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IBM Rational ALM OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

IBM Rational ALM is #18 ranked solution in top Application Lifecycle Management Suites. PeerSpot users give IBM Rational ALM an average rating of 7.2 out of 10. IBM Rational ALM is most commonly compared to Microsoft Azure DevOps: IBM Rational ALM vs Microsoft Azure DevOps. IBM Rational ALM is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 74% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 16% of all views.
Buyer's Guide

Download the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2022

What is IBM Rational ALM?
Lifecycle management capabilities built on the open, unifying IBM Rational Jazz platform can help agile and traditional teams: see at-a-glance status, access better data for decisions, manage costs, reuse the most efficient processes across the organization, manage cloud, web, SOA and mobile application design and development. Teams can also gain real-time traceability, manage work across vendors, unify across a diverse set of lifecyle tools, and provide collaborative development for continuous delivery as part of the IBM DevOps solution.

IBM Rational ALM was previously known as Rational ALM, MKS.

IBM Rational ALM Customers
Tennis Australia, WeCloud AB, Port Otago Limited, Logicalis US, Valmer, The Chevrolet Volt, Ashurst
IBM Rational ALM Video

Archived IBM Rational ALM Reviews (more than two years old)

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Applications Developer Specialist at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Customizable, the support is good, and the Kanban view is helpful
Pros and Cons
  • "You can customize the board according to your needs."
  • "The reporting functionality needs to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We began using this product in 2014 as a work management tool. After that, we gained knowledge of the Agile framework and implemented these features in Rational. We now have five scrum teams, all of them using this solution for scrum planning. This includes dashboards and the Kanban view in order to support them.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the customizability, workflow, and Kanban components. You can customize the board according to your needs.

What needs improvement?

The reporting functionality needs to be improved. They have developed a reporting model but it is not available out-of-the-box. It is especially important when we are talking about Kanban and KPIs. We have some metrics related to lead time and throughput, but we cannot produce them out-of-the-box.

There are two features called the Program Board and Quick Learning that need administrator access to use. This is risky and it is not good practice to have more than one administrator on the tool, so the problem is that we can't give this level of access to normal users and it is an obstacle in the way of using these features.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using IBM Rational ALM for about six years, since 2014.

Buyer's Guide
Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites
September 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Atlassian, Microsoft and others in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites. Updated: September 2022.
634,775 professionals have used our research since 2012.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are happy with the scalability, although it is related to licensing. We have different types of licensing including concurrent floating and stakeholder. I think that we have 12 concurrent licenses and a total of 50 users who are assigned to these different concurrent pools.

To this point, we have not needed to scale. If we extend the functionality and integrate it with the DevOps tool, with respect to continuous integration and continuous deployment, then we may increase our usage.

How are customer service and support?

We normally rely on our local vendor for support. We did contact IBM in the Dubai office one time. They were responsive and we were happy with the support.

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

We did not use a similar solution prior to choosing this one.

How was the initial setup?

The implementation is easy and the initial setup is straightforward. Having knowledge of the Agile framework and the scrum practices help very much when it comes to setting it up. Without this knowledge, you will not be able to maximize the benefit of this product.

What about the implementation team?

We have a local vendor who assisted us with the deployment.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing IBM Rational ALM is to have the right balance of trained people. They need to know about the Agile framework, using the tool, and how to customize it.

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.
PeerSpot user
Technology Architect at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Integration into our pipelines helps to identify pain points and streamline performance
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the reporting of the CPU usage on the dashboard."
  • "The stability of this solution can be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We are a central, systems integration team that provides different solutions to vendors and business partners. We have a lab available on-premises and we work with all of the latest tools available in the market. We integrate them into the pipelines, create new PoCs and use cases, and showcase the solutions to different clients. IBM Rational ALM is one of the solutions that we provide.

Our primary use case has to do with performance monitoring. We are trying to help our business users with their development and landscaping to identify exactly where their pain point areas are. Then we can help to fine-tune their applications, tools, and databases for the teams. 

How has it helped my organization?

We are working on integrating this tool directly into our DevOps pipeline. Once this is done then we will be able to supply our clients with regular updates that tell them what to look at in order to improve performance.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the reporting of the CPU usage on the dashboard. If we have multiple jobs running it gives us information such as the number of jobs, in a particular timeslot. This allows us to focus on saving CPU time or perhaps other resources.

What needs improvement?

