Get a handle on app dev

As the prime contractor on the Defense Department's Joint Strike Fighter project, Lockheed Martin reportedly oversees more than 1,000 software developers and more than 19 million lines of code. To get a handle on a project that size, the company long ago deployed Dimensions from Serena Software Inc. of San Mateo, Calif. (www.serena.com). Dimensions is a change management suite that helps with process control, versioning, baseline management, workflow management and other steps in large-scale application development.

Serena CEO Mark Woodward stopped by GCN recently to discuss the company's newest suite, Dimensions 10. 'This is not just bug fixes and a few new knobs and dials.' With Dimensions 10, Serena wants to take application lifecycle management to a new level, one that rests on what Woodward calls 'change governance.'

Some of the new features are a single, integrated data store with built-in traceability and a new dashboard function for visibility into a project's entire lifecycle. It also has something called air gap replication, which makes it easier for global organizations to collaborate without stepping on each other's toes, and a caching agent that help ameliorate WAN delays. The software is also now tightly integrated with Windows Explore to developers can access change packages without going into the product.

And Serena keeps pushing ALM into new areas. Woodward said one federal customer wants the company to help integrate Dimensions with Microsoft Project Server. Serena is also active in the Eclipse Foundation in creating the open-source Application Lifecycle Framework.

'Overall we're taking a more holistic approach to ALM,' Woodward said.

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