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Borland To Add Business Intelligence to ALM Solutions

Borland plans to integrate business intelligence (BI) capabilities into its Open Application Lifecycle Management (Open ALM) solutions in the coming year.

Marc Brown, Borland's vice president of marketing, explained that BI is a new addition to Borland's product line. The BI capabilities will be added across Borland's Open ALM solutions.

"We will be delivering a platform in mid-2008 that will help facilitate the automatic collection of the various data points across the lifecycle into a centralized data warehouse that can be used for reporting and dash-boarding," Brown said. "We are actually going to be shipping this into a number of product offerings focused on portfolio and analytics -- some around project management, some around demand management."

The names of the new products will be announced early next year, he added. For now, Brown said they all fall under the general nomenclature of "Borland's business intelligence offering for ALM."

Borland's announcement coincides with its sponsorship of study conducted by Forrester Consulting that examined the effectiveness of metrics in application development projects. The free study, "Changing the Cost/Benefit Equation for Application Development Metrics," is expected to be available today to registered users at Borland's Web site.

One reason to focus on metrics is that application development organizations are feeling the heat to become more agile. Better metrics are needed to make that happen, according to Brown.

"Huge organizations have started migrating toward an agile approach," Brown said. "The software management teams are now thinking about the fact that the business now expects them to be more agile. They're expecting better objective metrics to show progress and performance. It's no longer OK to say, 'Software is this pseudo-art form'."

Business intelligence is the term associated with providing business value, Brown said.

"If you look at the business in a broader sense, they talk about business intelligence," he said. "They are looking at various technologies that give them insight and intelligence into what's going on the business. That's really what Borland is talking about here [with the metrics study and BI announcement]. Organizations need to apply the same rigor, the same types of approaches, to bring business intelligence to ALM.

Brown emphasized the flexibility of Borland's Open ALM to work with an organization's installed solutions, providing the necessary views.

"[Open ALM] will have the necessary connectors. Either we develop them or our partners will develop some, and we will provide SDKs so that even customers can write their own connectors to bring in data from all of those disparate sources," he said.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.

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