I noticed that last week we posted a new David Chappell whitepaper - “Application Lifecycle Management”.   I read all of David’s papers because I find that he has an incredible talent for clarifying and simplifying concepts in our industry.  ALM is a term that I have been hearing increasingly in discussions with our customers and partners and in the media. 

The Wikipedia definition reports that ALM is the marriage of business management and software development.  The “ALM Lifecycle Management” whitepaper takes a much broader view than most of the industry.  It proposes that ALM encompasses the entire lifespan of an application, not merely the software development lifecycle.  ALM includes the entire time that the organization is spending money on the application. 

I have seen this pattern over and over again in our industry.  Tools that support ALM are not new, but I think that the term ALM is.  Of course  tools supporting SDLC activities have been around for many years.  But there is a certain buzz that is happening with ALM these days. The big analysis firms are now evaluating ALM tools.  You can read Gartner’s report online.  

With any new category there is often some early confusion about the category definition. I think that David’s approach is by far the most comprehensive because it includes not just SDLC activities, but also governance and operations management.  This paper is well worth taking a few minutes to read.