CollabNet, TCS Partner on System for SOA and Web Services

When Dr. Gautam Shroff met CollabNet cofounder Brian Bellendorf in 2003, Shroff's company, Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS), was in the market for tools to help with internal management of its increasingly distributed software development activities. Neither expected the meeting to turn into a partnership.

"We were putting in place a big program called Enterprise Management for upgrading our communication, our video conferencing and voice over IP," he says. "We were addressing parts of our collaboration needs, but not in the area where we spend most of our time, which is software development."

TCS is an IT consulting, services and business-process-outsourcing organization with about 40,000 consultants in 34 countries. Shroff, TCS's VP of technology programs and head of the company's Technology Innovation Lab, wanted to employ CollabNet as a framework to enable distributed development, coordinating the work of more than 400 developers and architects across the company globally.

CollabNet provides a range of collaborative software development solutions that combine a Web-based software application with a suite of consulting services. The products are designed to allow software development teams to collaborate across locations within an enterprise, or to integrate business partners, contractors or offshore development firms.

“We used CollabNet to support collaboration among developers and architects at TCS in sort of an open-source process within the enterprise to drive some degree of reuse of best practices,” Shroff explains. “In that process we created a framework over the past year and a half of J2EE best practices, a technical framework for using Web services, workflows and messaging--basically SOA. We use CollabNet as a platform for driving the collaboration."

When CollabNet introduced CollabNet Enterprise Edition 4.0 with new application lifecycle management features, TCS saw it as an opportunity to offer its framework as a commercial product.

TCS and CollabNet are now jointly marketing a CollabNet-enabled instance of the TCS framework, a solution called the TCS Global Development Navigator. The GDN is an Internet-enabled solution based on established TCS J2EE software development processes, best practices and reusable assets.

Core to the GDN is the new CollabNet Application Lifecycle Manager, which is designed to enable users to model software methodologies and processes as part of an overall solution for globally distributed software development. This feature makes it possible for project managers to select and customize their choice of process templates.

"With 4.0 we’ve taken the next step," says Mike Kochanik, VP of alliances at CollabNet, "which is to integrate an ability to manage and deploy standard delivery processes on top of our tool infrastructure."

TCS GDN comes preconfigured with TCS’ Java Open Architecture framework and process, so users can employ a process methodology and leverage reusable assets in addressing their SOA and Web services implementation challenges.

"Software developers have been very successful at Internet-enabling almost every business process in most of our enterprise organizations, except software development itself, says Shroff. “Business process change is what drives software change, and making that into an Internet-enabled application is what we’re driving at with this first-step offering."

For more information, go to CollabNet or TCS.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].