SpringSource kicked off its annual SpringOne 2GX conference in Chicago today, and with it came the announcement of a new ALM service from the company. Developed in conjunction with Tasktop, the new service will be called Code2Cloud, and it is aimed at filling in the gaps left by existing ALM tools.

Code2Cloud will be hosted by Tasktop, but it has been designed from the ground up to cater to Spring developers. Users interested in the service will be able to sign up for a subscription that will give them access to issue tracking, SCM, and tools to automate continuous integration operations with cloud deployment environments.

Based on Eclipse and Mylyn, the Code2Cloud service will be arriving for early beta users later this year. A subscription price has not yet been decided upon.

Rod Johnson, general manager of the SpringSource division of VMware, said that Code2Cloud was built to fill in gaps in ALM that he said remain in the development life cycle despite years of new tools.

“When we think about the application life cycle, there really is a gap in the middle. This gap is a missing link we see in developer application life-cycle technologies overall,” he said.

“I’ve created my application, but where do I do things like store my source code? Where do I host my issue tracker? Where do I ensure my continuous integration and testing is going to run?” Johnson said that these tasks can all be hosted and performed within Code2Cloud.

Dave West, principal analyst at Forrester Research, said that Johnson isn’t strictly correct about this gap, as ALM tools do exist for every part of the process. What Johnson really means, said West, is that SpringSource and VMware will be offering the first hosted ALM service with everything in one place.

“I think that getting it all in one place, and having it all available as a task-based workflow, is unique,” he said. “JIRA is not hosted. People do host it for you, and also the guys at Atlassian have built some great integrations with Hudson and Cruise Control. You can bring all these pieces together from all these places if you want. But I think what Johnson means is that this is a one-stop shop where you can go and get it all.”

Mik Kersten, CEO of Tasktop, said that Code2Cloud was created in response to a lack of interesting new ALM solutions that actually handled the entire life cycle. “There’s been a lot of innovation around ALM and agile in general. There are tons of different project hosting solutions out there. But there’s nothing that’s taken the developer desktop to the cloud for deployment. Innovation around cloud deployment has been happening at the framework level,” he said.

“The other part of tool integration has been around ALM and agile, but it’s been completely disconnected from that process. We redesigned the core parts of the ALM stack around cloud deployment.”

 “It’s not what you’d expect from VMware,” said West. “It seems to highlight the importance of ALM in terms of developer productivity and enabling people to use the SpringSource platform.

“This makes it easier for someone to develop Spring software and deploy it in a cloud-like platform, which is what VMware would really like you to use. The Hudson integration looks really nice, but I say this having not seen it working yet. The proof in the pudding is obviously in the eating, but at first glance it’s a really compelling value proposition. It lowers the barriers for a team of developers to get going.”