New Version of RM Tools List Upcoming

It’s time to update our list of RM tools. Since our last release in September 2014 several vendors have published new versions of their tools. In addition, we have spotted a few “new kids on the block” that we will add to the list.

Over the next days, you will find a series of blog posts on MakingOfSoftware.com that introduce the most important latest version updates of RM tools. Within about a week, the new release of the tools list will go live. Afterwards, we will introduce some of the new tools in separate articles.

From our list of selected RM tools, the following ones had major version updates, which we will present in individual blog posts:

The following tools had medium-size version updates. We provide brief overviews of their new functionalities at the bottom of this article:

  • Borland (Micro Focus) Caliber RM
  • Intland codeBeamer Requirements Management
  • HP Agile Manager
  • HP Quality Center / ALM
  • MID Innovator for Business Analysts
  • Atlassian JIRA
  • Thoughtworks Mingle
  • PTC Integrity
  • Rally

Some other tools from our selected list had minor releases:

  • IBM Rational DOORS
  • IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation
  • eDev Technologies inteGREAT
  • Atlassian JIRA Agile

The remaining three tools that did not have any version updates since last September: Kovair ALM Studio, Serena Dimensions RM, and Visure Requirements.

The following subsections give an overview of new features of tools with medium-size version updates. For PTC Integrity, we could not find such information.

Borland (Micro Focus) Caliber RM

In December 2014, Borland (Micro Focus) introduced Release 11.4 of Caliber. The updates includes new Author, Visualize and Review functionality and new security features. Borland has published the release notes as blog article:

https://community.microfocus.com/borland/define/caliber_-_requirements_management/b/weblog/archive/2014/12/01/caliber-11-4-now-available.aspx

Caliber 11.42 (Hotfix 2) has been released in March 2015, bringing a full Caliber Author installation package and Eclipse 4.4. integration:

https://community.microfocus.com/borland/define/caliber_-_requirements_management/b/weblog/archive/2015/03/02/released-caliber-11-4-hotfix-2.aspx

HP Agile Manager

HP Agile Manager was available as SaaS solution exclusively up until October 2014. At that point HP more or less silently introduced support for HP Agile Manager on premise. While on premise licenses definitely have not been a desired strategy option of HP they had to recognize that there are quite a few customers, specifically in Europe, who don’t want to have company specific requirements data stored in the cloud.

The SaaS version of HP Agile manager has seen 7 releases since our last years update of RM tools. For details see the HP Agile Manger release notes web-page at: http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/HP-Agile-Manager-Release-Notes/bd-p/hp-agile-manager-release-notes#.VVmKypN5JSA

HP continuously improves the web UI experience in every release, specifically for power users. Beyond that some notable functionality enhancements are:

  • Workspace and feature teams
    Agile Manager now enables reuse of teams across releases, by using workspace teams. This information is also automatically synchronized with HP ALM to avoid unnecessary duplication of work.
  • Backlog item customization
    Agile Manager streamlines backlog item customization with a new custom field type named backlog item. Using this field allows to add fields which are jointly used by user stories and defects in the backlog.
  • Enhanced role model support
    Additional roles associated with appropriate security profiles have been added, namely: Viewer, Integration administrator, and Integration Bridge.
  • Environment updates
    Updates to the supported environments include: Support of IE11, TFS 2013, synchronization with HP ALM 12.2.

HP QC/ALM

With the 12.2 release HP delivered on its promise to renovate the complete UI experience. HP started to move to a completely new web based UI with HP Agile Manager and the requirements module of HP ALM already in the releases before. Now, with the 12.2. release they provide the new Web UI to the test and defect module. In addition, the new real-time synchronization between ALM 12.2 and Agile Manager 2.2 now enables large scale agile development. Through this offering HP is in a position to cover agile development approaches and traditional stage gate approaches within a consistent environment.

