Posted by: markrational | June 1, 2011

How much low cost software does it take to compete with Team Concert ?

 Introducing Team Concert and the Jazz Platform

IBM Rational Team Concert is a framework for collaborative software development. It manages the day to day tasks of developers and other roles associated with software creation, it provides an appropriate layer of project governance and information to managers and it is simple and easy to use and deploy.

Team Concert has been built from a clean starting point to provide a completely integrated solution. The capabilities of the product sit neatly together allowing a user to quickly take full advantage of all facilities. Team Concert has been constructed on a carefully designed architecture that uses the common Jazz Team Server platform. The Jazz platform allows IBM to develop additional products, for additional areas of software development, in a manner that allows for seamless integration, common user facilities and common information dashboards.

The capabilities of Team Concert break down into a number of areas introduced below. While we understand that many customers are considering Subversion and JIRA at this time, additional products are required to sit alongside those two products to give a complete solution that gets close to what Team Concert offers from one product, one install and one, short, training activity.

Source Code Management : The management of any type of file and the controlled integration of such files within a development process. Subversion does not include a graphical user interface and so a plug in called Subclipse (for Eclipse Integration) or TortoiseSVN ( a general purpose graphical interface) or VisualSVN ( for Microsoft Development platforms) is required.

Team Concert enables teams to view changes as a ‘change set’. This is a set of files that have been checked-in and shared with the rest of the team as an atomic unit. Other users can browse, review, use, compare and annotate the content of change sets or any file at any time within Team Concert. An additional product called Fisheye is required alongside Subversion and JIRA to provide this function.

Work-Item Management : A task management process that allows any type of process to be constructed. Additionally Team Concert includes a full review and approval process built into the tasks that it manages. An additional product called Crucible is required alongside JIRA to provide this function.

Build Management : A complete build engine to provide a continuous build or build on-demand process for any software construction process. An additional product called Bamboo is required alongside Subversion and JIRA to provide this function.

Process Control : Team Concert has a number of process models that can be used depending on the process that a team wishes to follow and the degree of formal governance that is required. Process can be adjusted to fit the specific requirements of each team. An additional product called Greenhopper is required alongside JIRA to provide this for Agile development teams. Plans provided by Team Concert allow teams to communicate additional project information such as the general goals of an iteration, team structure, news of upcoming events etc. An additional product called Confluence  is required alongside JIRA to provide this, and it is disconnected from the plans held within Greenhopper.

Project Dashboards : Information presented to users via queries, reports, charts and plan status can be displayed on web based project dashboards. This gives a single page to go to in order to get an accurate and up to date view of the project status.

Summary : Rational Team Concert is a single product that provides a complete framework for process centric development specifically focused on the construction phase. The Subversion based alternatives are often considered to be ‘Subversion and JIRA’ but the reality is that it takes up to five more additional components to create a system that gets close to what a single product called Team Concert can provide.



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