Too often, current application lifecycle management (ALM) practices are cumbersome to the point that they slow down the development process. The tremendous number of variables in the ALM process makes software development work resource intensive and difficult to manage. How can we make this better?
As a cloud services provider, part of the solution seems obvious to us. On-demand cloud services allow access from anywhere, at any time and eliminate dependency on physical infrastructure and capital expenses. This makes software developers’ lives easier and simplifies budgeting for management.
However, most of today’s cloud services provide a virtual replacement for infrastructure (aka Infrastructure As A Service - IaaS). IaaS alone does not solve the software development process problem. In fact, most of today’s cloud services were designed to serve as production hosting systems, in which the infrastructure is set once, typically with a lot of effort, and then forgotten in the hope that nothing breaks. Software development does not work this way. It requires flexibility and agility that does not exist in cloud solutions that were optimized for production hosting. During the software development process environments are created, duplicated, shared, move up to the cloud, down to on premise, and across organizational groups and beyond for collaboration, QA, building and staging.
Software development also has its own unique cost and resource structures. While production hosting infrastructure is designed to be always-on and to not fail, software development environments must be tuned to start, fail and recover quickly. Consequently, software development environments cannot be priced and served in the same manner as always-on production hosting environments. They must be able to turn on and off quickly, and the pricing per environment should reflect this.
Today, IBM and CloudShare are building solutions that are optimized for software development in the cloud. The unique ability of the cloud to easily create complex environments at a push of a button puts the agile process in the hands of the developer, enabling the creation, duplication, sharing and collaboration of complete environments, ready to go with multiple virtual machines, networking, applications and content. And, since the development work sits in an easy to access cloud, business analysts and managers can check in from anywhere, on any device.
Easy access to environments is just one part of the story. Developers need capabilities that facilitate easy collaboration across teams, to better manage the application lifecycle, just as much as they need infrastructure. Solutions like IBM Rational Team Concert give teams tracking abilities, build awareness, development progress dashboards and intuitive task management. With the right tools, development teams can efficiently move through the ALM process from planning to production, making multi-tier application development as easy as document management. Agile management of the ALM process is critical for successful modern software development, and what traditionally took days and involved procurement, IT, and professional services, can now be available in minutes with the latest cloud development technologies.
CloudShare has some unique offerings in the area of the software development on the cloud, drastically lowering the bar to entry for new development projects. For more information about CloudShare ProPlus with IBM Rational Team Concert, visit the CloudShare website and follow them on Twitter @CloudShare.