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Compuware Announces Application Delivery Management Suite
Compuware releases product aimed at integrating of the different phases of the application development life cycle.
by Peter Varhol

June 7, 2007

Application life-cycle tools vendor Compuware Corporation recently announced Optimal Delivery Manager, an integrated platform that enables enterprises to track key metrics of the application development life cycle from conception to deployment. Optimal Delivery Manager includes application delivery management, business requirements management, project management, quality assurance and performance assurance.

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Despite years of effort by both vendors and enterprises in attempting to integrate the various phases of the application development life cycle, these phases remain highly siloed, with little communications and visibility across the boundaries. Optimal Deliver Manager is aimed at changing this by raising metrics within each silo to make them accessible across the life cycle.

Optimal Delivery Manager's dashboard functionality can display metrics from Compuware's offerings in project management, business-requirements management, quality-assurance and performance-assurance solutions. It can also be extended to include information from third-party products. The use of dashboards enables engineers and analysts, as well as managers, to understand the state of a project. Further, by drilling down into summary data, application professionals can analyze problems and recommend solutions.

Addressing a Real Problem
Most issues that delay or imperil application development projects are cross-functional boundaries. Testing may be delayed, for example, because of problems building the application or the inability to resolve blocking bugs. Deployment may be halted because of performance woes not discovered until a pilot implementation.

With its Optimal Delivery Manager, Compuware is attempting to address a real and persistent problem in the application development life cycle. While a culture change within most organizations is also required to enhance communication, products such as Optimal Delivery Manager can at least make this change possible.

The biggest gain in using this type of product may be in management — specifically development and line-of-business managers who are counting on deploying applications to improve business operations or move into new areas of opportunity. By including metrics from a variety of sources, these managers have visibility into a broad range of application delivery activities, in effect, largely doing away with the time-consuming effort of gathering and rolling up metrics (assuming these managers have the resources to complete this task in the first place).

In short, you may finally be seeing the beginnings of the integration of the different phases of the application development life cycle. For years vendors have been promising integration of their point product solutions, but they have seemingly been stymied by bureaucracy, inertia or the demands of meeting regular sales targets. This release may herald a new era of the seamless application development life cycle, supported by integrated products.

About the Author
Peter Varhol is executive editor, reviews of 1105 Redmond Media Group's Redmond magazine. He has more than 20 years of experience as a software developer, software product manager and technology writer. He has graduate degrees in computer science and mathematics, and has taught both subjects at the university level.




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