April 30, 2012
A growing trend over the past few years in this industry has been towards providing tools for developers working within enterprise. The growth of enterprise awareness of agile methodologies, along with the rise of Cloud computing generally and Platform as a Service specifically has given such vendors as Atlassian, PivotalLabs and others the opportunity to take sometimes existing offerings and deliver them to a more lucrative enterprise audience.
Another company that has long been chasing this market is CollabNet a vendor of agile focused products and services for development shops. CollabNet (more on them here) delivers these customers a couple of distinct offerings and is today announcing a new approach towards how it delivers and articulates it’s product portfolio – this approach is intended to deliver something I’ve been talking about for awhile now, a holistic end-to-end development environment that includes tools for collaboration and project management at the development stage, a bunch of services to aid the deployment of applications to a multitude of different infrastructure approaches, and tools to aid in the DevOps role of already deployed apps.
Based on what it’s seeing in the marketplace, CollabNet has articulated what it sees as the five key steps that organizations should take on their way to enterprise cloud development as they adopt hybrid cloud IT into the application development and deployment lifecycle. The steps include:
- embracing the cloud for centralizing access and visibility to tools and processes
- creating a robust coding community to encourage reuse
- the codification of development processes by standardizing tools, workflows and processes
- automation of DevOps practices
- a hybrid approach by leveraging public and on-premise private cloud resources in a secure, compliant and optimal way
While in principle I agree with the five steps, I’m less convinced that the hybrid public/on-premise approach is optimal for all situations. While it may suit many of CollabNet’s customers, I’m always worried about advice like this which recommends the “one true way”. Anyway – outside of that little critique, I like the message that CollabNet is articulating.
As a whole, the suite is trying to deliver on the promise of Application Lifecycle Management or ALM, a concept long touted but somewhat short on real proof points – ALM is this end to end management of an application – from inception, through creation, onto deployment and ongoing management.
In terms of product offerings to deliver on this promise – CollabNet is announcing;
- CloudForge: CollabNet’s development PaaS which is built from the previously acquired Codesion public cloud hosting platform. CloudForge helps developers and IT managers instantly develop and deploy software using a hybrid mix of tools, application frameworks and deployment clouds – all with enterprise security and compliance in place
- The creation of a CloudForge App Marketplace to mimic the add-on approach of other vendors like Heroku
- ALM and SCM hybrid cloud services: Initially, CloudForge cloud services will be available to customers with on-premise deployments of Subversion Edge and TeamForge. A new Subversion Edge CloudBackup service now provides Subversion data archiving, redundancy and migration capabilities for any on-premise user of Subversion Edge or TeamForge, without leaving their own desktop environment
- CollabNet says that later in the year, additional hybrid cloud services will be available in TeamForge and Subversion Edge, such as elastic server provisioning for build, test and deployment.
There are a lot of vendors offering new-age development tool sets – CollabNet joins a bunch of others who are also increasingly competing with both PaaS and IaaS vendors as they move more into the deployment and management parts of development. That doesn’t negate the value of what CollabNet is doing, rather it realistically shows they’re entering an ever-more competitive space. It will be interesting to see how they fare with their new approach.