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Polarion ALM OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Polarion ALM is #7 ranked solution in top Enterprise Agile Planning Tools and #9 ranked solution in top Application Lifecycle Management Suites. IT Central Station users give Polarion ALM an average rating of 8 out of 10. Polarion ALM is most commonly compared to Jira:Polarion ALM vs Jira. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 23% of all views.
What is Polarion ALM?

The world’s first 100% browser-based ALM enterprise solution, which enables seamless collaboration across disparate teams, multi-directionally linked work items, full traceability, accelerated productivity and automated proof of compliance.

Polarion ALM Buyer's Guide

Download the Polarion ALM Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Polarion ALM Customers

Engineering Ingegneria Informatica, IBS AG, Zumtobel Group

Polarion ALM Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Polarion ALM pricing:
  • "Our license for Polarion ALM is yearly. And it's not the cheapest tool that we've looked at. So if we had made our decision purely based on the licensing cost, we wouldn't have selected Polarion."
  • "The license model is okay for large companies but would be quite expensive for smaller enterprises."
  • "If the pricing would come down and it was more affordable then we wouldn't have to switch."

Polarion ALM Reviews

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SM
Software Development Manager at a consumer goods company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
It incorporates almost all engineering tasks we need to do for one project.

Pros and Cons

  • "Polarion ALM has some valuable tools for managing our targets and requirements. I think that's its best feature."
  • "One of Polarion's shortcomings would be planning. It can handle plans, but the planning feature is very basic."

What is our primary use case?

We use Polarion ALM for development to track requirements, tasks, anomalies, project and design documentation, and other things.

How has it helped my organization?

This one tool incorporates almost all engineering tasks we need to do for one project. However, it's still not a polished solution for how we deploy it. So we cannot use it as a single solution for everything. Also, there are still some uses for which it's not recommended. But this is one of the primary tools our engineering team uses to keep track of their documentation for the project.

What is most valuable?

Polarion ALM has some valuable tools for managing our targets and requirements. I think that's its best feature. All the other features are helpful, but a lot of them don't work out of the box. In terms of planning and management, they need some work. 

What needs improvement?

One of Polarion's shortcomings would be planning. It can handle plans, but the planning feature is very basic. There are third-party solutions that could be easily incorporated or built into the license. They have plugins they developed only after many customers complained about Polarion's integration with third-party repositories. Some of the repositories aren't working all the time. So it works when you set it up, but it stops working after a while, and there is nothing you can do except reset the whole server and try it again. So it's not a convenient way to deal with those issues because the solution should be up 99.9% of the time.

Another issue is Polarion's integration with external tools, including repositories for source code, mechanical design, electrical designs, etc. There should be out-of-the-box integration with different tools like Jira or things of that nature. Some of this functionality exists, but it's not so easy to set up. Polarion ALM needs more integration with external repositories, especially for source code. Most of these tools don't recommend using Polarion ALM as a repository, so you have to use Search Party or a different tool for that. And integration is not straightforward or not easy to do. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We started with Polarion ALM over a year and a half ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, Polarion ALM is okay. Some highly stable features work and integrate with other tools out of the box. Then some are not so stable, so you have to wait for the bugs to be fixed in the new releases. The stability of other features depends entirely on the IT infrastructure because they use a lot of resources. Then again, I don't know if that's necessarily Polarion's problem or how it's deployed. 

But overall, I would say Polarion is reasonably stable. We haven't had any downtime. However, there were times when we had to look for alternatives because some of the things we expect from the tool's administrative functions are not there. So you have to use specific plug-ins to be able to achieve what you need. That limits the way you can interact with the tool.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It looks like Polarion ALM is highly scalable. However, you might need to scale the team managing the tools. That's not something that most organizations are willing to do. Polarion's scalability depends on whether you have enough people to support it, so it's not necessarily the best option. It would be great if you could scale it up while easily managing and deploying it with a relatively small team. Right now, scaling up Polarion means you might need extra resources. As I said, most of the administration capabilities are not too user-friendly. It's not easy to deploy it across all projects quickly. Keep in mind that in this field, you deploy it once you have the database with everything. You cannot switch it off and then move to another server and another version with a new database next year.

