Friday, July 29, 2005

Eclipse approves Serena-led app lifecycle initiative

Source: Computer Business Review

Summary:

For ages, the holy grail of software development has been to find a way to unify the steps of the process from which software is conceived, designed, coded, debugged, tested, managed and enhanced. It was the goal of ill-fated efforts ranging from IBM's AD/Cycle to CA 90s to the aborted Microsoft/TI repository.

Today, vendors of tools suites, like IBM, Microsoft, Serena, Compuware and Borland, provide at most partial integration that occasionally use common meta data, but more often than not rely on file transfers.

Against a backdrop of missed goals, Serena has just secured approval from the Eclipse Foundation to lead an open source project that will initially conceive a framework of web services representing processes in the software development life cycle that are driven from a federated meta data model.

The project, called the Application Lifecycle Framework (ALF), complements the core Eclipse framework that provides a common front-end shell or user interface into which best-of-breed tools can plug in. Ideally, ALF will provide a framework for back end, meta data integration of what actually happens during the software development process.

ALF's goal will be specifying definitions of common processes so they can be exposed as services. In so doing, the project will leverage web services standards such as BPEL to orchestrate the services required to perform functions such as providing an approval cycle for requirements definition or acceptance of software testing results.

Ultimately, the goal is meta data and tool interoperability via a federated approach where no single vendor controls all the definitions.

Read complete article. . .

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