We have all seen the nice circular diagrams of a DevOps methodology for application lifecycle management (ALM) like the one above. We interject some automation, make the two halves work closer together, get some feedback loops going and go as fast as we can. But lets look at those first two steps in the diagram, the ones labeled consult and design. What and how do we accomplish this? There is a company called iRise that has built a great business by allowing for rapidly visualizing and defining requirements for building applications. It is high time we recognize this as the important piece of the puzzle that it is.
I recently had a chance to meet with some of the executive team of iRise while I was in London for the CD Summit. The premise of iRise is so simple I was thinking to myself, “why hasn’t anyone else thought of this?” If the old adage of crap in is crap out is true, why wouldn’t we take the time to define and plan our software better early on? I know everyone thinks they do, but do they really? Do we quickly visualize to help define the requirements and to help the team buy in and sign off? If it is set up right to begin with, it flows a lot faster later.
Now the folks at Tasktop creators of the Eclipse Mylyn open source tool have teamed with iRise to OEM iRise into the Tasktop Software Lifecycle Integration system. In speaking with Stephen Brickley, EVP of iRise, he thinks this partnership will be a key factor in bringing iRise into the mainstream DevOps tools market.
iRise’s customers, like software departments everywhere are adopting new ways of developing and operating software. New times and new ways don’t mean that you throw out what works though. To me it is a no brainer. If you have a tool that lets you quickly visualize, prototype and communicate to the rest of the team before investing a lot of effort into development, it really has to help. It is the ultimate shift left.
I guess the issue is how quickly can you do this without adding extra steps to the development process. From what I saw of iRise it makes it really easy and fast. Of course I would be interested to hear from anyone who has used iRise or even a similar tool on your own experience. But if it all is as it seems, I would expect iRise to be a welcome addition to the DevOps toolbox.
What do you think? What tool do you use for this now or do you just skip this in planning and initial requirements? We are always on the lookout for new tools to report on at DevOps.com, but ultimately we depend on our readers to tell us what is really useful or not. So let us know.