10 Hot New Agile Development Software Products

Still Agile At 10

It's been 10 years since the signing of the Agile Manifesto, the document created at a 2001 meeting of leading software developers at Snowbird, Utah, that gave rise to the Agile movement that has revolutionized software development. Agile, for the uninitiated, is a set of software development methodologies based on iterative and incremental development where software requirements and projects evolve through collaboration between cross-functional teams.

Last week the Agile2011 conference in Salt Lake City demonstrated just how far that movement has come, both from a community perspective and in terms of technology advancements.

At the conference some of the leading software vendors in the Agile arena unveiled their latest tools and technologies for developers. In keeping with Agile's 10th anniversary, here's what we think were the 10 hottest Agile development software products to make their debut.

AccuRev SCM 5.2

This new release of the enterprise edition of AccuRev's software configuration management toolset has an embedded PostgreSQL database that the company said would improve its performance, customizability and scalability.

The new release, available now, also offers enhancements that make it easier to manage geographically distributed teams through improvements to element-level security, scalability and internationalization. The software offers increased visibility into Agile, traditional "waterfall" or hybrid development processes, according to the company. And it automates workflows for process compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulations.

Axosoft OnTime 11

Axosoft released OnTime 11, a new version of its Agile project management tool for bug, issue and requirements tracking. Axosoft said the software has been completely redesigned "from the ground up" and optimized to let developers spend more time writing code and less time on administrative tasks.

OnTime 11 sports a redesigned user interface that makes it easier to hide unneeded sections. New keyboard shortcuts reduce the amount of time spent entering data, Axosoft said, and a new auto-save function prevents data loss when browsers crash or sessions run out.

Also new in the 11 release is a "smart burndown chart" that lets users get values and trending information from individual bars on a chart by hovering a cursor over them. And the new ScratchPad feature, which the company describes as "a notepad on steroids," automatically saves developers' notes as they write them, allowing them to create an unlimited number of notes.

CA Agile Vision

CA Technologies has developed a new release of its CA Agile Vision planning tool that provides visibility into both Agile and traditional waterfall development projects. Integrated with CA's Clarity PPM project and portfolio management software, CA Agile Vision coordinates planning, scheduling, reporting and backlog management tasks among development team members.

CA Agile Vision is built on the Salesforce Force.com platform and is now integrated with the Salesforce Chatter social networking system for real-time collaboration between development teams.

CollabNet Lab Management 2.4

CollabNet debuted CollabNet Lab Management 2.4 with new capabilities that allow build-and-test server provisioning from public or private clouds, as well as from the CollabNet server cloud. The platform is integrated with CollabNet's TeamForge 6.1 application lifecycle management (ALM) system. And the 2.4 release features simplified profile definition for provisioning fully configured virtual servers, and global role management capabilities for easier role-based access control.

CollabNet also unveiled a new suite of professional services to help customers implement continuous build-and-test systems. And the company is offering new Web-based, self-paced training sessions and lectures covering Agile and Scrum software engineering practices.

Quantitative Software Management Slim 8.0

QSM's Slim is a software project estimation and software lifecycle management toolset. Slim 8.0 provides updated benchmark trendlines from the QSM database of more than 10,000 completed software development projects. Development teams can more easily customize trendlines with a new one-click automated trendline-creation feature, allowing developers to compare their productivity to their own past projects or with industry trends. Also included are templates for estimating package implementations, hardware and infrastructure.

Developers can assess the performance of past projects with the new Five-Star Report in Slim-Metrics, a benchmarking tool that rates projects on a one-to-five scale according to metrics chosen by the user. And the Slim-MasterPlan feature includes a new master scoreboard that displays the development status of all projects.

Rally Agile ALM

Rally Software Development Corp. showed off enhancements to its Rally Agile ALM platform that helps project managers align their software development and portfolio management priorities. Additions to Rally Idea Manager, for example, improve the feedback loop between the project management office (PMO) and development teams to ensure that valuable user requests find their way into a new software product.

Rally also added a number of Kanban features, including customizable defect charts, in-column aging for Kanban, and class-of-service support. (Kanban, based on the manufacturing methodology with the same name, emphasizes just-in-time delivery in a software development process that's visible to all parties.) Rally also integrated its software with industry-leading project and portfolio management tools including Oracle Primavera P6 EPPM 8, Daptiv Gain, Planisware 5.2, CA Clarity PPM and AgileEVM. And a new Agile Portfolio Steering service helps PMOs apply Agile techniques to portfolio management.

Sococo Phone

Social communications software developer Sococo debuted a beta release of Sococo Phone, a new feature in the company's Team Space virtual work environment software that links Team Space with traditional phone communications systems. That gives users the ability to call any phone number in the world from within Team Space, which already incorporates a number of voice, chat and simultaneous multi-screen sharing capabilities within its interface.

Sococo cited Forrester Research numbers that show more than 40 percent of employees in the world's 500 largest companies work in virtual teams. The new Sococo phone feature in Team Space brings traditional phone calls into the virtual Team Space environment, enabling companies to improve productivity and consider abandoning expensive legacy communications channels," said Sococo president Paul Brody, in a statement.


Tasktop Sync And Tasktop Dev 2.1

Tasktop Technologies unveiled Tasktop Sync, new software that helps IT organizations synchronize ALM servers from multiple vendors and open-source projects. With Tasktop Sync IT managers can provide traceability and reporting across mixed ALM stacks including HP ALM and HP Quality Center, IBM Rational Team Concert, and more than two dozen other Agile and open-source ALM tools used for Agile planning, software development and quality management.

Tasktop also debuted Tasktop Dev 2.1, a new release of its Agile developer toolset with new developer-centric, cross-repository Kanban and story board planning capabilities. The toolset, which builds on the recent 3.6 release of Tasktop's open-source Eclipse Mylyn 3.6 tools, also can access HP ALM and HP Quality Center from Linux and Mac desktop systems.

ThoughtWorks Studios Go 2.3 And Twist 2.3

ThoughtWorks Studios extended the capabilities of its Adaptive ALM suite with enhancements to the suite's Go Agile software release management and Twist Agile testing tools.

Go 2.3 provides auditing, traceability and compliance in the software development process. New features includes automatic verification of every file retrieved from the tool's repository, recording of configuration history, a new pipeline wizard for building pipelines in three easy steps, the ability to close existing pipelines with a single click, and auto-deletion of old artifacts. Go 2.3 also provides a view of the complete history and traceability of work done by an agent and automatically times out jobs that have stopped responding. Twist 2.3 extends Agile automated testing with support for the popular Selenium 2 open-source testing tool and new capabilities for testing Web sites on Android and iOS devices. It also offers refactoring propagation control and a new user interface. Twist 2.3 is available now while Go 2.3 will be available Aug. 24.


VersionOne is shipping a new release of its Agile project management tool sporting a new user interface that the company said was developed to incorporate changes suggested by partners and customers. The more modern UI will improve the tool's usability and increase developer productivity, according to the company.

Among the improvements are enhancements to the primary menus for easier navigation, VersionOne said, and improvements to the team whiteboard that help team members quickly get "the big picture" of a project's status. The latest release also is integrated with VersionOne's free OpenAgile platform.