Tasktop 2.7 Has Been Released

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On Friday, May the 10th, Tasktop released 2.7 for both Tasktop Sync and Tasktop Dev. This continues to demonstrate our desire to put out a major release every six months and a minor release every three months. This regular cadence helps manage scope and deliver value to our customers in a managed and controlled way.Version 2.7 was a major release with many new features, bug fixes and improvements, but I want to focus on two main themes.   The first is the release of our first PPM connector for CA Clarity PPM, the second is improvements to our IBM Rational Requirements Composer connector. Both demonstrate our continued desire to connect the world of software delivery by enabling different tools and disciplines to work from the same data and collaborate more effectively.

Support for Clarity PPM

For many developers, the world of the project office is an alien one, with its staff talking about investment portfolios, resource pools and demand management. The same can be said of the PMO when trying to understand developers who work in scrums and talk about CI and GitHub. But with the advent of faster delivery times and Agile methods, development and the PMO need to work together in more dynamic, flexible and aligned ways. That means traditional integration approaches, such as spreadsheets and email, need to be replaced with automated integration. This need led us to develop a connector for CA Clarity PPM, which enables the two teams to work together more effectively sharing work across organizational and tool boundaries.

The development of this connector also reinforces our strong partnership with CA and demonstrated our support for CA Clarity Agile and CA Clarity requirements. Building the connector has reminded us yet again that the technical side of integrating the process and data is often the easiest part. It also reminded us that getting agreement on how the artifacts flow between these two organizations is actually much harder. As we worked on the early version of the connector with a customer, it became very clear that though at the highest level the PMO and development had shared objectives, the reality of day-to-day operation was very different for the two groups. We learned a lot about how the PMO and Development can work together during this process. This learning will form the basis of a webinar titled Connecting CA Clarity PPM with Development Tool Stacks from IBM, HP MS and more, which not only will demonstrate CA Clarity PPM integrating with the development stack, but will also describe the integration patterns that make sense and the key decisions you need to focus on when building the integration. The best practices of integration continue to drive our investment in Software Lifecycle Integration, where we hope to codify and share these ideas.

Improvements to the RRC connector

As more and more people improve their requirements processes and start adopting tools like IBM RRC, it is clear that requirements can never exist in isolation and that integration is key to delivering software effectively. Requirements tools are great at improving the discipline of requirements, but without linking them to a broader ALM tool stack, the requirements start wrong and just get worse. The key to good requirements is flow and collaboration; flow, meaning that the requirements seamlessly flow between management, the business, development and test, and collaboration, meaning that every stakeholder involved has the ability to comment, discuss and more importantly disagree with the how and why a requirement adds business value.

We at Tasktop are heavily involved in this dialogue and continue to improve our requirements connectors as we understand how this interaction plays out. For example, a key improvement in the 2.7 release is the ability to sync into folders between RRC and HP QC / ALM. For many organizations, a folder is more than a way to group large list of requirements; it actually includes some level of business semantics. By adding this capability, we now can share context across tool boundaries. This is a great example of something that we learned from our customers and partners as we enable better requirements flow and collaboration with Tasktop Sync.