The software needs of the aerospace and defense industry are constantly growing in complexity, which requires aerospace and defense companies to implement effective solutions that make it possible for everyone involved in developing, testing, and deploying software applications to stay on top of the various processes.
Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tool suits occupy a special place among the available solutions because they define how a software application is managed from conception, through its creation and deployment, to its eventual retirement.
What Is ALM Software?
The purpose of ALM software is to create a collaborative environment in which software applications can be efficiently developed. ALM software encompasses requirements management, computer programming, testing, change management, continuous integration, and release management, among other things.
It reflects the fact that application lifecycle is becoming faster and more complex with the advent of agile development methodologies. Teams now need tools to help them quickly and smoothly transform ideas into finished products and maintain traceability, visibility, and stability even beyond deployment.
As such, it can be said that ALM software assumes a broader perspective than the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), which involves several distinct stages and ends with deployment. According to David Chappell, the Principal of Chappell & Associates, “Like a human life, an application’s lifecycle is demarcated by significant events,” and deployment is certainly not the last of them.
Main Features of ALM Software
Because the term ALM is broad and encompasses many disciplines, various ALM software solutions can provide very different functionality. However, all ALM software solutions possess tools for requirements management, software development, and testing, provide team collaboration and release management features, and handle governance and maintenance.
Thanks to these and other features, ALM software solutions streamline the development process, help improve software quality and lower costs, reduce time to market, bring clarity into complex processes, and enhance compliance audits, which is especially important in safety-critical industries such as aerospace and defense.
How to Select ALM Software the Aerospace and Defense Industry
From new advances in propulsion to human machine interfaces to artificial intelligence, aerospace and defense products are becoming more complex. Aerospace and defense companies need sophisticated solutions to help them manage this changing landscape and deliver reliable and well-thought-out software products while remaining profitable.
With the right ALM solution, it becomes much easier to overcome the numerous unique challenges of the aerospace and defense industry, which stem largely from rigorous safety standards mandatory for all software in airborne systems, stringent delivery deadlines, and high cost of inefficient requirement management and project cancellation. Not all ALM solutions can meet the requirements of the aerospace and defense industry, so it’s important to focus on those that are developed with the needs of aerospace and defense companies in mind.
Top 20 Best ALM Software for Aerospace & Defense
The best ALM software currently available provides greater overall visibility to improve project management and ensure successful project completion. Many excellent options are currently available, each offering a different assortment of features and capabilities at a specific price-point.
Thanks to its support for various international standards, such as DO178/C (Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification), and the unique ability to accommodate different teams, cultures, and existing ALM environments, Visure is one of the most desired ALM software solutions for companies in the aerospace and defense industry. Visure excels at requirements management, making it easy to manage all requirement-related information, their relationships and their interactions with the users. From requirements capture to their analysis, specification, validation, verification, traceability, management, and reuse, Visure provides integral support to the complete requirement process. Visure is customizable and collaborative, designed to help users focus on what they should be doing while providing them with all the information and support they need to get the job done.
JIRA is one of the most popular ALM software solutions used by agile teams, helping users create stories, track issues, plan sprints, distribute tasks, prioritize work, ship with confidence, and improve team performance based on real-time, visual data. JIRA respects the fact that each and every team has a unique process by equipping teams with the tools they need to create customized workflows that match their needs and preferences. Being a mature ALM software solution, JIRA integrates with a whole host of developer tools, making it possible to, for example, transform product requirements in Confluence into a Jira backlog or automatically update issues and transitions work when code is committed in Bitbucket.
Kovair ALM Studio is an integrated ALM software solution that offers holistic capabilities to all phases of ALM, including project management, requirements management, development, and testing & quality assurance. Kovair ALM Studio integrates with more than 90 tools from different vendors, provides real-time reports and dashboards for easy view of metrics across all application lifecycle phases and tools, and features a centralized web-based interface for all ALM phases. These and other capabilities provide a broad range of immediate business benefits, ranging from increased productivity to improved quality to regulatory compliance. A live product demo with the assistance of Kovair ALM Studio product engineers is available upon request.