More details about the HP ALM 12.20 release can be found at the HP blog post: http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Application-Lifecycle-Management/Accelerate-and-scale-Agile-mobile-application-delivery-What-s/ba-p/6724680#.VTKWnWYYd6A

Intland codeBeamer Requirements Management

The new CodeBeamer 7.6 release highlights improvements in the areas:

  • Enhanced integration
  • Usability improvements
  • Support for FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) as part of risk management functionality

You might want to look up further information on Intland’s “What’s New” Wiki page: https://codebeamer.com/cb/wiki/634579

A SlideShare presentation illustrates the new features: http://de.slideshare.net/Intland/webinar-what-is-new-in-codebeamer-76

MID Innovator for Business Analysts

In December 2014, MID has provided release 12.1 of their Innovator tool. A list of new functionality can be found at: http://www.mid.de/en/company/news/news-details/artikel/innovator-121-verfuegbar.html

Atlassian JIRA

In April 2015, Atlassian has released JIRA 6.4. It brings three main features: Release Hub, Workflow Validator, and Intuitive Onboarding. In addition, JIRA HipChat has recently been integrated with JIRA more closely, supporting tighter team communication and collaboration.

Release Hub includes a new concise dashboard that provides real-time release status information to every JIRA user’s workplace. The dashboard integrates deeply with development tools to access relevant status information

Workflow Validator identifies and flags potential problems in a workflow while editing it. This is promising to save time during workflow development or modification, avoiding lengthy debugging efforts. Validation can be triggered at any time during workflow modeling. Identified potential problems are highlighted graphically within the modeling screen.

Intuitive Onboarding is a feature relevant to new project team members. Once a person logs in to JIRA for the first time, JIRA offers a brief tutorial with basic guidance for using the tool.

For details on JIRA 6.4 updates, check out Atlassian’s blog post, which also embeds a brief video clip introducting the new features: http://blogs.atlassian.com/2015/04/jira-6-4-release-confidence-sanity/

JIRA HipChat integration is explained and illustrated in the following article: http://blogs.atlassian.com/2015/03/jira-hipchat-real-time-communication-agile-teams/

Thoughtworks Mingle

Thoughtworks has presented version 14.2 of Mingle in September 2014. New features include:

  • Various usage and UI improvements, including a new Scrum template
  • Git and GitHub integration
  • Enhanced communication and collaboration features (so-called Murmurs)

Details are listed in the release announcement “Mingle 14.2 What’s New?”: http://www.thoughtworks.com/mingle/docs/whats_new_in_mingle.html

The following blog post illustrates some highlighted features:
http://www.thoughtworks.com/mingle/news/2014/09/10/Mingle-14_2-Brings-Simple-Back.html

Rally

Since the last release of our RM tools list, Rally has published two new product releases: 2014.3 and 2015.1. They feature many enhancements such as new page types, API extensions, various usage and usability improvements.

Detailed release notes for 2014.3 can be found at: https://help.rallydev.com/rally-onpremise-20143-release-notes

The release notes for 2015.1 are: https://help.rallydev.com/rally-onpremise-20151-release-notes

Both pages contain links to additional multimedia information that illustrate the new features.

Quality Center Workflow Debugging

State of the art workflow debugging with HP Quality Center using Microsoft Visual Studio.

Users of HP Quality Center (HP QC) who do workflow programming often suffer from the very limited – not to say: lacking – support that HP QC offers for debugging of workflow code. It can easily happen that programmers spend hours in search of a tiny but nasty defect.

But there is help that greatly improves workflow programming and debugging in HP QC: You may use Microsoft Visual Studio (MVS) as a debugging environment for HP QC workflow programs. You can then add breakpoints, inspect variables, step through programs, and much more. All you need to do is the following:

  1. Launch HP QC
  2. Open the workflow editor in HP QC
  3. Launch MVS
  4. Attach the HP QC process to Visual studio
    (process name “iexplore.exe”, title “Script Editor”)
  5. Within project explorer window double click on “blank”
    (or “leer” in case you run a German version of MVS)

Final step to get HP QC into MVSNow, you should have your workflow code accessible within Microsoft Visual Studio, and debugging will be much more comfortable and efficient than before. See the attached picture to get an impression about debugging with breakpoint and variable inspection.

If you can’t see the line with “blank” make sure that you are in the requirements module and have at least a single custom line of workflow in the requirements module.

I got it to work with QC Version 10 and MVS 2008 Professional.