DevSuite 7.0 Boasts Requirements Management

TechExcel ships DevSuite 7.0, an ALM solution with a requirements planning focus that’s tailored for enterprise dev shops.

Application lifecycle management (ALM) supplier TechExcel Inc. is now shipping a new version of its wide-ranging ALM solution tailored to enterprise dev shops. The new release, dubbed DevSuite 7.0, adds a requirements-management module to better support project planning across various methodologies.

DevSuite 7.0 consists of six modules -- KnowledgeWise, DevSpec, DevPlan, DevTrack, DevTest and VersionLink -- that are integrated to provide an end-to-end software-management solution for development shops. The new version takes DevSuite in a new direction with its focus on requirements planning.

"We've been making defect-tracking tools for a while. Now customers are asking for a requirements-management tool," says Paul Unterberg, TechExcel's senior product manager. "Having the tools, having the people and having the process all interact -- without having too much process, too much configuration, too much on the tools end -- lets people use the process they really want to follow."

Requirements management is an increasingly important tool for many dev shops, says Jim Duggan, research vice president for analyst firm Gartner Inc.

"This is a big deal for really controlling demand for development resources," Duggan explains. "Demand maps to requirements, which then map to test and delivery. Control and tracking from stage to stage helps track the requirements once they're discovered."

Timely Updates
DevSuite 7.0 features updated Web services support for the DevTest module -- including support for XML data -- as well as refined Web-based interfaces in the DevTrack module, which now offers better report generation and improved e-mail workflow. The DevPlan project-planning module provides development-specific support for actions like creating and managing software project iterations and sprints and managing resource discovery.

Unterberg says DevSuite 7.0 offers templates tuned for a wide range of development methodologies, from traditional waterfall and CMMI frameworks to more changeable Agile and Scrum-based projects.

Duggan agrees: "Real ALM helps both Agile and more traditional teams by creating a team memory that overcomes the obstacles of distributed teams, parallel work, frequent adjustments of functional specs or requirements and other turbulence," he says. "Service orientation pumps even more of this turbulence into the development process, and so the management tools become more important."

More for Managers
DevSuite 7.0 adds traces for monitoring so managers can enforce and validate processes, adds Joel Ferman, TechExcel's senior marketing manager. Development managers are able to set up parameters and customizations to fit agile or even hybrid agile-waterfall type efforts.

"If one of your key project managers leaves, you're not having a big headache and running around and pulling your hair out. Processes are completely visible in the system and are completely traceable," Ferman says.

DevSuite's module integration allows managers to view the impact that project changes have on team members, and to quantify costs related to specific processes. It's a strategy that TechExcel shares with competitors that include Borland Software Corp., IBM Corp. and Compuware Corp.

DevSuite 7.0 costs $1,500 per seat for the complete suite, with per-module licenses also available. The Team Edition version, targeting smaller teams with fewer than 50 developers and companies with less than 100 employees, costs $700 per user.

About the Author

Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.

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