Tasktop Technologies, the industry leader for ALM integration, today announced Software Lifecycle Integration (SLI), an open initiative that aims – at the industry level – to address the growing fragmentation and complexity enterprises face in large-scale software delivery. SLI is Tasktop’s “manifesto” for the integrated software lifecycle, summarized from its work with enterprise customers and industry partners to form a new industry discipline. The announcement includes the publication of a common technical architecture and data model, repeatable integration patterns, an integration pattern catalog, and a new Eclipse Mylyn m4 open source project to support SLI that is being proposed this week at the EclipseCon Boston 2013 conference.

For complete information on Software Lifecycle Integration and its technical architecture, data model and integration patterns and the open source project please visit (www.tasktop.com/sli).

“Despite a decade of efforts to modernize the software tool chain, we have failed to realize the promise of ALM due to a lack of an integration infrastructure that connects vendors, open source tools and software suppliers,” said Mik Kersten, CEO for Tasktop. “Software Lifecycle Integration is the culmination of years of collaboration with enterprise IT organizations, open source developers, ISV partners and industry thought leaders. We are all committed to automating the lifecycle processes that will, in turn, bring the benefits of social coding to the entire organization and pave the way for a lean software supply chain.”

“Agile creates the need to break down the barriers between disciplines. But software delivery tools add to the barriers,” said Ken Schwaber, founder of Scrum.org. “The time is right for organizations to start thinking about connecting tools more strategically to enable the practice of software delivery to flow.”

Faced with increasingly complex tool chains, outsourced development and the need to deliver more software with less, SLI will provide software organizations with the infrastructure to connect the software delivery and maintenance process. Its intent is to rally the industry around a common set of technical and process disciplines to enable software delivery professionals, project managers, operations and the PMO to work effectively together by maximizing the flow of information between software delivery tools and practices.

The foundation of SLI is based on the abstraction of the social task – or all of the related and interconnected activities that make up the software development, delivery and maintenance process. This expands upon the data flow models associated with traditional ALM that center on core development artifacts. SLI provides the technical architecture – implemented as an ALM integration bus – to create a central flow for software delivery.

Tasktop, together with a growing community of customer, partner and industry supporters, have developed and will make available the core components of SLI, including:
• SLI Technical Architecture: a set of architectural principles, design patterns and a roadmap to get the new role of the Lifecycle Architect started within organizations needing to connect the software delivery process.
• SLI Data Model: A common model and taxonomy that provides the key abstraction mechanisms needed for an organization to implement SLI.
• SLI Integration Patterns: useful and repeatable design patterns that will help architects streamline the automation and SLI process.  
• Eclipse Mylyn m4: new open source project that will implement the SLI data model and provide the runtimes required to embed SLI into integrated ALM applications. The project will be server-side focused (de-coupled from the Mylyn client) and also serve as the bridge between the SLI data model and existing standards, such as OSLC.

Based on specific engagements and collaborative technical architectural development, SLI will greatly improve:

Insight: Unlock data trapped in ALM siloes for end-to-end visibility and analytics.
Deploy a build-measure-learn loop from idea to deployment.
Automate end-to-end traceability, governance and compliance.

Choice: Integrate best-of-breed, open source, legacy and enterprise Agile tools.
Connect stakeholders within and across the organization.
Connect the software supply chain.

Flow: Enable cross-stakeholder collaboration via social tasks.
Capture the social conversation of software delivery.

“Similar to the benefits that we saw with enterprise services buses, we will be able to connect heterogeneous ALM stacks and create the connected lifecycle,” said Dave West, Tasktop’s Chief Product Officer. “Tool vendors will have the ability to integrate their solutions with entrenched and best-of-breed tools, and practitioners will have the ability to use their tool of choice. The lack of integration has become the main bottleneck in software delivery and this initiative takes a community approach to solving this problem once-and-for-all.”