Borland Software plans to unveil a new approach to its application life-cycle management business, called Open ALM, and to roll out a new product designed to provide real-time visibility and software quality metrics for each phase of the application development process. Tod Nielsen, president and CEO of Borland, and Marc Brown, the company's vice president of product marketing, discussed the announcements in an interview with Computerworld last week.
What is the philosophy behind Open ALM, and how does it meet the demands of Borland users?
Nielsen: A year ago, we announced our double-down [bet] on the ALM marketplace. Customers have a huge pain point with their software delivery processes. They want to turn software delivery into a managed business process instead of this chaotic thing they have going on now. Open ALM really articulates some of the core values we believe are important to customers. We want to make sure we are open to any particular process or tools process approach that they take. If they use any [Borland] ALM technology, they are not forced to target Windows, Java or anything else.
Brown: If we look at how organizations are doing software delivery, they're really struggling to have a predictable and managed process. We are making sure that our Open ALM platform supports any process or technology they want to use and the platform they plan to deploy their applications on.
Open ALM is really there to help automate third-party or open-source data collections to drive the horizontal metrics and measurements that organizations need. Today, organizations can't manage what they can't measure.
How will Borland's existing products be tailored to fit into the new strategy?
Brown: We are continuing to build out the integration for all our products to support the life-cycle activities. [Our products need] to give organizations either a unified ALM report or dashboards so they can get those broader life-cycle views.
What do you mean when you say that the broader life-cycle view is kind of software development business intelligence?
Brown: Oneof the reasons why people have not talked about business intelligence for software development is because many technologies [that are] used to automate those processes collect information, but the information is housed in a large range of disparate data islands. We're very focused on what the data being collected across the life cycle is. Once we understand that, then we can use data warehouses and virtualization technology to bring together the data that is being collected [throughout] the life cycle.
What is Gauntlet, the product that Borland is announcing this week?
Brown: Our Lifecycle Quality Management [product] is very focused on addressing quality assurance across the software development life cycle. Gauntlet extends and is a complementary technology to that. It sits on top of a version control system, and it monitors the individual assets that are being checked in and out of the version control system. It is a way to automatically inspect an asset for a particular attribute like a security vulnerability or a standard code violation. Organizations now have a very good way to automate a number of the inspections they typically do manually today. If you do see a deviation, you can easily correct that in real time.