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An ALM solution for mobile development teams

Developing mobile applications for the latest smartphones and tablets can be a fun and rewarding experience. If you work for a company building mobile applications, I suspect you’re targeting multiple device platforms, and you have an agile team of people working together to do so. Therein lies two fundamental challenges: how to enable a team of people working closely together, and how do they collaboratively develop for multiple device platforms.

On October 30, IBM announced a new solution called the IBM Mobile Development Lifecycle Solution (IMDLS). It’s designed to support a collaborative, mobile development lifecycle. It combines our team-oriented collaborative development solution (IBM Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management or CLM) with IBM Worklight into a single offering for mobile app development teams.

IBM Worklight, included with IMDLS, enables the development of rich web, hybrid and native mobile applications on iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone tablets and smartphones. It includes many components: Studio, Server, Builder, Application Center and more. The Application Center makes it possible for development teams to share mobile applications with testers, designers, sample users, product managers and other stakeholders in the application development process. Testers can download the applications to their devices and provide feedback using a provided mobile client. Developers can then gather this feedback and consider it in future iterations. And the special development version of  the Worklight Server is a scalable gateway between mobile applications, external services and the enterprise that allows the development team to work on the same version of the mobile app.

By integrating CLM and Worklight, a mobile development team will be able to accept development work items, and understand how they fit into the iteration plans and the overall release plans.  Through lifecycle integration in CLM, they will also have access to requirements to guide them on what’s needed, defects and enhancement requests to continue to improve functionality and quality of the product, and test cases and test status to understand the test coverage of their work. Rational Team Concert integrates with Worklight as you might expect: enabling collaborative work item and source control management. The Worklight Builder is a stand-alone application that can be integrated with the Jazz build engine. Leveraging the centralized build functionality, the different teams involved in the development, testing and QA phases can work off of one common version of the code. Rational Quality Manager includes partner validated integrations with two device cloud vendors. These provide development and test teams with access to a wide array of remotely hosted devices attached to various networks. The IMDLS also includes useful goodies such as best practice guidance, a sample application and build scripts you can use to accelerate your use of CLM and Worklight together.

That’s all for now. If you’re working on a team building mobile applications, I hope you’ll take a minute to check out the new IBM Mobile Development Lifecycle Solution V4.0.

Derek Baron, Product Manager

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