The stability of this solution can be improved.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

IBM Rational ALM is mostly stable. Sometimes there are bugs but it's okay.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are using the Community Edition rather than the Enterprise version, just to create PoCs, pipelines, and showcase them to the business. We have not tried to scale beyond this.

We have between 30 and 40 architects who are using it, and we are all involved in creating new solutions and new architectures.

How are customer service and technical support?

We are satisfied with the technical support that we received from IBM.

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

We have used similar tools by Atlassian, CA, HP, and Micro Focus. We use some of these simultaneously with IBM.

What about the implementation team?

The initial setup was done in collaboration with IBM Services.

What other advice do I have?

This is one of the tools that helps us to add value to businesses by fine-tuning systems and assessing pain point areas. By identifying exactly what needs to be looked at, it helps people to bring down the load on the system. Basically, this solution gives us an overall picture of what is happening in the system.

I would rate this solution 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
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites
September 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Atlassian, Microsoft and others in Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites. Updated: September 2022.
634,775 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Nitin Kaushik - PeerSpot reviewer
Quality Assurance at Varroc Lighting System
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
Gives us a clear picture of what needs to be developed and what the risks are but the design manager is unstable
Pros and Cons
  • "At the same time, if you're working from the architect or the designing team you, it's quite easy to manage the resources online."
  • "The directory designer manager is uncivil. The design manager is clearly really unstable."

What is our primary use case?

I work as Q&A engineer in addition to supporting CALM management. I use it for daily, day-to-day user activities.

How has it helped my organization?

It certainly helps from the requirement management for the deployment phase. Starting with the requirement engineering the customer requirements certification and then to the system requirement analysis, the designing. The tool is quite collaborative. There is no need for overhead in getting the requirements from the requirement management side. 

There is a clear picture between the requirement and the development. The development is done in the Rational Team Concert. The resources are being maintained in addition to the work item. It gives us a clear picture of what needs to be developed and what the risks are.

Once the development activities have been frozen they can be moved to the development or to the testing team, the testing team can get to the common data system, but that's for integration. They then log their test cases, the test functions, and can get feedback in terms of any defects or any risk. At the same time, if you're working from the architect or the designing team, it's quite easy to manage the resources online. It helps us in our day to day activities of maintaining the development lifecycle. 

What is most valuable?

Abilities to share ideas in terms of tasks, lifecycle traceability from requirement to development to testing and designs gives a clear understanding of the system.

What needs improvement?

Support for working with traditional methodologies must be extended if IBM wants to expand horizon in the System engineering domain. You cannot really work in the traditional way of development. In the automotive industry here we tend to follow the Agile methodology.

The designer manager is uncivil. The design manager is clearly really unstable.

In the next release, I would like to see traditional methodologies working within the tool and a traditional planning book in the toolbar. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for around eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability depends on the tool. The Rational Team Concert is quite stable, Rational DOORS Next Generation is stable, and Quality Manager is somewhat stable. Rational Design Manager isn't even 25% stable. I would rate the overall stability as 7.5 out of ten. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The tool is quite scalable, from the deployment side or be it be from the tool functionality side. If you are a part of the development teams it helps you. But I'll say there is room for improvement that could help us. For example, in regards to DOORS and Rational Team Concert, the development with respect to the Java script is limited, while for Java, the capacity is quite huge.

It's scalable but you need a lot of background knowledge if you want to scale the solution.

In my company, we have four or five locations in total, so all together we have somewhere around 500, 600 users. 

The deployment and maintenance only require two to three people but they don't work on it full time. 

We did have plans to increase usage in the past. Recently, we have had some struggles with our events. We had some problems with Rhapsody Design Manager. It took me six months to get it stable and I still struggle with it. I don't think that we'd increase the userbase anytime in the future. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is good but there is too much of hierarchy. It takes a lot of time to get to the right person. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial process of setting up the environment I wouldn't say it's complex. But depending on the consideration, like the requirements, if you're going into enterprise-level of full deployment, you need to keep in mind certain inputs there's certain room for enhancement available within the tool. Although, it's quite straightforward. 

Deployment took two or three weeks.

What other advice do I have?

It's a good solution. It's comprehensive. The support is good. If you want to develop your own customized use cases there are better solutions than this one, like JIRA

I would rate it between a six and seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Tarek Gaber - PeerSpot reviewer
Software Product Manager at a computer software company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Helps us to contain source code and documents but it has usability issues
Pros and Cons
  • "It helped us contain critical things, like source code and several documents, which is very important to us."
  • "Of course it would be related to customer experience. The solution is not user friendly at all. It needs an expert to use it, although the reporting feature was okay."

