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What is your recommended Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) product for a large enterprise?


I work at Business Development at a Computer Software Company with 10000+ employees.

I've been exploring ALM products (such as Attalssian ALM, JIra, etc.). Which one would you recommend to a large software company? Why?

I appreciate the help.

ITCS user
33 Answers

author avatar
ExpertModeratorReal User

Hi @Tommy_Lee ​,

The ALM tools decision will largely depend on the requirements and the capabilities one requires. Had some information's on some information on the tools which i would like to share.Hope this may be of some use to you.

Tool Description Pros Cons
IBM Rational IBM’s Rational offers an ALM suite of products called collaborative lifecycle management, or CLM, that focuses on collaboration. Many large organizations are already using products in this suite, e.g. ClearCase for configuration management. IBM products support both Agile and Waterfall methodologies and integrate with IBM Tivoli to support continuous integration. These features make IBM products a good choice for organizations needing to integrate diverse processes. The product is an older one with a lot of legacy support, but IBM has kept it up-to-date, aligning with ALM emerging trends • Tracking the assignments (Implementation Work Tickets)

• Process

• Legacy software support
•Generally a more expensive solution

•Doesn’t suit smaller companies
HP Application Lifecycle Management HP developed one of the best ALM tools that emphasize traceability and visibility in its tools. HP’s ALM allows 360-degree links from requirements through defects, and its dashboard provides an easy way to produce effective metrics. HP also provides integrations with most third-party tools, including IBM and Microsoft. Also, HP is offering a software as a service option. Requirements management is known to be one of the stronger sides on HP’s solution. Also, this solution provides a version for mobile devices. •Release & cycle planning

•Requirements management

•Mobile version
•Some of the administrative functions could be better
Microsoft’s ALM Suite with Visual Studio Microsoft’s ALM suite uses Visual Studio, which is one of the most-used integrated development environments in the developer community; therefore, it is likely that large, merged organizations are already using parts of Visual Studio today. Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server (TFS) provides good version control and configuration functionality. Due to the fact that Visual Studio lacks in requirements management, TFS can be easily integrated with HP’s products in order to take advantage of HP’s capabilities in this regard. Microsoft’s ALM suite is a particularly good choice for organizations that use a .NET framework because many .NET developers use Visual Studio and also tend to enjoy using TFS. Our company is a certified Microsoft ALM software provider. •Reasonable starting costs

•United database

•Support for other development platforms
•No licensing model for product owners

•Lacks in requirements management
CA Agile Central CA Agile Central (formerly Rally ALM) is the top ALM tool for businesses that use Agile methods. Its project management features, including resource planning, are specifically geared to Agile development. It is also a great ALM tool for testing. CA Agile Central provides collaboration functionality through Flowdock, which has chat and email features. Rally is one of the few ALM tools that support the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and provides training and certification in SAFe. Rally Insights Analytics offers Agile-specific metrics, as well as metrics based on the Software Development Performance Index. It provides both on-premises and SaaS options. •Multiple teams support

•Visualization capabilities

•Very adaptable
•Portfolio management

•Not cohesive release management
VersionOne VersionOne is a great solution if you are looking to establish a simple application lifecycle framework. VersionOne was created specifically to accommodate Agile methodology, and it also provides support and training for their clients. Its portfolio management feature was created specifically to accommodate Agile projects, including release and sprint planning, product planning and reporting analytics. VersionOne also offers more than 70 prebuilt integrations with other ALM products to provide a complete ALM solution. •Great reporting

•Good UI
•Issues with regression testing
Atlassian Atlassian is a great choice for start-ups. It supports both Agile and Waterfall methodologies, and its processes are simple. Its defect tracking tool, JIRA, is open source and provides collaboration tools for requirements (Confluence) for code and repository management (Bitbucket and Stash). It also provides the chat tool, HipChat. Atlassian is a good choice for organizations doing continuous integration and DevOps, and it has strong integration with Git. •Open-source

•Status management

•UX issues that may delay the workflow
CollabNet CollabNet is a great Agile application lifecycle management tool. Its distributed version control system is great for large projects and big enterprises. While not a full-package-solution in itself, CollabNet integrates easily with many widely used open-source tools such as Jenkins or Git. It is also easy-to-use and provides strong training and support. •Great version control for Agile teams

•Open-source support

•Good traceability
•Not many products in the stack

•Doesn’t cover every aspect of ALM

author avatar
Real User

Neither.  I recommend MicroFocus ALM or Octane and here is why.

I find the Atlassian and Jira products do not support true test management, traceability and metrics. They do a good job of capturing a project or effort with emphasis on Velocity, Burndown, and Cycle time. The true test management is managing and measuring test collateral.  

How effective are the tests?  What are the regression rates? Do I have sufficient requirement coverage? These tools are not only not good for answering these questions, but they also don't provide reporting for them at all. 

MicroFocus ALM does provide the ability to capture these metrics and much more.  Here are some specific reasons why I have selected this tool when building a Quality Assurance organization, not necessarily in order.

1. Longevity in the Marketplace, a very mature and stable product, substantive user community such as Vivit which provides unique problem solving and content management ideas. Also, several resellers specialize in setup, training and configurations to meet your organizational goals. Orasi is one such company. Their experts are amazing and they all specialize in solutions.

2. True test management with OOB reporting & KPIs, requirement-to-test coverage, ability to tie tests and defects to release cycles, true defect tracking and issue management with full lifecycle reporting and traceability.  I've even used reporting and status changes to track re-work.

3. Full integrations to mobile testing applications, emulation and simulation, as well as best of breed automation tools like QTP, Selenium, Cucumber, JUnit, Gherkin, 

4. Integration capability to other issue tracking tools like Jira.

5. Integration capability with code repositories for release management such as TFS, GitHub, etc.

6. Real-time Dashboard capability for testing statuses.

7. User-friendly UI for manual testing with features for speeding manual testing as well as recording all types of automated tests.

8. Supports all development methodologies, waterfall, Agile, Kanban, RUP, Scrum, Scrum-fall, etc.

9. Full requirement gathering capability so Business Analysts and QA are in the same tool and tests can be auto-generated from Requirements, reducing the time to create tests while reducing risk of uncovered requirements.

10.  The open API for integrations.  You don't need to "trash" other tools that are in place when you have the capability to integrate with them.  For instance, if you currently use Jira as an issue tracking system, keep and integrate it or phase it out should the decision be made to switch at some point.  ALM is not an "all or nothing" solution.

There are many other reasons, but these are the top for me. Other tools facilitate methodologies. They don't do true test management.  For those working in an IT world that is federally regulated, the ability to be traceable, and being able to produce meaningful organizational metrics while being Agile is key.  Other software applications just do not provide the depth of capability.

I've worked with several tools in Fortune 500 companies.  This one so far has the greatest capabilities and scalability.   

author avatar

Based on the needs and requirements the answer to this question can be varied. 

Although Jira in conjunction with other tools like Zephyr, QMetry and others can suffice the needs of a large software company like yours. 

Atlassian is the company that provides Jira so it is the same solution and an Agile-friendly solution for your company as it provides segway into newer generation tools and methodologies. 

Hope this helps!

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