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Borland brings RM to the masses

Requirements management (RM) is a key discipline underlying software quality and success, Meta Group analyst Thomas Murphy has observed, but business requirements are too often lost in translation before they ever become software capabilities. The problem is "cultural," he says, arising from the persistent disconnect between business and IT.

"People will interact and respond to information in different ways," he noted, "so organizations need options for capturing and expressing requirements that can include development artifacts, such as use cases and design documents, in addition to traditional text. The best requirements management solutions address the human and technology adoption barriers to ensure that all stakeholders can readily collaborate."

In other words, said Borland Software's Boz Elloy, you have to "bring requirements management to the masses."

"Businesses want to prevent the cost and risk of misunderstood objectives and to get good at their software," said the Scotts Valley, Calif.-based toolmaker's senior vice president of software products in a statement. "With increased globalization and distributed teams, organizations are realizing that the heart of their software problem lies at the very definition of their business needs, and how these needs are understood and translated down the line into software reality."

Borland last week began shipping the latest version of its requirements management tool, CaliberRM 6.0. Part of Borland's application life-cycle management portfolio, CaliberRM is designed to help software development teams align application changes to an organization's business needs, said Borland product manager David Walker.

"You can look at requirements as being the voice of the customer," Walker told eADT. "CaliberRM takes the voice of the customer and pushes it everywhere, so you no longer have to wonder why you're doing what you're doing or what the business objective is that you're trying to accomplish."

CaliberRM is an application, but it functions as more of a standards-based requirements infrastructure. The solution is designed to help users define requirements in a way that removes ambiguities early in the process. Advanced formatting capabilities address so-called cultural barriers by broadening the range of expression for requirements. CaliberRM 6.0 supports inline images, embedded tables and rich text. The new capabilities will extend the reach of CaliberRM to include management of design documents, scenarios and use cases.

The upgrade includes new lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) authentication capabilities that provide an extensible security infrastructure to manage login information for all applications in a centralized location.

"We have learned that people will interact and respond to information in different ways, so organizations need options for capturing and expressing requirements," said Borland's Celine Allee. "With CaliberRM 6.0, we are ensuring that the context for expressing requirements is broadened so that it can also include [a range of] development artifacts."

CaliberRM is available through the company's Web site. Evaluation copies can be downloaded without charge.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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