What is our primary use case?

We use the on-premises deployment model of this solution.

How has it helped my organization?

It helped us contain critical things, like source code and several documents, which is very important to us.

What needs improvement?

Of course, it would be related to customer experience. The solution is not user-friendly at all. It needs an expert to use it, although the reporting feature was okay.

I'm fine with the tool. From my point of view, it's all about usability. It should be simplified and it should be more user-friendly.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using IBM Rational for around five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Its stability is perfect.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of this solution is good. 

Currently, the IT and software development departments are using this solution. I believe that is about 50 people.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was too complex. The installation process was the responsibility of one of our system administrators. It can't be easily installed by normal users. They have additional materials on how to install it, but I believe it's too complex.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The decision was made, because we are partners, so we could do the installation ourselves.

What other advice do I have?

When giving a recommendation, I would say that if you are looking for stability, you have to go for this product. If you are concerned with usability and simplicity of the product, I would recommend Microsoft Team Foundation or JIRA instead.

The problem is the complexity of the installation and it's not user-friendly regarding the usability.

I would rate this tool as six out of ten, with a low rating due to the usability issues.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Lyubomir Gotsev - PeerSpot reviewer
Consultant
Consultant
Helped with time management, improved our resource utility, and helped assure on-time completion
Pros and Cons
  • "It is relatively easy to use and user-friendly once the setup is complete."
  • "There is not enough beginner support material in the form of FAQs or simple training to help you get started."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use for implementing this solution was to use it for was for a science project at a university. We used it to monitor progress and enhance productivity.

How has it helped my organization?

The product helped us organize projects and effectively use our resources. Essentially it helped with time management. It improved our resource utility and helped assure on-time completion.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable component of this solution was in its ability to help us with the management of tools and the resources that we were using.

What needs improvement?

There are a few ways to potentially improve the product although it performs as expected. 

Reporting can be easier to do and customize, but it is adequate.

Product support could be better for new users by providing more beginner-type tutorials. While the product itself is not so complex, step-by-step instructions that help new users understand the basics will make the product easier to adopt. When we started to use the product it was a little bit of mess because we were not used to using it and implemented it poorly in some ways that would have been easy to avoid. Using the product efficiently will be better if there are step-by-step and interactive guides.

It would be nice if there were some more possibilities for storing either custom or standard information like stack information, memory cards type and capacity, or other details about products that can be visualized easily in case they may need to be upgraded to solve performance issues.

It was a product we decided to use for educational purposes and to provide some guidance to complete projects on time.

For how long have I used the solution?

We haveonly been using this solution for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is stable. We went with this product for management of lifecycle mostly because it was offered by a well-known, reliable company. We assumed it would be stable and we are not disappointed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We never really needed to scale the usage a lot, but we never had an issue adding users or projects, so scalability is good.

How are customer service and technical support?

I was satisfied with the level of technical support, but it can be a little better. It doesn't have to do exactly with the technical support team, but more with additional material and information which you could find on their website.

For example, if you know the questions and you know it is probably a common thing that people need to know, you should not have to call support to find the answer. If you had a better collection of frequently asked questions — a FAQ — users could quickly solve more of their own problems. This source of information does not currently exist.

When you are not so experienced there are a lot of basic questions you have and you should have easy answers. Instead of being able to just find the answer yourself in a knowledge base or forum, you have to ask other people with more experience. It wouldn't be necessary if they would just provide some more information.

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

We were using JIRA for other larger projects. That is a product which is more difficult to learn. ALM was not very complicated and we did not need something that would take time for people to learn when doing short-term projects. It is easier to use than JIRA which is for longer-term planning.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was not so easy, but not difficult. The installation itself was not hard but then you had to know something to configure the projects. It was not just bam-bam and it's done but it's not really difficult to configure it to do what you need.

I think that a person with a little bit of experience will make quick work of the setup.

What other advice do I have?

I was satisfied using this product because it has done what it was intended to do. It's user-friendly and technical support wasn't too bad. We used IBM Rational ALM as it was created by one of the leaders in the industry. Apparently it was not as difficult to use as some other products.

