VA Software Unwraps SourceForge 3.3

VA Software took the wraps off a new version of its
SourceForge Enterprise Edition “Development Intelligence” application
Tuesday, furthering its aim to help companies take the SourceForge.net development framework
behind the corporate firewall.


SourceForge Enterprise Edition is an integrated Web-based application that
combines software development tools with metrics tools that can track,
measure and report on software project activity in real-time. It brings
together development, collaboration and management tools to help
organizations create a central repository for all of their software
development information and activity.

The SourceForge Enterprise Edition was born at the request of companies
like Hewlett-Packard and Goldman Sachs, which wanted to use the
SourceForge.net development style, but more securely behind the firewall.


The enterprise edition adds tools specifically for the corporate
development environment, and is intended to integrate smoothly with more
point-based development products like IBM’s WebSphere Studio or Borland’s
JBuilder.


With the latest version, SourceForge Enterprise Edition 3.3, VA Software
has added integration with Merant’s PVCS Version Manager. The application
already supports other software configuration management (SCM) tools like
Rational, ClearCase and CVS and can tie in with Oracle and DB2 on the
back-end. Additionally, SourceForge 3.3 has debuted “gated communities,”
which use role-based access capabilities to give outsourced development
contractors, partners and customers limited and restricted access to
certain information or projects.


All users are assigned ‘roles’ which are associated with particular
projects or information areas. The only information that users are allowed
to see — let alone access — is specified by the role.


“Users can only see and access that which they are given permission to
access,” said Colin Bodell, senior vice president of product development at
VA Software. “Confidential things are not even there.”


Other new features include webDAV integration, allowing project staff to
publish project Web pages and other content directly through SourceForge;
LDAP integration, providing an authentication mechanism for organizations
that don’t already have one (the application can also integrate seamlessly
with third-party or home-grown authentication systems); and improved issue
tracking.


“We’ve really been expanding and extending SourceForge to make it suitable
for use behind the corporate firewall,” Bodell said. “Once SourceForge goes
in, people can’t do without it. It’s got all of the tools necessary for the
software development lifecycle.”

The new issue tracking tools allow users to view and track relationships
and dependencies across issues. For example, project requirements, bug
reports and enhancement requests can all be linked with other information
managed by SourceForge tools, including documents and task assignments. A
tracker power search functionality has been added to the mix to make
finding key information easier.


“Everything is connected to everything,” Bodell said. “If I raise a bug
report in our tracker, you can associate all of the dialogue about the
bug — link to documents in the document manager, forums, anything held
within SourceForge can be linked to that artifact tracker.”


Bodell explained that VA Software created the product with the
understanding that most companies don’t want to rip-and-replace their
entire development infrastructure.


“We’ll go in with a set of integrated tools and tidy up their processes.
Where they’ve got incumbent technologies, we don’t try to replace it. We’ll
just integrate with those technologies,” he said.


He added, ” The reality of today’s software development teams is that they
tend to be geographically dispersed, follow different processes, and use
different tools that typically are not integrated. This leads to
significant inefficiencies, cost overruns and delayed projects. SourceForge
integrates with an organization’s existing tools, while providing a
comprehensive set of tools and resources to fill in any capability gaps.”


SourceForge is priced on a per-seat basis at $2,725 per seat, plus 20
percent for annual maintenance, which includes support and software
upgrades.

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