And you'll have to preserve everything for, let's say, 15 years or so. So that means you have to do in-place upgrades then scale to support different templates and configurations for various projects. You'll start some projects one way and take a different approach for others. And when you change something, you'll have to support all those configurations still. You don't just apply the new configuration to everything. Sometimes, you need to apply things that are not available in the tool itself with too many projects. So you can scale, but you need lots of people to help you deploy that very fast. It's not that easy to scale once you've been working with it for a while.

How are customer service and support?

I would say Polarion's support is average. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had some older solutions that we were using in several design centers across the globe, but the solutions were running out of support. Even the vendor was switching to something else, and what they offered didn't integrate well with other tools, so we had to find a new solution. Polarion ALM was one of the solutions that the other design centers were considering. In the end, we went with it, and the local ones were phased out as the projects started using Polarion. We never planned to migrate all the old stuff because that involves extra effort and cost and might not work 100 percent. So the old solutions are still around just for the legacy projects while all new projects are on this new system.

How was the initial setup?

Polarion ALM is an administration tool that is very complex. Customizing the out-of-the-box configuration for our use case requires more work administration-wise than other tools we had in the past. For some tools, one person can administer all the projects in that tool. It's a bit more complex also because it allows you to make more mistakes. And you have to manually trickle down the configuration from one item to another — it doesn't have a way to automate this administrative work easily. So you have to know your way around and pick the right thing then duplicate the same setting somewhere else. Otherwise, it is not user-friendly from the administration's point of view.

We were switching everything over from our previous solution, so initial deployment took about a little more than six months, but now many projects are using it. But we're constantly reconfiguring Polarion ALM for new projects because some things didn't work out of the box or work as expected when we started using it. So when we implemented a tool and found a bug, we had to look for alternative solutions.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Our license for Polarion ALM is yearly. And it's not the cheapest tool that we've looked at. So if we had made our decision purely based on the licensing cost, we wouldn't have selected Polarion. Like most tools of this kind, there are maintenance costs and support contracts, etc. We're also looking to purchase a different license for other plugins that add features Polarion doesn't support or do right. If the vendor doesn't plan to improve on those features, we'll look for a third-party solution for that. So all of these costs are added on top of it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were looking at a few options, and we all evaluated each based on what was available out of the box. But, of course, some things don't work the same when you're using them on a project as they do when you're evaluating a product. Most evaluations don't last very long, and sometimes you realize faults with a product after the review. So we had a few products that we evaluated. In the end, Polarion turned out to be a little bit better than the other tools. I can't say whether those other tools have developed more since to overtake Polarion.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, I would rate Polarion ALM eight out of 10, but it depends on your intended use. If you are limiting the scope to just a few uses, it can go all the way to 10. But if you want to use it for all the aspects of the development process, my rating would go down to six. I would also point out that some other tools are easier to administer. For example, there are tools where the administrator has to do very little. In Polarion, the admin needs to make some configuration changes and modify access rights at every level. But in other tools, these configuration changes trickle down automatically on their own without the need to double-check several places before you can finally say it's all done. So administration-wise, they can improve. And the out-of-the-box features should all work as needed without a lot of tinkering. 

To people considering Polarion, I would say that you need to do a thorough, extended evaluation. Make sure that you have an initial team of at least 10 or so people before moving ahead with a company-wide deployment. Of course, this depends on your company's scale and how many projects you want to support. If you're working on one project at a time, then one person can handle most of the stuff.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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AO
Senior Research Engineer at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
The amount of document control, combined with review and release probabilities and signatures is really useful

Pros and Cons

  • "We had a nice experience with technical support."
  • "The ease-of-use could be improved a little."

