Five hot ALM SaaS tools and services
Explore various ALM cloud offerings
The move to provide application lifecycle management tools via software as a service is on. The number of tools is currently somewhat limited, but this area should expand in the near future.
Unlike traditional software purchases, obtaining application lifecycle management (ALM) tools via software as a service (SaaS) carries no licensing or maintenance fees. Instead, ALM SaaS users typically pay a subscription to the service. The standard subscription includes the cost of maintenance, upgrades and support. Additionally, the software is not taking up space on your network but is accessible via the cloud. The advantages of an ALM cloud model are generally reduced cost, remote management of software updates, up-to-date security measures, customizable features, accessibility from nearly anywhere with an Internet connection and fast installation.
Buying into SaaS does not free software developers from concerns about security, data storage and uptime. In a traditional ALM software model of purchase and install, the IT organization assumes the ongoing responsibilities for covering these concerns. With the cloud, the ALM service provider can be expected to meet the minimum requirements of theservice-level agreement (SLA). Still, developers will have to ensure that the SLA covers their needs and verify that the provider keeps their end of the deal.
Here are five ALM cloud options for companies considering this service.
Reduce the costs of project management with HP ALM SaaS
Hewlett Packard (HP) offers ALM SaaS both directly and through their partners.
HP's services include load, performance and functional test management software via theirQuality Center ALM tool. Subscribers receive access for a specific user level in multiple languages, support site access, secure sockets layer (SSL) data transmission, customization and migration support. There is no fixed time period or maintenance fee.
The benefits of HP ALM SaaS are reduced cost and maintenance for testing tools. There is also less hassle over who is responsible for keeping the system running. The testing tools are accessible from anywhere there is an Internet connection, so offshore and onshore teams use the same instance.
Gain accessibility and versatility with JIRA ALM SaaS
Atlassian offers JIRA services equipped with ALM SaaS.
JIRA ALM SaaS has several add-on tools, including Zephyr for test case management. SynapseRT is an add-on that includes traceability functionality for mapping requirements to test cases. Additionally, Behave for JIRA is useful for Agile teams that want to merge test management with user story or feature acceptance. With Behave, testers can use story acceptance criteria to create automated tests with Cucumber. Testers can choose to write either manual or automated tests.
The JIRA tools are accessible to the full development team, which may reduce the total number of tools the team ends up using. Test cases can be exported from JIRA and used with Cucumber directly if needed.
Collaborate and share with TOMOS
TOMOS claims to be the lightweight tool for ALM SaaS that allows fluid collaboration between the whole development team, including managers.
TOMOS is a centralized Web 2.0 application that is accessible with an Internet connection. All hosting, technical support and software improvements are included. The tool provides a large number of features like version and build management, test case development, test execution and defect management. The service also includes a collaboration space to store documents, requirements, screenshots or any other project-related data and metrics dashboards so management gets informative visual updates on project status. Furthermore, TOMOS includes customizable reports and a social network for users to further collaborate and exchange information.
Microsoft shops embrace Visual Studio Online
Microsoft Visual Studio Online is the cloud-based SaaS version of Visual Studio and Microsoft's ALM management tool team foundation server. It currently operates with two source control systems: Team Foundation Version Control and Git.
The SaaS ALM offering includes the most recent features, is updated on a continuous basis and is built on the Windows Azure cloud. Users can access the service with an existing Microsoft account. The cloud offering is missing functions that are part of the traditional purchase, including lab management, structure query language reporting, business intelligence and SharePoint. Microsoft's ALM SaaS offering does feature an automatically scalable build farm and scalable load testing servers. Updates to code are typically delivered on a three-week cycle. If the development team is already comfortable using Visual Studio and Team Foundation Service, it makes sense to move to the cloud version and avoid unnecessary disruption or the need for re-training.
Enjoy integrated management with TraceCloud's SaaS ALM
TraceCloud is an AWS-based ALM tool that includes an integrated management system for requirements, defects and testing. It features a built-in change control board for approval tracking and configurable metrics dashboards for management at the project, release, baseline, folder and user level.
More on SaaS:
Mobile applications: Testing and monitoring using SaaS solutions
Developing applications on SaaS platforms: Factors to consider