The application life-cycle management space saw a surge of integration with agile methodologies this year. With a lot of companies using the term “agile ALM” to describe their ALM suites, getting software developed faster, cheaper and with more ease was certainly the mantra.

Trying to hop on the agile ALM bandwagon more quickly, some companies looked to acquisitions this year. One such example is CollabNet’s February acquisition of Danube for its ScrumWorks Pro project management software. However much agile may now be a part of the ALM space, though, ALM companies reiterated that their offerings will still work with any software development methodology.

As the agile methodology seeped its way into ALM, the flexibility in dealing with always-changing requirements became greater. For that, ALM providers this year looked for different ways of dealing with release and requirements management issues. Recognizing that stakeholders and customers are now more involved with projects than ever before, software tool provider Serena thinks of release management as a process issue, which became the origin of its “Orchestrated ALM” vision.

The new vision’s solutions include change management and version control, requirements and request management, and release control for BPM. Although these solutions are not new, the real idea of the Orchestrated ALM vision is to keep both businesspeople and developers on the same page.

ALM has also showed continued movement to the cloud. Although not a new phenomenon (IBM started putting capabilities from its Rational tool suite in the cloud in 2009), SpringSource did something interesting this year. Developed in conjunction with Tasktop, SpringSource introduced Code2Cloud in October, which Dave West, principal analyst at Forrester Research, described as the first hosted ALM service with everything in one place.

ALM can still be done in the cloud via hosting and built integrations, but “this is a one-stop shop where you can go and get it all,” West said.