For years, the cloud has been used to share resources, software and information, but its role in application lifecycle management (ALM) has been spotty to non-existent of late with a few exceptions, notably the work of some Agile developers.
Prominent innovators in the Agile/cloud space include CollabNet, Rally Software, ThoughtWorks Studios and VersionOne as well as biggies IBM and Microsoft.
Another biggie, VMWare, is getting ready to join the fray. Last month, VMware announced SpringSource Code2Cloud, a suite of cloud-based development and collaboration tools aimed at simplifying the entire application development process. The vendor plans to have the solution available in the first quarter of 2011.
Also last month, CollabNet upped its ALM Cloud strategy by acquiring Codesion (formerly CVSDude), which provides the enterprise-grade Subversion hosting platform and serves thousands of customers in 90 countries.
Code2Cloud -- created with Tasktop Technologies, a developer of task-focused development and ALM integration solutions -- leverages open source tools to deliver what the VMware calls vendor calls a unified, setup-free development infrastructure.
Code2Cloud uses such tools as Eclipse Mylyn task management, SpringSource Tool Suite (STS) IDE, Hudson continuous integration, and Git source control. It provides a Cloud-centric issue tracker that is compatible with the popular Bugzilla bug tracking system, as well as a dashboard for managing applications and development teams.
The solution leverages the Tasktop Certified ecosystem of Agile and ALM integrations, ensuring interoperability with existing ALM tools and support for best-of-breed Agile technologies.
Code2Cloud allows developers to focus on what's important: following business logic and writing great code, said Rod Johnson, senior vice president and general manager of VMware's SpringSource product division.
By removing the distractions of configuring development environments, setting up code repositories and incorporating issue-tracking systems, Code2Cloud seeks to eliminate much of the complexity and headaches from the application development process, he added.
The Code2Cloud is delivered as a service and is available to members of the SpringSource developer community.
While developers and application owners will be able to use Code2Cloud for the entire build process, it also provides a choice of Java Cloud deployment destinations for internal infrastructure, and public PaaS offerings, such as the enterprise-ready VMforce, a joint offering of VMware and Salesforce.
"The software development tool chain has always been tedious to setup and integrate," said Red Monk analyst Michael Cote. "While cloud-based development promises to make application delivery, deployment, and use easier, I haven't seen excellent unified application management approaches that take full advantage of the cloud."
Cote said he thinks VMware's SpringSource Code2Cloud is an ambitious step towards moving much of the development management stack into the cloud and hopefully vacuuming up those tedious application management tasks.
With Code2Cloud, Once a developer fixes a defect within Eclipse, the hosted code is instantly built, tested and deployed, said Mik Kersten, CEO of Tasktop Technologies.
Kersten said any issues detected at runtime immediately show in the issue tracker and IDE with the full context of the failure.
Meanwhile, CollabNet's acquisition of Codesion marks an aggressive move by CollabNet into cross-platform, cloud-based developer services. CollabNet founded the industry-leading Subversion open source project in 2000 and remains the project's principal sponsor.
Codesion's provisioning technology delivers Subversion, Git, and other applications as a SaaS offering, helping developers to code, connect, and deploy in the cloud.
"CollabNet's acquisition is a natural fit for Codesion and our customer community," said Guy Marion, chief executive officer, Codesion. "Our users were seeking version control training and best practices around Agile development, which is now available from CollabNet's Subversion developers and Certified Scrum Trainers. "
A new workgroup-centric version of TeamForge also provides a free, 'one click' upgrade path to CollabNet's Agile ALM platform.
CollabNet's Codesion hosting services are available in Team, Professional, and Enterprise editions. Codesion enables developers to securely host and procure Subversion in the cloud, integrate it with Trac, Basecamp, TeamForge, and other tools, and deploy to cloud hosting providers such as Joyent and Amazon.
As customers' businesses or projects grow, they can add users on demand or instantly upgrade to ScrumWorks Pro and TeamForge, all in the same hosted environment.
CollabNet also offers these products on-premise.