ALM was a year of new products and acquisitions. Some enterprise companies have taken the principles of agile application life-cycle management beyond the software department and scaled it to other areas of the business.

Many application life-cycle management software suite providers have realized that companies with existing products want new products that simply plug in to their existing solutions. To that end, companies have included bidirectional syncing and multiple integrations. Tasktop included this in its March update to Tasktop Enterprise 2.0.

Some developers are still working on the requirements management portion of the ALM cycle, with some using models and others using user stories or specific features. These different methods depend on the types of teams working on a project, as some enterprise development organizations still have teams doing waterfall while others are doing agile development exclusively. TechExcel added support for agile and non-agile teams in its January update to help teams merge methodologies and projects.

Serena added support for IT management to its ALM solutions in an attempt to close the gap between the development teams and the operations teams, and it added support for automation with a release of Orchestrated ALM.

The DevOps discussion was one that will continue in 2012 as teams butt up against the needs of the business, which is ultimately to survive in the current economy, making it push for development to be productive with less resources. UrbanCode came out with its suite of tools to enable continuous delivery of software in August, which moved its Anthill Pro product into uBuild and uDeploy. Meanwhile, software makers are offering customized dashboards in all of their ALM products.

Many acquisitions occurred in this space as well, with Aldon being acquired by Rocket Software and PTC acquiring MKS. These acquisitions, according to analysts, show an interest by teams in a unified end-to-end solution. The acquisitions of 2011 also showed that companies will work together and build on existing technology in this space instead of creating their own versions.

About Victoria Reitano