HP Offers Virtualization Tool For Agile App Development

HP has introduced new tools and services to enable software applications to be built using the agile development method. The tools, including a new HP service to create a virtual environment in which apps can be tested, will be part of the HP Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) suite.

July 21, 2011

3 Min Read
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HP has introduced new tools and services to enable software applications to be built using the agile development method. The tools, including a new HP service to create a virtual environment in which apps can be tested, will be part of the HP Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) suite.

HP Service Virtualization 1.0 simulates a network environment and the network services that the app would interact with in production. Virtualization is needed because actual network services at an enterprise may be unavailable for test and development of a new app, says Subbu Iyer, a product director in HP’s software business unit. For instance, a database administrator would be unlikely to provide access for an application in development to a database in production. Also, some network services might not be available when the development team needs them or be from a third party that charges for a connection.

"If you can use service virtualization to build a virtual service that represents the behavior of the real service, now you’re not calling on the real service to build newer applications," Iyer says.

Also added to ALM is Agile Accelerator version 5.0, which speeds up the development process by tracking the status of various elements of the project, a development process called Kanban. The user interface resembles a storyboard with descriptions of tasks to be done in the process displayed on sticky notes on a grid. The notes can be dragged and dropped as they progress through the approval process--called a Sprint--from Draft to In Progress to Completed. "We want [developers] to ... be able to present the day-to-day progress and be able to share and move the status of all the different activities," says Filip Szymanski, an HP software product director.

Also introduced at an HP media event in Cupertino, Calif., was HP Application Lifecycle Intelligence, which turns disparate data into actionable intelligence to build the best software. The Intelligence feature measures the impact of changes to the software build and also helps better spot defects before an application is released.HP cites IDC research that as soon as 2012, 85% of net-new applications will be designed for delivery from the cloud. That means cloud-based apps have to be developed to run as well as traditional on-premise apps, says Iyer.

"We’re helping organizations migrate ... traditional on-premise applications to the cloud, and when you do that, you [need to] ensure that the applications are going to continue to behave in an expected manner,” he says.

The company also demonstrated the HP Application Portfolio Management (APM) tool released earlier this year that helps enterprises keep track of the many applications in their IT environment.

"Enterprises build more apps than they are retiring," says John Jeremiah, HP product director. He adds that the APM tool maintains an inventory of apps and monitors what business units within the company still use them. Applications can be retired if they are little used or if another application can perform the functions better than an outdated one.

Jeremiah likens the task to cleaning your cluttered garage by throwing stuff out, holding a yard sale and keeping what you still use. APM was originally offered just as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) option but is now also incorporated into the ALM suite.

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