What is our primary use case?

We mainly use Polarion ALM for requirements engineering as well as task planning and task execution, but we mainly use it as a documentation and traceability tool.

I work in the medical device development field. Even though Polarion is quite expensive, it's quite a good solution for medical device development in general, especially for software development.

Within our previous company, not that many people used Polarion as it was only used within our department relating to medical device development. I'd say around 20 to 30 people were using it. It's hard to say as we had around six licenses with some floating licenses.

What is most valuable?

I like that there is, more or less, a single solution for everything. In regards to Polarion, if you're not experienced, it can be quite complicated, so you may need weeks or even months to familiarize yourself with the tools and how it operates. Once you understand how it works it becomes a very useful tool; we mainly use it for requirements engineering, so for us, the traceability is a really important feature. I also like all of the possibilities for different reports and the option to have a "what you see is what you get" editor for all documents and especially, for the release of documents. 

The amount of document control, combined with review and release probabilities and signatures is really useful. For example, Confluence does not have these capabilities. You would have to install Comala, with its plug-in that is used for document control, and even then, it would not be comparable. Polarion's document control is one of the best that I have used. In terms of development itself, having the work items and requirements altogether in one place and being able to control them by Staples, is really helpful.

What needs improvement?

The ease-of-use could be improved a little, but at the same time, it's a complex tool so that has to be expected; such a complex tool cannot be completely straightforward. 

The license model is okay for large companies but would be quite expensive for smaller enterprises.

Also, the beginner's tutorials are quite outdated — working on versions from 2010 or 2012. More up-to-date tutorials with different use cases would be a nice adjustment.

It's always possible to improve such tools by adding more features and improving automatization. For example, we never tried the connection to build service. I believe it's possible to do that, to automatically link it to the software build process. We only used it more or less manually. It's possible that, that feature could be improved because I believe there was a reason why we didn't do it, but I can't explain in more detail as I was not really involved in the process.

In general, I would like to see improvements on the information and materials.

For how long have I used the solution?

My current company has been using Polarion ALM for quite a long time, since approximately 2012. I personally started working with Polarion ALM four years ago.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I don't remember any real bugs. We always had some (more or less) minor questions relating to different issues. I don't completely remember, but we had direct contact to our vendor here in Austria, so in most cases, problems could be solved in a more or less direct way. So no really big problems. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We had a nice experience with technical support. Contacting them was like gaining secret knowledge because so much information is not published, like macros and snippets of code and so on. If you just ask, they will give you different pieces of code for different purposes — for reports for example. You couldn't find that hidden code on your own but if you ask, Siemens will, more or less, give it to you for free. As it's clear that they don't want to publish everything on their website, just ask if they have a solution that is yet to be published, and maybe they can help you out.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup. Still, when you're working with Microsoft, creating your own code within the system, you have to be the admin. Also, when updating to a newer version, problems can occur leading to the loss of older, developed pieces of code. It's a small issue but you need to be aware of it in order to handle it properly. Other than that, the setup is quite straightforward. 

What about the implementation team?

Maintenance was distributed between several people. We had one main administrator. We were quite a large company with 1,300 people in total, but there were only around 60 of us working in the medical device domain. We had one central IP infrastructure, but they only provided us with computers to the hardware. We managed the tool within the departments on our own. We had one administrator, who was the master administrator, who did the updates, and so on. We also had several tool administrators. In other words, we were two units within the department and for each unit, we had one administrator.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The license model is okay for large companies but would be quite expensive for smaller enterprises.

What other advice do I have?

If you're a beginner to Life Cycle Requirements Engineering in general, I'd recommend that you familiarize yourself with the basics of requirement engineering in order to gain independence of the tool itself. Eventually, when you start using Polarion, start from the very beginning. Even though the tutorials are out-of-date, they are still helpful. 

