I don't normally spend too much time on application development topics, but CA has a bit of interesting SaaS-related news coming out of Dreamforce today that I thought was worth noting. And when an event bills itself as The Cloud Computing Event of the Year, I guess it's something I should at least mention.
Despite salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff’s marathon keynote on Wednesday, he – and the crowds – were back for more today (albeit a bit behind schedule). That’s where CA CEO John Swainson joined him onstage to call cloud computing the “most profound change” he’s seen in computing in his 33 years in the business. They also announced a partnership between salesforce.com and CA and a nifty new CA SaaS application built on Force.com before Marc handed John a celebratory birthday bottle of Bordeaux (more on that below).
The product John showed off onstage is CA Agile Planner, a SaaS application for planning, tracking, and managing agile software development projects. Those familiar with the how the agile development approach goes can probably pretty quickly pick up on its usefulness in managing backlogs, sprints, and burn-downs. It can be used standalone or in concert with CA’s Clarity PPM tool (something that can give you visibility and control over all of your organization’s development projects, agile or otherwise).
One of the “big guys” begins to use Force.com, plus collaboration with salesforce.com
CA is one of the first (and I’m guessing the largest) major software vendors to develop apps on Force.com. (See, there are some big guys building apps on Force.com.) Benioff highlighted a number of other apps using Force.com onstage at Dreamforce today as well, but only Swainson went home with a bottle of 1954 Chateau d'Yquem Sauternes.
Why the wine? (Other than to say happy 55th birthday, of course.) Maybe it was to highlight a bit of teamwork that's gone on: CA developed the Agile Planner product in collaboration with salesforce.com itself. The CA product team used salesforce.com’s expertise and best practices from their own transition to agile development for the first version.
A community for feedback
That’s all good, and CA is taking that real-world influence a step further, creating something called the CA Agile Community to go with this product. It’s an on-line community of agile development practitioners who can help shape the feature roadmap for CA Agile Planner. Anyone can join, and folks can share ideas for what should be in the product, vote on things others have suggested, and have discussions with others interested in the agile approach.
The community feedback aspect will mean direct input from users and experts can have direct impact on the product. Unlike a lot of what’s been available on salesforce.com’s platform to date, this gives enterprise-level visibility, but with the easy-to-get-started attributes that come from being on the Force.com platform. A nice combo.
If you want to take a look, you can swing by the CA booth at Dreamforce or go to www.ca.com/agile. The press release on the partnership and the rest of the details of today’s announcement are here.
Now, if we could incorporate a way to vote on when Benioff should give attendees a mid-keynote bio break, I think everyone would be happy.