When the Cloud Meets Agile Development

With new, powerful cloud platforms available, shouldn't newer software developmental techniques like Agile apply to these environments as well? CA thinks so and has created a new toolset for this.
Written by Brian Sommer, Contributor

CA Agile Planner, the Force.com platform and Project Portfolio Management

CA today announced a new offering for IT project developers: CA Agile Planner for the Force.com cloud platform. There are several interesting aspects to this.

First, CA has a multitude of systems management products in its IT solutions portfolio that could support many aspects of a SaaS (software as a service) platform. This agile development technology though has been built on Salesforce.com’s Force.com platform. Force.com is the development and operational platform underneath Salesforce.com’s CRM (customer relationship management) software and scores of other applications built on the Force.com platform.

Why would CA do this?

One look at the Dreamforce conference suggests that hundreds or thousands of firms are building their own solutions on the Force.com toolset and platform. These applications aren’t being built using the old-fashioned methods involving Gantt/Pert charts, 6-18 development phases, etc. These Force.com applications are built in days, reviewed in hours and include new design ideas that are generated and prioritized in minutes. Developers are using a different vernacular now. They speak of sprints not preliminary systems design. It’s a different world that the cloud and platform technologies bring and systems developers must adapt.

This solution fills in a gap in the CA product line. It should be warmly received by firms not in CA’s normal pipeline (i.e., large enterprise IT groups). In fact, this product should resonate well with the smallest to the largest IT shops.

Additionally, we should expect interest in agile methodologies to increase at the same time that more businesses will want to drop their older on-premise application software for newer, platform-based, cloud-based solutions. That should also buoy the CA Agile Planner sales as well. In fact, as Salesforce.com and Force.com prosper, so should CA Agile Planner.

It is rather interesting to see development methodologies adapt to the cloud and the platforms that power the newer applications and business processes running on them. Academics, PMI and others should be paying attention as the world of system development is changing at the technique and environment levels. That CA is releasing a tool to marry a newer development methodology with an even newer phenomena, cloud platforms, is something others will likely want soon.

(yes, I know Dreamforce was last week, but I was really under the weather the last few days.)

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