We also used our vendors as our trainers and teachers. We booked them for three or four days to get a proper introduction to Polarion. Starting off with an expert is a really good idea, it will cost you, but it will save you so much time. One expert instructor can teach more than 20 workers at once, saving you hours or even weeks.

I would rate Polarion really quite high. We were happy with it, and nowadays, without this type of tool, it's not possible to develop medical devices independently of software or hardware. I would give Polarion a rating of nine out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Polarion ALM. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
552,305 professionals have used our research since 2012.
VP
Technial Lead at a transportation company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Stable with a straightforward setup and good technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "The technical support is quite good."
  • "The configuration aspect of the solution is not easy. A person needs a lot of programming knowledge in order to successfully handle the job."

What is our primary use case?

Polarion can be used typically for application lifecycle management. Typically it's used for requirement management, test case management, and defect tracking. 

What is most valuable?

The product is pretty stable.

The technical support is quite good.

The initial setup is fairly straightforward.

What needs improvement?

The solution is not easy to use.

The configuration aspect of the solution is not easy. A person needs a lot of programming knowledge in order to successfully handle the job.

The cost of the product is quite high. They should work to bring it down a bit so it's not on the higher end of the market.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for almost three years at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We find the product to be very stable and reliable. However, there are a few issues with the stability that can still be ironed out.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We aren't really end-users as we're more of a consulting company. However, we do plan to continue to use it in the future.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is quite good. We've never had issues with their services in the past. We've been quite satisfied with them.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We are providing services for codeBeamer for companies that need someone who has knowledge about codeBeamer and can deploy codeBeamer. We deploy PTC Integrity, Polarion, IBM, CLM, and two other products as well. We have around nine to 10 products we use as a deployment. 

How was the initial setup?

Typically, the installation process is quite straightforward and not too complex. However, there are instances where it can get a bit tricky.

What about the implementation team?

Typically, we provide consulting for deployment. We're the consulting company that customers use when they need assistance with deployment. We do the installation for most of our customers as well as the basic configuration so that clients can be ready to use the application.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's a pretty expensive solution. It's one of the most expensive solutions out there.

What other advice do I have?

We're a solution provider, so we don't directly use this product. We came across this product and have deployed it for our end client. We are a deployment and development partner for various clients in the automotive industry.

We have a specific partnership with the vendor in Germany. We are not directly related to Polarion. We're a service provider for their vendor.

We are using the latest version of the solution.

I'd recommend this product to other companies, of course, depending on their requirements.

Overall, I would rate it at an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
KL
Senior DevOps Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
An all inclusive tool that is stable and integrates well

Pros and Cons

  • "It meets with everybody's needs without having to grab plugins."
  • "Technical support needs some improvement."

What is our primary use case?

Polarion is an all in one tool that we use from conception to validation testing. Our product team uses it for their requirements, our developers use it for their stories and tasks, and our quality team uses it for testing. 

It integrates with SVN and GitLab.

What is most valuable?

It's all in one place, where every department can utilize the same tool. It meets with everybody's needs without having to grab plugins. For example, Jira is nothing but a bunch of plugins.

What is most valuable is that this is an all-inclusive tool.

What needs improvement?

This is an area that has already been corrected, but the Navigation areas of the document and being able to have subdocuments was an area that needed improvement.

Technical support needs some improvement.

The pricing could be reduced. If the pricing would come down and it was more affordable then we wouldn't have to switch.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable tool as long as our environment is stable.

For us, it has been quite stable so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable and it's highly configurable. Most of it can be done through the GUI and you can get into the backend, the XML, and make changes as well.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support varies, it's 50/50. You can get a knowledgeable person and you get great support. If on the other hand, you can't get someone knowledgeable then you get a runaround.

How was the initial setup?

I wasn't a part of the initial setup.

It is a clustered environment where we have three nodes that our users hit to gather the data, then we have a shared database.

What other advice do I have?

It's been the only ALM tool that I have used. 

As far as capabilities and learning the system, I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.