Application lifecycle management or ALM provides software companies and application developers with a rigid process for supervising the planning, development, testing, governance, maintenance, and retirement of their computer programs or software products. This rigid process includes a holistic description of deliverables and project owners, as well as a roadmap and timetable for each stage of the product lifecycle. Furthermore, the ALM covers both the development phases of and after-sales or technical support activities for software products (Office of Government Commerce, 2002). For organizations involved in the development of software for information technology security, a well-placed ALM guarantees the development of effective and high-quality products.
Note that the five pillars of information security are protection, detection, reaction, documentation, and prevention (Ameri, 2004). Through ALM, specifically with the use of an ALM software, software developers can identify errors and nuisances that might render a particular software product vulnerable to security risks. ALM also provides a process for trial-and-error to improve further the integrity of the product. Documentation is also inherent in ALM because it organizes and records other processes concerning software development.
This paper introduces SpiraTeam—an ALM software developed and marketed by Inflectra. Furthermore, this paper highly recommends the use of this product to promote security by ensuring software development standards and quality assurance.
Reviewing Inflectra SpiraTeam
Inflectra is a United States-based software company that develops and manufactures a range of software products intended to provide enterprise solutions. Its flagship product is the ALM software SpiraTeam that generally features complete web-based ALM solutions for managing software development requirements, planning, testing, and debugging. Below are the specific features of SpiraTeam (Inflectra, 2016):
- Project Management: The project management features of this software include a planning board for defining and delegating tasks within the business and technical teams, project management tracker, agile release planning methods for managing software releases or version, sprint and iteration planning for specific task monitoring, source code integration, task management, resource management, and build management.
- Quality Assurance: The quality assurance features of this software include requirements management tools for recording and checking test cases, test case management for documenting test cases, bug tracking with notification functionalities, and manual and automated software testing.
- Collaboration: The collaborate features of this software include document collaboration for allowing team members to upload and share technical documentation, instant messaging for personal and group messaging, email integration, and integrated drive electronics integration for supporting Visual Studio, Eclipse, and Mylin.
Other features of SpiraTeam are reporting that can be exported in popular office productivity software such as Microsoft Office Suite, mobile device support for accessing the software using smartphone or tablet devices, configuration, and customization depending on specific business processes, and software administration.
From the aforementioned, SpiraTeam is essentially project management and enterprise solution software designed specifically for ALM. Reviews for this product has been favorable. For example, FinancesOnline.com (2015) has commanded the software for being a flexible and effective ALM solution. The publication even ranked SpiraTeam as 22nd in its list of agile PM software, 50th for project collaboration, and 37th for document management software. A review from a head test engineer at software company Ranorex rated the product with 10 out of 10 stars. He cited modern design architecture, stability, a plethora of functionalities, and affordability as related to the return of investment as factors that have made SpiraTeam an incomparable ALM software (Zaar, 2016). An aggregate of review scores from the software review platform G2 Crowd (2016) revealed a rating of 3.9 over five stars. Users cited affordability as one of the strengths of SpiraTeam, especially when compared to products from big software companies such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM, among others. Features such as report generation, testing capabilities, requirements management, collaboration, and defects management, among others have also been cited as strengths of this software.
Nonetheless, about negative reviews, users from G2 Crowd cited the complexity of the entire user interface. Some had a hard time getting acquainted with the software. This understandable. SpiraTeam is packed with different features and functionalities for effective and efficient application lifecycle management.
Security through SpiraTeam
SpiraTeam can support the security objective of an organization that follows the five-pillar model of information security. Remember that the five pillars include are protection, detection, reaction, documentation, and prevention. Based on the review, SpiraTeam is a one-stop-shop ALM solution software that features project management, quality assurance, and collaboration. An effective and complete ALM software solution like SpiraTeam assures that a software product undergoes rigid development based on established software development and quality assurance standards. SpiraTeam makes it easier for developers to lay down and stick to these standards.
Ameri, A. (2004). “The Five Pillars of Information Security.” Risk Management Magazine. Retrieved on 27 October 2016 from http://cf.rims.org/Magazine/PrintTemplate.cfm?AID=2409
FinancesOnline.com. (2015, March 25). “SpiraTeam Review.” FinancesOnline.com. Retrieved on 27 October https://reviews.financesonline.com/p/spirateam/
G2 Crowd. (2016). “SpiraTeam Reviews.” G2 Crowd. Retrieved on 27 October 2016 from https://www.g2crowd.com/products/spirateam/reviews
Inflectra. (2016). “SpiraTeam.” Inflectra. Retrieved on 27 October 2016 from https://www.inflectra.com/SpiraTeam/
Office of Government Commerce. (2002). Application Management. London: The Stationery Office
Zaar, M. (2016). “Experience with SpiraTeam.” Trust Radius: Software Reviews by Real Users. Retrieved on 27 October 2016 from https://www.trustradius.com/reviews/spirateam-2016-01-31-05-41-10