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<h1>Application Lifecycle Framework</h1>
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This Eclipse project proposal (refer to the <a href="/projects/dev_process/">
Eclipse Development Process Document</a>) is posted to declare the intent
and scope of a Technology PMC Project called the Application Lifecycle
Framework project (ALF). In addition,
this proposal is written to solicit additional participation and input from the
Eclipse community. You are invited to comment on and join the project. Please
send all feedback to <a href=""></a>.</p>
<p >An <b> Application Lifecycle</b> is the continuum of activities
required to support an enterprise application from its initial inception
through its deployment and system optimization.&nbsp;&nbsp;
<p > The <b> Application Lifecycle
Management</b> (ALM) integrates and governs the planning, definition, design,
development, testing, deployment, and management phases throughout the
application lifecycle.&nbsp; Currently, the application lifecycle is supported
by numerous heterogeneous, multi-vendor applications which are integrated in a
point-to-point manner.&nbsp; Point-to-point integrations are adequate only for
small numbers of integration endpoints and typically create more complexity in
developing and managing tools than they solve.&nbsp; Given the myriad of
products, tools, and services that are typically integrated to manage an
application change from its inception to fulfillment, the number of
point-to-point integrations drastically increases and
administration and maintenance become complicated for
both customers and vendors alike, with
the risk of error increasing significantly.&nbsp; For example, consider the following
set of tools that are typically integrated across ALM
Requirements Management (e.g., Borland
CaliberRM, Serena RTM, Telelogic DOORS, etc.)</p>
Change &amp; Configuration Management (e.g.,
Rational ClearCase, Serena ChangeMan, etc.)</p>
Version Control (e.g., CVS, etc.)</p>
Application Modeling (e.g., Borland
Together, Rational Rose, , etc.)</p>
Software Development (e.g., Eclipse IDE, IBM WebSphere
Studio, Microsoft Visual Studio, etc.)</p>
Defect Tracking (e.g., Bugzilla, Mantis,
Serena TeamTrack, etc.)</p>
Quality Assurance (Mercury TestDirector, Segue SilkCentral, etc.)</p>
Deployment (e.g., IBM Tivoli, Macrovision
InstallShield, etc.)</p>
Application Security (e.g., CA Netegrity,
Entrust, Secure CodeAssure, etc.)</p>
Project Portfolio Management (e.g., Niku Clarity, etc.)</p>
<p><span style="font-family: Arial">T</span><font face="Arial" size="2"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial">he
number of possible combinations of a set of <i>n</i>
integration points taken 2 at a time is given by </span>
</font><font size="-1" face="Arial"><i>(n!)/(2!(n - 2)!)</i>.
</font>This short list includes 22 products. Even if you
take a smaller subset of a typical cross-product
integrations within ALM involving say 10 products, a
point-to-point integration of these 10 products would involve
45 unique integrations, e.g., Telelogic DOORS &lt;-&gt; Rational
Rose, Telelogic DOORS &lt;-&gt; Mercury TestDirector, Serena ChangeMan &lt;-&gt; Rational Rose, Serena ChangeMan
&lt;-&gt; Mercury TestDirector, etc. This <b>does
not scale.</b>
<h3><b>Motivation for the Eclipse Project</b>
<p>To effectively manage the application change across the
lifecycle, these various product silos and tools need to be integrated.&nbsp;
This introduces a complex technical challenge for both vendors and customers
alike as the point-to-point integration becomes cost prohibitive to develop and
maintain.&nbsp; Vendors know that the creation of any interoperability
framework is an enormous undertaking for any one vendor. &nbsp;In addition,
this complex and difficult work does not provide a competitive advantage for
the vendor's commercial solutions. &nbsp;Furthermore, if developed as a
proprietary component, this framework will not guarantee the necessary level of
interoperability and will push the customers into a single vendor suite of
solutions which is neither technologically practical nor financially feasible
in most cases.
The goal of the ALF
project is to solve this integration problem by
introducing a central negotiator that manages interactions between
applications.&nbsp; This service-oriented event manager provides a very
useful uncoupling function.&nbsp; Using an intermediate communication
format prevents having to integrate an application several times with
several other applications, and simply carries out one integration on
the central node.&nbsp; The central node then carries out communication
with other ALM applications through orchestration of their corresponding
web services.&nbsp;
<p>The ALF Solution consists of three main parts,
namely, ALF Events, Provider Services, and ALF Service
<h3>1.&nbsp; ALF Events and Event Vocabulary
<p class="MsoNormal">The ALF project will create an
event (i.e., signal) vocabulary for initiating the
conversations between tools. The event vocabulary will
cover common concepts (requirement added, new
defect created, relationship created, etc.). The project
deliverable for the event vocabulary is a common set of
WSDL definitions and the associated
specifications/documentation.&nbsp; </p>
<p class="MsoNormal">ALF Committers, organized into subject-matter
sub-groups, will extend the event vocabularies. To provide a
framework that leads to a homogenous and consistent overall model,
ALF will specify the overall style, organization, and constraints.</p>
<p>An Event is a web service message sent from the tool to the ALF
infrastructure.&nbsp; Within ALF, an Event Manager determines which ALF
Service Flows should be invoked.&nbsp; Event handling is based upon a
publish/subscribe model between Events and Service Flows. The Event
Manager dispatches the appropriate ALF Service Flow to start a service
flow instance.&nbsp; Tools
from multiple vendors should emit the same event type thus making the
operation of ALF independent of the particular tool. </p>
<p>The ALF committers will specify the set
of standard Events.&nbsp; Software developers may extend these events
using ALF Designer, an Eclipse-based tool. </p>
<h3>2.&nbsp; Provider Services and Service Vocabulary</h3>
<p>For a tool to participate in the ALF framework, it
needs to expose critical large-grained set of web
services (WSDL contracts) to query and return
information or take actions.
