An interesting feature in our most recent release of Tasktop Sync, which we announced on July 28th is the extension of our linking functionality to better support the native “rich hover” capabilities for IBM tools like RTC and DOORS Next Gen. This features allows you to specify a link as an Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC)-based link, which then combined with Tasktop Sync acting as a OSLC provider enables OSLC compliant tools to provide cool features like rich hover, delegated dialogs, and suspect links when supported. OSLC, an open standard provided by OASIS, is a specification for integrating software applications via a linked data model. Although not widely adopted by Agile and DevOps vendors, OSLC has been widely adopted in the IBM Rational products. With this extended support for linking in this release we now enable OSLC compliant tools like the IBM Suite to use OSLC links on tools that are not OSLC compliant. This greatly increases the OSLC ecosystem, and provides a foundation for tools to take advantage of OSLC without expecting tools to have an OSLC service. The video below shows an example of using Tasktop Syncs rich hover capability to view HP ALM artifacts from IBM RTC even though HP ALM doesnt have an OSLC interface.
The exciting news with this release is that you can now take advantage of the rich hover capabilities in Rational Team Concert, DOORS Next Gen, and Rational ClearQuest to view artifacts from the many of the tools Tasktop Sync supports integrations including Atlassian JIRA, BMC Remedy, HP ALM, IBM Rational Requisite Pro, Microsoft Team Foundation Server, Rally, Serena Business Manager, and others. At Tasktop, we often live in the world of automation and process improvement which frankly generates massive ROI (a recent customer analysis showed that Tasktop Sync paid for itself in 9 business days) but isnt the most sexy demo. For a behind the scenes Software Lifecycle Integration vendor like Tasktop, any time I can show off a cool demo, I get excited, and rich hovers allows me to show off a cool demo.
The following screenshots show another example. Via Tasktop Sync, IBM DOORS Next Gen users can now see the status of a linked HP ALM test. With this feature, you don’t have to switch back and forth between tools, or try to figure out how to synchronize HP ALM tests into DOORS Next Gen.
Tasktop has been working with OSLC from its very inception and with this release, continues to demonstrate our support for open standards. We co-authored the original specification with IBM and continue to work on the OSLC core technical committee. Our Chief Product Officer Dave West is currently part of the OSLC Steering Committee. OSLC provides a set of open standards for connecting lifecycle tools to enable cross team traceability and collaboration. Based on the W3C linked data specification, OSLC enables links to be established across tools, repositories and projects. Those links include semantic information that allows the consuming tool to access not only the data, but also what that data means. For a detailed description of how OSLC, combined with other integration techniques, can solve real customer problems, check out this blog.