Countersoft Releases Gemini 4.0
Countersoft last week released version 4.0 of its Gemini project management platform. The browser-based environment enables .NET development teams to collaborate across geographies, providing robust project management for Agile-oriented dev organizations, as well as bug and issue tracking capabilities.
New in Gemini 4.0 is support for testing, which allows developers and other stakeholders to organize and assemble tests and test plans. Gemini Testing integrates with the package's issue and bug tracking features, ensuring visibility of discovered flaws.
Harvinder Kandola, chief executive officer of Countersoft, said the new version reflects the unique challenge of supporting test in Agile environments.
"Agile testing is misunderstood. In Agile you are about short cyclical deliveries, but by definition if you are running Scrum you are running a three week sprint," Kandola explained, noting that the sprints don't leave time for teams to build tests after the fact. "What we are saying is that in Scrum or Agile, the testing is actually done as you go along by unit tests."
Kandola said that Gemini also supports non-technical, manual testing by business stakeholders, who test software after it has often been released. "Business sees a delivery from the Agile team every three weeks. They have no notion of a unit test; their focus is totally different," Kandola said, adding that Gemini closes the loop between these post-deploy tests and the next iterations of development.
"There is no reason why end users can't participate in terms of testing and feedback with your Scrum teams," Kandola said.
Gemini 4.0 integrates with both Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio 2008/2010, and provides capabilities like integrated screen capture to help stakeholders better communicate issues with other team members. The time recording feature makes it possible to closely track and analyze developer activity inside Visual Studio, critical for understanding project progress and resource consumption.
Kandola said Gemini is specifically tuned for ease of use, and notes that many project management platforms can't get out of their own way.
"Do I really have to fill in two different tasks with 20 fields each? It's a common thing, UI complexity," Kandola said. "We deploy one product. It's for your dev team, your Q&A, your project manager, your external customers, your contractor, and for the end user who might not be that software literate."
Gemini is available under a variety of hosted and installed license plans. A five-user perpetual license with one-year of support costs $399.
Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.