programming, and continuous integration is part of the DevOps environment.
During testing and quality assurance, ALM gives a framework to ensure that the application fulfills the requirements you defined in the governance process.
4. Operations and maintenance
After deployment, it is time for the last stage of application lifecycle management: continuous maintenance and improvement. This is what differentiates the ALM approach from others, like software development lifecycle (SDLC), since it applies beyond deployment and maintenance.
In this stage, developers find and resolve any missed bugs, plan updates, and prioritize them. One of the important steps of this stage is defining when the system will be retired. Teams define when work on the application will be stopped.
What is ALM tool for testing?
ALM tools are more than project management tools or issue tracking systems. ALM tools include quality assurance as part of the software development process. Most tools offer basic test case management.
ALM tools let you create and manage your test cases, offering sorting and filtering capabilities. Some solutions enable you to define specific tests and parameters for the test cases. Other solutions offer a single test case. Developers that need to work with distributed quality assurance teams would prefer solutions that provide a test suite or pre-defined test set, so they can group and assign test cases for tracking.
Some ALM suites support automated testing. With applications becoming increasingly complex, the testing needs to cover a wide range of technologies and platforms. Therefore, ALM tools provide the automation you require.
According to members of IT Central Station, ALM software needs to address both the technological intricacies of development and the organizational aspects of the development process. Users stress the importance of collaboration and communication among team members. They expect application lifecycle management packages to support project management traceability, visibility and stability along with integration with development tools. ALM should also be lightweight and platform agnostic.
ALM users on the site describe the importance of ALM facilitating integration with automation tools. This way, each team can set up its own delivery pipeline to be run by team members with full visibility for everyone. All project stakeholders have to be able to trace project work, even if they are not on the dev team – or not even in the IT department. The new DevOps paradigm means that IT Ops and line of business (LOB) stakeholders may need to instantly see where they are on a project and what is coming up next.
Testing is one of the most discussed uses of ALM on IT Central Station. ALM software suites can provide a centralized location for the testing lifecycle. For testing, ALM users want dashboard integration of release tracking, a test case repository, and defect tracking. Users also expect ALM suites to enable customized reporting and versionable, robust backups.
What is the difference between ALM and SDLC?
ALM shouldn’t be confused with software development lifecycle (SDLC). While both deal with the process of software development, SDLC focuses on the development phase. ALM, on the other hand, is a more thorough approach, concerning the entire application lifecycle, from concept to planned decommissioning.
Benefits of ALM Tools
The standard benefits of AML tools may include visibility, traceability, agility, promoting quality, and information management: An essential capability of any good ALM tool is the ability to support and manage a range of different development tools across the software development lifecycle. The goal is to allow every stakeholder involved to use the tools, providing visibility to each function.
A good solution also automates and centralizes the development, project, and quality management in a centralized dashboard. By enabling traceability, an ALM tool helps teams understand the impact of the changes they make across the lifecycle. Besides these benefits, implementing an ALM tool creates an efficient and integrated system that streamlines the development process. This centralization brings other significant business benefits for an organization.
First, by automating each application lifecycle process, an ALM tool helps you manage your application portfolio. You can track which development projects are not progressing as expected and any stalled or half-developed projects.
A good ALM tool integrates with project and resource management tools, giving a clear framework for the workflows from before the app is built and until it’s discontinued. Deploying an ALM tool provides a high-visibility environment that allows you to track your application requirements and change them if needed. A good ALM fosters collaboration between all teams involved in the application development.