<p class="MsoNormal">The ALF project will create a
common service standard for the conversations between
tools to provide a framework that leads to a homogenous
and consistent overall model.&nbsp; ALF will specify
the overall style, organization, and constraints.</p>
<p class="MsoNormal">ALF Committers, organized into subject-matter
sub-groups, will create the service vocabularies. The service vocabulary
will cover common entities (requirement, defect, etc.).&nbsp; Software
developers may extend these services using ALF Designer, an Eclipse-based
tool. </p>
<h3>3.&nbsp; ALF Service Flows&nbsp;
<div dir="ltr" align="left">
<span class="534253921-05072005">Web Services registered with the
ALF framework can be orchestrated to query information (e.g., get
data, status, etc.) and/or take action (e.g., save data, change
data, etc.) according to the ALF Service Flows defined at
design-time.&nbsp;ALF Service Flow definitions will be written in <span class="headingtext">
OASIS Web Services Business Process Execution Language (BPEL).&nbsp; </span>
The ALF project will provide an example implementation using an
existing BPEL execution engine<span class="headingtext">. It is
anticipated that any specification-conforming BPEL execution engine
will be compatible with ALF.</span><p>For example, using the ALF Events and
Service Flows, upon a &quot;check-in&quot; event, one could automatically
annotate &quot;check-in&quot; messages for the configuration management system
with information from the bug tracking and requirements tracking
systems.&nbsp; To accomplish this, the ALF Event Manager invokes the ALF
Service Flow associated with that event, passing it all the
necessary context.&nbsp; Subsequently, the Service Flow executes the
appropriate providers' web services to query the related information
from the bug tracking and requirements tracking systems and
annotates a check-in messages that is then saved to the
configuration management system.&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></div>
<p>The ALF project packages an extensible and exemplary engine to
execute these rules.</p>
<p><b>ALF Component Map</b></p>
<p>The following diagram depicts the main components of the ALF
framework.&nbsp; The foundation for ALF is the Eclipse platform.&nbsp;
The Eclipse IDE provides the default client environment.&nbsp;
<span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: Arial">For development
managers and others whose primary user interface is not an IDE, we will
use the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP).&nbsp; </span>For creating
user interfaces for the IDE and RCP, ALF expects to leverage Eclipse
frameworks such as the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) and the
Graphical Editor Framework (GEF) for graphical interfaces.&nbsp; For development dashboard reporting,
ALF expects to
leverage the Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) project.&nbsp;
<span style="font-size: 10.0pt; font-family: Arial">ALF will leverage
industry standards and industry frameworks and tools to the maximum
extent possible.&nbsp; </span>Being based on web services, ALF will
rely on a stack of web service standards. The components in the Eclipse
Framework layer may be based on&nbsp;the generic components in the layers
below, but will require additional capabilities or tailoring for ALF.&nbsp;
The Service Provider Interfaces provide an extensibility model for the
execution layer and will include Presentation, Worklist, Relationship
store, and Logging interfaces to name just a few.</p>
<img border="0" src="ALF_Files/ALF_MAP.jpg"></p>
There are many organizations with commercial offerings and technology
within the scope of the project.&nbsp; We will be inclusive and invite
full participation in reviewing, categorizing the incoming requirements
and in prioritizing the requirements. The project will use an iterative
and incremental delivery plan.<p>The ALF project will have a major focus on customer participation. The
project will find a set of initial customers/users/companies that want to
develop tools on top of the framework and that these customers will use their
requirements to help drive the project.&nbsp; These key customers and
technology partners will participate as committers, users and developers. These
organizations and individuals will assist in the architecture, planning,
requirements and testing of ALF.</p>
<b>Potential Committers </b>
<table border="0" width="46%" id="table1">
<td width="166">- Ali Kheirolomoom</td>
<td width="108">Serena </td>
<td>(<a href=""></a>)</td>
<td width="166">- Kevin Parker &nbsp;</td>
<td width="108">Serena </td>
<td width="166">- Brian Carroll</td>
<td width="108">Serena </td>
<td width="166">- Tim Buss </td>
<td width="108">Serena </td>
<td width="166">-
Walter Berli </td>
<td width="108">UBS&nbsp; </td>
<td>(<a href=""></a>)</td>
<td width="166">-
Aniello Bove&nbsp;&nbsp; </td>
<td width="108">UBS&nbsp; </td>
<td width="166">-
Helge Scheil </td>
<td width="108">Niku </td>
<td>(<a href=""></a>)</td>
<td width="166">-
Ernst Ambichl &nbsp;&nbsp;</td>
<td width="108">Segue</td>
<td>(<a href=""></a>)&nbsp;&nbsp;</td>
<td width="166">- Mark Patterson &nbsp;&nbsp;</td>
<td width="108">Secure Software</td>
<td>(<a href=""></a>)</td>
<td width="166">-
<td width="108">Cognizant</td>
<td>(<a href=""></a>)</td>
<td width="166">-
<td width="108">Cognizant</td>
<td width="166">-
Mohana Krishna&nbsp;&nbsp;</td>
<td width="108">Cognizant</td>
<td width="166">- Emeka Obianwu </td>
<td width="108">BuildForge</td>
<td><a href="">(</a></td>
<td width="166">- Richard Landry </td>
<td width="108">BuildForge</td>
<p >Critical to the success of this project is participation of
developers in the Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)
community. We intend to reach out to this community and
enlist the support of those interested in making a success of the Application
Lifecycle Framework project. We also
anticipate that several industry verticals will have an interest and we will
therefore contact these companies and associated standard organizations. In
addition, we ask interested parties to contact the
ALF newsgroup to express
interest in contributing to the project.</p>
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