On a scale from one to ten with one being the worst and ten being the best, I would personally rate this product as an eight of ten.

If I gave it a ten it would mean that I was so satisfied that I wouldn't need any additional services and so on. It would be perfect. In my opinion, it is better to rate something like an eight or nine so that there is room for improvement

Like anything, we had to learn how to set it up to make it useful for what we intended to have it do. Without optimization, it's more difficult and more complicated for inexperienced users to apply in a project.

My advice is that if you are considering this as a solution, you should definitely try it because it is a good solution to use for time management and product lifecycle tracking without having to get very involved.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Don Ingerson - PeerSpot reviewer
Don IngersonQA Automation Engineer at Consultancy
ExpertTop 5Consultant

Very informative review. I did have a question. Are you using every module in ALM and are you running automated tests from ALM?

Group CEO at Mmusi Group
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
A stable solution with an easy setup, but it needs a more intuitive layout
Pros and Cons
  • "The cataloging is a very valuable feature. For a lot of enterprises, they end up not knowing which applications do specific features. The cataloging helps with this. It's not that verbose, but it still gives you allowances to put in more detail."
  • "The features should be more intuitive. If I'm looking for something, its location should be easy to locate."

What is most valuable?

The cataloging is a very valuable feature. For a lot of enterprises, they end up not knowing which applications do specific features. The cataloging helps with this. It's not that verbose but it still gives you allowances to put in more detail. 

What needs improvement?

The cataloguing needs some improvement. It needs to be a bit more in-depth.

It's an application that is supposed to do more governance around the application lifecycle. The features should be more intuitive. If I'm looking for something, its location should be easy to locate.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I'm impressed with the solution's stability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is pretty scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. If you run into issues, they can always walk you through what they recommend you do and work with the documentation. IBM's dedication has always been documentation versus actual. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is easy. It's just a few clicks. Deployment only takes a few minutes. It does come down to how you are implementing it, however. If it's a more complex deployment, it may take longer.

What other advice do I have?

I implement the solution and I'm an IBM partner as well.

For those considering implementing the solution, I'd advise when they're doing their planning, that they begin with the end in mind. Before they even start to consider the software, they should first know what they plan to achieve. They have to have a clear goal that they hope to achieve with the solution. Then they can build the tool. It will make it easier to implement and use.

I'd rate the solution seven out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
PeerSpot user
Applications Developer Specialist at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Rich planning features including Sprint, Sprint retrospective, and rules in Scrum framework
Pros and Cons
  • "The planning feature is rich with Scrum concepts: Sprint, Sprint retrospective, the rules in the Scrum framework."
  • "I would like to see better reporting features. The out-of-box reporting is - I don't want to say limited - but the focus is on the Scrum and Sprint reports. We need more reporting features regarding the history of the work, tracking it more deeply."

What is our primary use case?

We're using it for project management, using Agile Scrum. We are using it for requirements management and for test management. We have three products: one for requirements management, one for testing management, and the other for project and task management.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved relations with the customer through the Product Backlog and prioritizing their needs before launch. It has improved the cycle between the developers and the analysts, through redefining the acceptance criteria. Everything is clear from the beginning of the Sprint. It provides a lot of benefits.

What is most valuable?

The planning features are rich with Scrum concepts: Sprint, Sprint retrospective, the rules in the Scrum framework.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better reporting features. The out-of-box reporting is - I don't want to say limited - but the focus is on the Scrum and Sprint reports. We need more reporting features regarding the history of the work, tracking it more deeply. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has a high level of stability. It's up and running most of the time.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is not really an issue for us because we don't have a lot of users. The license is expensive. We have a limited number of concurrent users. We haven't tested the scalability. With our limited number of users, the performance is okay, the availability is okay.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have a maintenance license with IBM so we have technical support, but we have not had major incidents.

What other advice do I have?

The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are technical support, and, of course, the total value of ownership.

In terms of advice, ultimately this is a tool. You have to change the process and train your people to utilize this tool.

I would rate Rational ALM at eight out of 10. It covers the whole process of application lifecycle management, from requirements definition and management through the development process by planning Agile Scrums, by tracking the work items from their creation to closing, and it's integrated with RQM, the test management software. It covers the lifecycle, implementing Agile Scrum in a very powerful way.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites Report and find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Atlassian, Microsoft, and more!
Updated: September 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Suites Report and find out what your peers are saying about IBM, Atlassian, Microsoft, and more!