How to streamline the engineering lifecycle across tool silos

By SodiusWillert | 3/02/2021 | Reading time: 6 min

There is hardly a technical device today which does not come with software-enabled capabilities to enhance the user experience. As those capabilities become increasingly advanced, the challenges for the software and systems engineering teams can become overwhelming. Long gone are the times when compiler, linker, loader, and debugger were considered an adequate and sufficient tooling environment.

Today engineering teams are used to working with sophisticated tools that offer optimized support for the specific tasks of their disciplines – requirements engineers may find IBM DOORS most useful, project managers will often work with Atlassian Jira, quality experts may rely on IBM Engineering Test Management, and there are many more well-established management-tools helping engineers perform their tasks.

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Why should we break silos?

While specialized tools are indispensable for teams delivering complex software and systems engineering solutions, it can become challenging to ensure that all project team members are on the same page.

Seamless interworking along the lifecycle, collaboration across disciplines, and not being restricted by silos in the organization demand well-integrated solutions.

The issue with data synchronization solutions

Point-to-point solutions have been the first choice for a while, but the issues related to that approach are obvious. Looking at just two different tools, it may appear simple to implement some sort of “conversion and synchronization” mechanism that would create compatibility of assets shared between those tools. However, the downside effects of point-to-point synchronization are:

  1. Conversion and synchronization ALWAYS MEAN DUPLICATION of assets. No matter if that is done regularly following a pre-defined schedule or invoked manually, the risk of assets diverging into different variants is high. As an example, the test engineer tasked with verification of a specific requirement can never be sure that he or she is looking at the latest version of that requirement.
  2. Tasks requiring transactions across both tools (e.g. reporting) can only be accomplished manually, and in most cases are cumbersome, time-consuming, and considered annoying overhead by engineers.
  3. And now imagine (1) and (2) in an environment with more than two tools. Either the error rate or the overhead work will most likely get out of control.

Read blog: Why is linking more valuable than synchronization?

Integrating the engineering lifecycle with OSLC

What if there was a hassle-free platform type of integration for multiple tools, eliminating all these challenges? A solution where all team members along the lifecycle have access to the original unique artifact, being displayed in their preferred and familiar tool of choice?

This is exactly what OSLC Connect for Jira delivers by enabling Jira to leverage the OSLC standard and all tools working compatibly with OSLC.

OSLC Connect for Jira streamlines the engineering lifecycle

Connect your Atlassian Jira to the OSLC platform and all OSLC compliant engineering tools and enjoy the advantages of a native, standard-based integration across tool silos and along the engineering lifecycle. Managing project work, including tracking of requirements, test cases, or defect management– all the artifacts are accessible from Jira, no matter to which tool repository they belong.

Engineers are always looking at and working with the original unique assets. This system-integration does not work with data type conversions and copies. Linking does the trick.

The solution follows the linked data concept. It is based on establishing links to lifecycle artifacts, and those links are providing direct access to an asset from any tool that supports the OSLC standard.

Key integrations include:

Using OSLC Connect for Jira to break tool silos

Once implemented, engineers will experience the solution as an organic extension of their Jira platform. OSLC Connect for Jira preserves the typical Jira experience regarding user interface, workflow, look & feel. Users will see native links in Jira, as well as native configuration and administration. The solution is compatible with other Jira plugins and provides full support for JQL queries.

Read blog: Why is linking more valuable than synchronization?

Engineers working with any of the IBM tools mentioned above will experience the same: access to Jira assets from their favorite tool environment feels like a seamless functional extension to the well-known and familiar user interface.  They can:

  • Relate to project assets in Jira as native artifacts,
  • Use standard dialogs,
  • Work with global configurations and,
  • Create enterprise reports across IBM and Atlassian assets and correlations.

By connecting Jira and your engineering lifecycle tools using the OSLC standard, your project teams will be able to act with confidence that any and all team members have instant access to the same up-to-date assets from within their favorite, well-known tool environment.

As an example:

  • Your requirements engineer working in IBM DOORS can access a Jira ticket linked to a specific requirement from within DOORS, without leaving his familiar working environment.
  • our change management specialist will be able to access requirements and create links to additional requirements directly from Jira.

If a requirement needs to be changed, those changes will be immediately visible to all team members accessing that requirement. After saving the edited assets, no other process step is required. Only the updated version will exist from thereon.

There is only one single source of the truth, no matter in which repository a specific asset is maintained.

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Get your tools to collaborate, hassle-free!

OSLC Connect for Jira links systems and software engineering tools for teams developing highly complex and regulated products.

Users can link, access, and report live data respecting the software development lifecycle, requirements of the product lifecycle, meeting regulatory approvals, and providing proof of compliance. Achieve complete traceability with a solution trusted for ease of use, reliability, and fast-adoption support by industry leaders.

To learn more, check out our OSLC Connect for Jira solution here, watch our recorded webinars, or just get in touch with our experts to start your trial on Atlassian Marketplace!

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OSLC Connect for Jira leverages Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC) technology to collaboratively allow linking across design and implementation teams and better manage requirements and compliance.