Tuleap describes itself as an industry-proof open-source ALM software solution that blends agile management and DevOps in one integrated tool to accelerate the delivery of quality, customer-focused software solutions. Used by Airbus and Sodern, a subsidiary of a European leader in access to space called ArianeGroup, and many other organizations of all sizes, from various industries, Tuleap provides end-to-end traceability ranging from the initial idea to the final delivery with its broad range of highly-customizable tools that enable achieve industry compliance when planning, tracking, coding, and collaborating on complex software projects.
Microsoft Azure DevOps Server is a set of collaborative software development tools, hosted on-premises, that perfectly compliment and integrate with existing ALM environments, enabling your cross-functional team to work effectively on projects of all sizes. The capabilities of Microsoft Azure DevOps Server include version control, reporting, requirements management, project management, automated builds, lab management, testing, and release management, just to name a few. Microsoft Azure DevOps Server is tailored for Microsoft Visual Studio and Eclipse, but it can be used as a back-end to numerous integrated development environments.
Microfocus ALM provides teams with a well-defined structure, helping deliver new applications at the speed of business. With its requirements management features, it’s possible to define, manage, and track requirements through every step of the entire software development lifecycle. Making the right decisions becomes easy with real-time insights into who is working on what, when, where, and why. Cross-project reporting and preconfigured business views provide the big picture as well as the ability to drill down into individual projects and view requirements coverage with views available to be configured on the fly.
7. Helix ALM
Helix ALM helps development teams ship quality products faster and with less risk with its modules dedicated to requirements management (Helix RM), test case management (Helix TCM), and issue management (Helix IM), delivering unparalleled traceability across industries. The latest version of Helix ALM is able to download matrix, distribution, list, and trend reports to Microsoft Excel, and it comes with an enhanced version of the Helix ALM Web client, which now enables users to capture and attach screenshots directly from Helix ALM when working with an item, just to name one of the many new features that are now available to Helix ALM users.
Target Process is a visual ALM software solution that integrates with over 60 applications natively and via the Integration Hub. Examples of native integrations include GitLab, GitHub, Bitbucket, Microsoft Project Server, Jenkins, JIRA, VersionOne, Blueprint, IBM Rational Quality Manager, Ansible, Puppet, or Salt. Target Process is available on Android and iOS devices, allowing users to handle work on the go and track progress, memorize ideas, and resolve incoming queries right from their mobile devices. This ALM software solution was recognized in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools and included in Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools.
Named after the historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Asia and European world and intended for high-reliability software, Silkroad provides interlinking routes for various legacy management systems such as requirement tools, design tools, configuration management tools, and test tools to help developers with developing highly reliable software. As such, it solves the four issues common to most development organizations today, which are the lack of visibility into project status, ineffective team communication, balancing business demands with project risks, and unpredictable delivery times and quality.
SwiftALM is a highly innovative ALM software solution that uses artificial intelligence to drive enterprise agility and fuel digital transformation. It comes with a unique combination of features to manage and deliver a wide range of traditional and agile projects across industries, such as Planning and Execution Boards, among other features. Despite utilizing cutting-edge technology, SwiftALM is among the most intuitive and accessible ALM software solutions on the market, and customers who have implemented it have seen significant ROI in terms of employee productivity and efficiency, organizational learning, and reduced time to market.
11. CodeBeamer ALM
CodeBeamer ALM is A great development platform for safety-critical product innovators. Companies operating in the Aerospace & Defense but also automotive, medical technology, and pharmaceutical industries use this solution to accelerate and simplify the delivery of regulated products. CodeBeamer ALM supports multiple development environments such as (Waterfall, Agile, Hybrid, or scaled Agile) and provides good collaboration capabilities for organizations of all sizes. A preconfigured template is available for DO-178C and DO-254 compliance.
15. Rocket Aldon
16. ALM Complete
18. Rommana ALM
19. Polarion ALM
20. IBM Rational ALM
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