Agile ALM company Rally Software is offering Rally for the iPhone, an app that the company acquired from Blue Hole Software. Previously a US$15 application called ScrumAway, the iPhone app offers access to the real-time status, progress and quality of agile development projects.

A new open-source project, DB Relay, aims to do away with database access drivers and middleware. DB Relay uses JSON over HTTP to interact with different back-end databases. User requests are delivered in a unified format and are relayed using a native database protocol. Because DB Relay is based on the nginx Web server, it can be used to develop Web applications where all logic is contained in client JavaScript code. The current version of DB Relay is licensed under GPLv3, and works with SQL Server (2005 and later) and Vertica. It also provides beta-quality access to MySQL, PostgreSQL and databases with an ODBC interface.

The latest edition of Syncfusion’s component suite focuses on adding new capabilities for ASP.NET 4 MVC and Silverlight applications. Essential Studio 2010 Volume 3 has major updates to the suite’s docking, Office-like UI, Outlook-like scheduling, editors, grid, chart, diagram and other components. The Essential Grid for WPF component now supports PLINQ and can automatically optimize load time. Plus, the ASP.NET MVC controls now include an updated data grid, Outlook-like scheduling, CAPTCHA, tag cloud and rating controls.

Version 10 of JReport, a Java reporting system from Jinfonet Software, adds rich visualization and interactive reporting to the business-intelligence platform, providing embedded operational reporting to developers, and Web 2.0-style self-service reporting to end users. The company’s JReport Server Live uses AJAX technology to make rich Internet applications more interactive and responsive, because with report layout offloaded to the browser, report interaction and on-screen refresh are faster.

PGI Visual Fortran for Visual Studio 2010, from The Portland Group, integrates the company’s parallel Fortran compilers and tools with Microsoft’s Visual Studio. PGI Visual Fortran is based on OpenMP and uses an auto-parallelizing compiler for the Fortran 95/2003 programming languages, and has an integrated debugger for debugging of single-thread, multi-thread and OpenMP parallel applications running locally or on clusters. It also supports GPU accelerators with a high-level implicit model similar to OpenMP. Using compiler directives, programmers can offload compute-intensive code regions from a host CPU to a GPU accelerator.

Gizmox says that its development system, Visual WebGui 6.4, is the first to bring its vision of solving data-intensive AJAX Web development and deployment to completion. Visual WebGui applications are built with a form-based Visual Basic 6-like development experience that uses declarative XAML to create websites.

GrapeCity has added charting and data visualization capabilities to its embeddable .NET spreadsheet. Spread for ASP.NET 5 not only supports Visual Studio 2010 and Windows Azure AppFabric, but it also has an integrated chart component with over 85 different chart types, as well as quick-start wizards and a chart designer to help developers build user interfaces. It also retains macros, VBA and VSTO code when exporting and importing Excel documents, and it caches documents to speed up the handling of large spreadsheets.

Rommana 10.2—the latest version of a software life-cycle management system from Rommana Software—is said to offer 45 new features over version 10.1, supporting agile development, exploratory testing, and other incremental and highly iterative development and testing approaches. New for this version: Teams of up to 20 concurrent users may use the platform for up to six months at no charge.

Object Avatars are the highlight of Testing Anywhere 6.5, a test automation package from Automation Anywhere. An Object Avatar is an object-based testing tool designed to reduce development and modification time, since users don’t have to re-record test cases with each object change, and there is no need to access a live application to create or modify test cases. It captures each object and application screen in a test case in the form of an Object Avatar, accesses these Object Avatars to create and modify tests without access to the live application, and reduces development and modification times with constant access to live objects.