Towards an application lifecycle management framework
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Information Processing Science
Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland,
|Publish Date:|| 2011-03-22
|Thesis type:||Doctoral Dissertation
|Defence Note:||Academic Dissertation to be presented, with the assent of the Faculty of
Science, University of Oulu, for the public discussion in the
Auditorium L10, Linnanmaa, on April 1st, 2011, at 12 o’clock noon.
One recent effort to support the development and management of products is the concept of Lifecycle Management. Lifecycle Management approaches promise more systematic and efficient ways to support the development and management of complex products. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) means the activity of managing a company’s products across their lifecycles in the most effective way. The concept of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), on the other hand, indicates the coordination of activities and the management of artefacts (e.g., requirements, source code, test cases) during the software (SW) product’s lifecycle. The definition and understanding of both these concepts have been driven by tool vendors. This thesis focuses on ALM and, especially, the development phase of the SW lifecycle.
There are surprisingly few scientific efforts to define what ALM constitutes and scientifically reported experiences of the practical development and deployment of ALM solutions in an industrial context. ALM solutions tend to be complex, integrating different tools and practices that are used to produce and manage artefacts during the SW development lifecycle, and there is therefore an apparent need to support the development of such complex solutions for industrial contexts.
This thesis presents an effort towards an ALM framework that can be used to document and analyse an organisation’s ALM solution and find improvement ideas for it. This effort began in 2006 and iteratively constructed and demonstrated a proposal for an ALM framework during a series of case studies. The current version of the ALM framework contains six principal elements of ALM, a description of the relations between the elements and an ALM element mapping to the Global Software Development (GSD) patterns in order to reveal how ALM may support GSD.
The evolving framework has been demonstrated in four industrial case studies and gradually refined based on the experiences gained from the studies. First, three case studies were carried out in the automation industry and a fourth case study in the telecommunications industry. This thesis presents the four case studies to the reader and explains the whole research process from the initial literature study, via four phases of constructing and demonstrating the evolving ALM framework, to a proposal for an ALM framework. Furthermore, the series of case studies revealed several experiences related to the application and improvement of an ALM solution in an industrial context. These experiences are also presented and discussed in this thesis.