Parasoft chose mid-November’s Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit 2010 as the backdrop to announce a new release of Parasoft Concerto.

Concerto’s capabilities can be dissected in several ways. It provides project planning and task definition that sifts high-level user stories into manageable development tasks, estimates available resources, and allocates tasks accordingly. It can also distribute tasks directly to the developer’s IDE based on manual assignments or business rules.

Progress is automatically monitored and visible to QA. In theory, this will reduce rework and cut costs via automated defect prevention and detection. Management expectations for development and testing can be input as actionable tasks, which help ensure process consistency.

Parasoft builds on its previous release’s integrated automated testing capabilities to deliver development activity-flow feedback. The goal is to enhance productivity along with higher-quality code and more consistent releases. Concerto gives developers and QA folks a plan for what needs to be developed, as well as the ability to monitor and track how the software is being implemented.

Wayne Ariola, vice president of strategy for Parasoft, considers Concerto the first system on the market that focuses on the process of developing software. According to Ariola, “Parasoft Concerto enables teams to be more productive while achieving unprecedented application quality. With companies now expecting more complex functionality to be delivered faster—and from fewer resources—software development process improvement has become a must-have.”

The new release of Concerto measures projects in real time versus expectations established via policies. Exception-based alerts nudge appropriate team members if action is needed. The product provides visibility into when and how requirements are being implemented. According to Parasoft, Concerto is “Hook-up and go” out of the box, with minimal effort integrating into your existing development environments.

Thomas Murphy, a research director from Gartner, pointed out that “Development organizations are under pressure to improve productivity and success rates all while the complexity of applications continues to increase. Often we look for the quick fix, and agile is currently the ‘hot’ concept, but making agile work in a sustainable fashion requires getting everyone on the same page working from the same playbook.

“This requires building common vocabularies and tools that enable collaboration and enable a quality-centric development process; quality sooner rather than later is what enables IT teams to meet the demands of business.”