|SourceForge Enterprise Edition 3.5 Addresses Key Offshore Development Challenges; Gives Companies Greater Security, Project Visibility, Team Collaboration, and Best Practices for Global Application Development|
VA Software Corporation (Nasdaq:LNUX), provider of SourceForge Enterprise Edition, and parent company of OSDN, the leading network of media and commerce sites serving IT organizations, today announced the release of a product designed to address key challenges related to offshore application development. SourceForge Enterprise Edition 3.5 incorporates powerful management features to improve visibility and control over multi-site development projects while providing a secure, web-based platform for global team collaboration, coordination, and efficiency. SourceForge 3.5 also includes the SourceForge Collaborative Development Process(TM), a set of collaborative software development best practices and materials that help multi-site teams improve development process maturity and repeatability.
"SourceForge has been instrumental in accelerating some of the largest, geographically distributed development projects in the open source community," said Scott Handy, vice president, worldwide Linux strategy for IBM. "By selecting SourceForge Enterprise Edition, customers who have expressed an interest in geographically distributing their development teams can expect to increase productivity, enhance teamwork, and accelerate software projects for their developer communities worldwide, with the security and management visibility they require."
"Outsourcing application development and moving it offshore is a megatrend. Companies should be moving proactively now to achieve location transparency for their application development -- giving project developers in multiple sites around the world the means to collaborate and communicate regardless of where they're located or who's signing their paycheck," said Theresa Lanowitz, research director for Gartner, Inc. "Just as important, managers should be vigorously pursuing improved governance of offshore or outsourced operations, with the kind of security, visibility and control they would expect if all the work were being performed at headquarters."
According to respondents of Gartner's 2003 application outsourcing user study, the most frequently cited potential drawbacks of offshore delivery are security and privacy, quality issues, language barriers, and unrealized cost savings (see note below). "We've been hearing concerns about security, project governance, and the hidden costs of offshore outsourcing for some time now, and one of the key goals for each new release of SourceForge is to proactively address those concerns," said Ali Jenab, president and CEO, VA Software. "Additionally, continued pressure to reduce costs has increased the emphasis on project governance and process improvement initiatives to optimize globally-sourced development efforts. By bundling the SourceForge Collaborative Development Process materials together with SourceForge 3.5, we're giving customers a common development platform as well as the best practice process guidelines they need to execute more effectively."
SourceForge 3.5 helps secure a company's intellectual property and mitigate risk in a mixed employee-contractor environment. Code, documents, project communications, and more are centralized within a SourceForge instance on a company's server and protected by the company's own firewall. If problems arise with an offshore contractor, company information remains safe in the company's own data center. Within SourceForge, data is secured through sophisticated role-based access controls so that only the projects and project content that the offshore contractor needs to see are visible and accessible. SourceForge also features "gated communities," allowing teams inside and outside the firewall to securely share a single project area and its data.
Team collaboration and coordination features are also included in SourceForge 3.5 to significantly improve team efficiency. The common team workspace provided by SourceForge provides a secure, searchable, and auditable knowledge repository and can be shared by both in-house and contracted team members regardless of their physical location. On top of this repository, SourceForge provides threaded email services, discussion groups, project news, and issue tracking features so distributed team members can work through design challenges quickly, track issues, and synchronize project handoffs.
Both managers and developers involved in distributed development projects will benefit from several newly added features to SourceForge Enterprise Edition. They can now import and export data between SourceForge and Microsoft Project(R), still the most widely used project management tool among U.S. companies, getting automatic updates and freeing themselves from tedious status reporting meetings. They get automatic notification of changes to documents and their approval status without the need for an expensive, dedicated document management system. And they no longer need to go through the effort and expense associated with getting their outsourcers on the exact same version of a software configuration management (SCM) system, since SourceForge can now concurrently support multiple versions of each SCM type.
The Global Development Dashboard available with SourceForge 3.5 puts the real-time status of all project tasks, by user, in front of project managers and provides the CIO with real-time project status and details of staff allocations, both in-house and outsourced, regardless of location. It consolidates worldwide information across all projects hosted by SourceForge, enabling managers to quickly identify and remedy project bottlenecks to make sure projects stay on schedule and within budget.
"Managers get visibility and control over their projects. Developers, both in-house and outsourced, save time and improve quality by having all project information in a single, shared, searchable place with integrated features to collaborate on project issues. And everything is archived and traceable. That's how you get good governance and drive out the hidden costs of offshore outsourcing," said Ali Jenab.
An enduring feature of SourceForge is its ease of use, which increases product adoption and delivers benefits sooner than complicated software products. "With SourceForge, there was zero ramp-up, because it was intuitive for the developers," said Philippe Ciampossin, vice president of engineering, Persist Technologies Corporation, which is currently being acquired by HP. "And when your developers want to use a product, you're just naturally going to get much more benefit from it."
SourceForge Enterprise Edition 3.5 is available now for immediate shipment. Single user pricing starts at $2,725 USD.
(Note: Gartner statistic from "Gartner Management Update: Application Outsourcing Key Trends and Business Drivers (# IGG-080202003))
About VA Software
VA Software (Nasdaq:LNUX) is the provider of SourceForge Enterprise Edition, the web-based application that significantly increases a company's return on its investment in software development. SourceForge improves communication, collaboration, and synchronization amongst multi-site team members and gives managers real-time visibility and control over their projects, regardless of location. SourceForge enables higher developer productivity and faster project completion whether teams are in-house, outsourced, onshore or offshore. Major Fortune 1000 firms and more than 750,000 developers use SourceForge technology to power their global development efforts.
VA Software also owns OSDN, the most dynamic community-driven IT media network on the web. Every level of IT decision maker and buyer, from CIOs and CTOs to project managers and developers, turn to OSDN sites to create, debate, and make or break IT news, tools, technologies and techniques. OSDN is the home of the award-winning news discussion site Slashdot.org; the world's largest collaborative software development site SourceForge.net, Linux.com, and other popular sites.
Note to editors: VA Software and SourceForge are trademarks or registered trademarks of VA Software Corporation in the United States and in other countries. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.
Further information on VA Software is available at www.vasoftware.com.