10 Useful ALM Tools With Features (Plus Comparison Criteria)
Updated 30 September 2022
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Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) is a superset of several areas, such as project and quality assurance. Using tools to simplify these complex processes is essential to capitalise on productive hours effectively. Knowing different tools can help in picking the right one to leverage its functionality and be efficient in the workplace. In this article, we explore 10 commonly used ALM tools along with their features and discuss the factors to consider before you select one.
What Are ALM Tools?
ALM tools are the different software used for managing the lifecycle of projects. They help teams manage an application from its inception to execution and enhance the coordination of people and processes effectively. Such tools use different functions, like project management, source code management and artificial intelligence. Project management software is the most basic of these tools.
Related: A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Manage Projects (With Tips)
10 ALM Tools To Consider
Here is a list of frequently used ALM solutions which can simplify various application management processes:
1. Jama Software
It is a leading platform providing industry-focused services for requirements, risk and test management. Jama Connect has a design that is suitable for teams building complex systems, products and software. With this tool, you can add a contemporary approach to requirements management. Because of the end-to-end live traceability of all the data, it makes the management of complex and critical processes much easier.
Jama accurately captures and communicates multiple aspects like requirements, goals, progress and interdependencies throughout the entire process. It also provides the flexibility to support different development methodologies and engineering disciplines with end-to-end visibility. The best aspects are its purposeful collaboration, ease of adaptability and live traceability. This multi-faceted tool is available in an annual subscription model.
Related: 19 Essential Project Management Skills To Master
It is a cloud-based issue tracking tool that is specially designed to manage large and distributed teams. In software development projects, team coordination is of utmost importance. Jira is highly customisable and provides planning, tracking and the release of the software as well. Another helpful feature of Jira is its flexibility. With this software, you can outline the progress of your project, ensuring seamless collaboration between teams. Jira also analyses and offers comprehensive reports on the progress and development of the project.
Data is secure for Jira subscribers. As the most popular bug tracking, it limits the access of certain bugs only to those team members who have a particular security level. You can set your bug's security level when you create or edit per your requirements. Some other notable features include real-time notifications, roadmaps, product integration, exceptional connectivity and reports. Along with its efficiency, flexibility and an array of features, Jira offers a standard and premium plan with a free version that allows up to 10 users.
Related: 30 Interview Questions For Software Developers (With Answers)
3. Microsoft Azure DevOps
Though not a typical ALM software, it is very similar and offers standard and quality ALM solutions. The rebranded version of Microsoft's Visual Studio Team Services, Azure DevOps is a software as a service (SaaS) platform. It provides the users with an end-to-end DevOps toolchain for software development and subsequent release. Instead of one software platform, it comprises multiple tools and modules. While the Azure boards see to the agile planning, visualisations, work item tracking and reporting tools, the Test Plans cover an integrated, all-in-one planned and exploratory testing solution.
The Pipeline module is a cloud-agnostic continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform with support for containers. The Repos provide a cloud-hosted and private git repository with advanced file management and pull requests. While more suitable for a small DevOps environment, its various pre-built integrations and easily accessible extension library make it one of the best tools for ALM. Its transparency and flexibility regarding price range are definite advantages. You can easily detect the price through the interactive price calculator available on the official website. It also offers uninterrupted support and a 99.9% service-level agreement (SLA).
4. IBM's Rational
IBM's Rational DOORS software is a cost-effective and efficient requirement management solution that tracks, captures and analyses user requirements and communicates the changes across the teams and the supply chain. With its advanced technology, Rational empowers businesses to manage the scope and cost of their projects and helps in maintaining smooth workflow across the teams in real-time.
As it is highly scalable, it provides hassle-free management and easy navigation throughout various teams and projects. This helps reduce software development costs and decreases expenditure significantly.
Related: 9 Project Management Types For A Project Manager
CodeBeamer can provide an all-in-one platform for your software development project. For its enterprise-grade scalability, excellent performance and configurable workflows, it has become preferable among product engineers. It is a complete ALM solution capable of handling all requirements, including risk and test management. The best features of this tool include smooth collaborative development, efficiency in product line engineering and regulatory compliance.
With CodeBeamer, users can plan, visualise and manage tasks with the help of customisable Kanban boards. Multi-stream product line management is also convenient with branching, merging and baselining. It can also help with planning, reviewing and managing backlogs across different teams, detecting, analysing and managing risks throughout the lifecycle. It also offers visual data analytics capabilities which provide end-to-end lifecycle insights along with custom reports.
If you manage several excel sheets and docs regularly for multiple development projects, Visure is a suitable solution. It provides traceability, requirement management, tests, risks, user stories and source code within the same platform. It ensures automatic importing and round-trip by enabling automatic capture from MS Word, MS Excel and ReqIF. With its reusability support feature, you can create a catalogue of elements from your projects to reuse or update variants in future projects.
It can help with element tracking, change management, impact analysis and prioritisation. Users can also produce reports on various deliverables like traceability, glossaries or dashboards in formats like PDF, Excel and HTML. To test whether it meets your requirements, you can opt for the trial pack.
Related: What Are The Objectives Of Project Management? (With Phases)
7. Meister Task
This enables users to create project dashboards, collaborate with the team members and work together in real-time. With its intuitive dashboard and clean interface, users can plan, visualise project overviews and distribute tasks. Dashboard's timeline feature displays tasks arranged according to projects, due dates or order of completion. It integrates with Github, Microsoft tools, Slack and Outlook.
Another advantage of Meister Task is it allows you to create and manage an unlimited number of projects and collaborate with different teams in real-time. Users get instant notifications on the completion of tasks and project status. Communicating this throughout the team is convenient using this ALM software, saving time and increasing workflow efficiency subsequently. Highly customisable, Meister Task is also excellent for better task organisation. Users can use tags to organise different tasks, create custom fields and task checklists, add attachments and share files and set task dependencies using Meister Task.
8. Swift ALM
One of the best tools for program and process governance of information technology (IT) projects, Swift ALM delivers excellent performance for multiple levels of information drill-down. Planning resource distribution, processes and controlling access to plans and reports become convenient with Swift ALM. It also provides cross-functional visibility to information and your work status in real-time. It also offers easy integration with different tools of leading software brands. With its external adaptor framework, users enjoy a completely integrated ALM environment with fast and efficient collaboration across teams.
This is a solution for end-to-end agile projects. It tracks and manages project requirements, necessary tests, plans and tasks on one platform. It provides complete traceability from your project's inception to its conclusion. Its best feature is its fully customisable workflow. Each project has its own dashboard where the people involved can understand the status of the project. Other features include team and document collaboration, project portfolio management, program planning and baseline management. It supports agile and hybrid methodologies.
10. Rocket Aldon
This tool has a simple software delivery process. With this, you can streamline change requests and management that yield positive results. Even with complex projects with different elements, Rocket Aldon helps make it understandable, scalable and easy to maintain. Another advantage is it maintains predictability and scalability of the change procedures. As it automates elements of the software delivery process, it decreases the rate of software errors and production inefficiencies. Other features of this software are automatic inventory, automated workflow in IT and DevOps and project life cycle management of all servers from a single console.
ALM Comparison Criteria
These are the key features you may compare before purchasing a tool for ALM:
User interface (UI): The UI makes interactions between the user and the tool better and helps the user navigate between features intuitively. This makes it important, as the UI is easy and intuitive to navigate for maximum convenience.
Integrations: Opting for a tool with efficient third-party integrations helps save time and allows employees to perform tasks seamlessly.
Price: If the quoted price matches the requisite functionalities of the tool and is within the budget, it is often the one to shortlist.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.
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