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Electric Cloud Simplifies Software Production Management

The company rolls out two enhanced tools that provide developers with automated alternatives to tedious and costly build-test-deploy processes.


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Electric Cloud, a provider of software production management solutions, rolled out two enhanced tools this month that provide developers with automated alternatives to tedious, costly, and error-prone manual build-test-deploy processes.

The tools in question are ElectricCommander 3.5. and ElectricAccelerator 5.0.

ElectricCommander automates and manages the manual pieces of the build-test-deploy process, making software production faster and more efficient. It is designed to enable organizations to implement continuous integration, provide on-demand builds, or automate regularly scheduled build and test cycles.



The tool simplifies software production management and removes the need for developers to learn and manage multiple tools, says Usman Muzaffar, VP of product management, Electric Cloud.

New to ElectricCommander 3.5 are fully customizable user interfaces (UIs), including dashboards and forms.

"For example, ElectricCommander 3.5 can be customized to extract and display data from the defect tracker along with relevant build and test results," says Muzaffar. "This allows build managers to easily track the status of each fix and receive notification when the issue has been resolved by QA. All the information they need is integrated into a single web page, letting them track status at a glance."

ElectricCommander's extensible architecture can scale to manage any size build and release infrastructure, says Muzaffar.

ElectricCommander is the hub of our automation process for building, testing and deploying very small components, says Randy Welch, director of release and install engineering at Tibco, a provider of enterprise analytics software for business intelligence.

"This tool has accelerated our turnaround of components by a factor of about 95, allowing us to create items in four minutes that used to take us six hours or more manually," says Welch.

"ElectricCommander has removed all the bottlenecks to developing and deploying what I call cookie-cutter components."

Enterprise development organizations such as Tibco often have a wide range of software production tools and processes in place, says Muzaffar. "However, the tools and processes are generally disconnected and have their own user interfaces, making it very difficult for developers to leverage resources."

ElectricCommander 3.5 addresses the tool-disparate nature of such development teams, says Muzaffar.

"The customizability of Commander 3.5 removes the need for developers to learn and manage multiple tools, while simplifying the management of software production," he says. "Our intention is to automate software development by enabling developers to continue to work the way they always have, with their usual tools."

At $2,500 per seat, ElectricCommander is far from inexpensive.

Customers, however, typically see ROI on their purchase within six months, says Muzaffar.

Electric Cloud's other enhanced tool is ElectricAccelerator. It now includes Electrify, which provides parallel processing for virtually any software production task, and sub-build technology.

"Our goal is to remove the bottlenecks in software production wherever they exist," says Muzaffar. "ElectricAccelerator speeds Make, NMAKE, Visual Studio and Ant builds by 10 to 20 times. With Electrify we are broadening the technology to enable these benefits for virtually any compute-intensive development task."

Besides supporting build tools such as MSBuild, SCons and homegrown systems, Electrify creates an all-purpose private compute cloud. Developers can apply the power of parallel computing to new tasks like parallel testing or data modeling, and they can do it at their desktop, in a private cloud or on a dedicated server.

ElectricAccelerator 5.0 also adds subbuilds, allowing developers to avoid unnecessary work by automatically reducing a build to the smallest subset of critical changes.

The result is fewer broken builds and the ability to compile and test frequently without affecting the rest of the team, says Muzaffar.


   
Herman Mehling has written about IT for 25 years. He has written hundreds of articles for leading computer publications and websites.
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