SAP had its first significant life-cycle partnership a couple years ago with HP providing a more robust set of tools for managing testing activities to beef up their own capabilities. Now with that relationship well established they are extending to support additional companies. Coming next quarter will be tools that integrate between SAP’s Solution Manager and IBM’s Rational Tools for ALM. While SAP has evolved Solution Manager to be an overall ALM suite they recognize that solution alone won’t meet the needs of all users. Like ALM in general this plays a common theme we have seen recently: while a vendor may sell a “complete” solution they are recognizing a need to fit into a more heterogeneous world and thus need to integrate with “competitive” solutions. Thus in this case as SAP looked at their largest companies who are shifting to single instance deployments, have applications with a large amount of external integration and customization they see the need to support a broader development world. The initial tooling with IBM is around requirements management, quality management and change management via Requisite Pro, RQM and Clear Quest. IBM itself is using the tooling as it works to simplify its own use of SAP. The basic working model is that Solution Manager is used for BluePrinting and configuration and use Rational for test planning and execution. Nothing earth shattering but slowly tools are starting to think and work across large projects and implementations and vendors while they want all your money, are recognizing the needs to coexist.
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