Polarion Integration Platform
Data has been important to humankind since the very beginning of its existence. From the stories that were transmitted through oral communication, the ancient texts tediously copied by the scribes, to the data stored in our Internet of Things. Luckily, today data is everywhere, it is accessible and we have huge capacities of storing it. Our challenge today is not the lack of data, it is the extreme abundance of data. We need tools to help us navigate this chaos: extract, synthesize, and give us only the data we need.
There is a lot of data in the business world, too. Unfortunately this data often resides on different sources and it’s hard to access the right one. The solution is to use a unified platform. Polarion Software’s unified solution empowers and connects all internal and external stakeholders with the level of information and functionality they need to succeed.
Despite the availability of such a solution, many companies face barriers in adopting it:
- Developers demand autonomy. By adopting the agile practices the teams become self-organized and can choose their preferred tools.
- Managers need to contain cost. Many are reluctant to change, even to a better solution, because of the costs involved in disruption and training, or simply because they are used to their current solution.
- Executives are short-term goal driven. Organizations rarely start with a vision of massive enterprise deployment; instead, they seek to solve specific problems. As a result, they end up with several overlapping solutions rather than a single unified one.
People want to use preferred tools, but not as disparate tools. They want them work together like a single solution... one that lets them work the way they want to and not the way tools impose.
The Polarion Integration Platform was born as an answer to this need to integrate disparate tools to function as one ecosystem. The integration becomes a feature of Polarion’s unified ALM solution.
Our vision is for Polarion to offer you an umbrella solution: a complete ecosystem addressing any software development need, allowing you to give your teams autonomy, contain costs, and achieve your long term goals.
INTEGRATION PLATFORM OVERVIEW
Polarion Integration Platform is a common platform designed to migrate and integrate multiple incompatible disparate ALM applications with Polarion’s unified solution.
Traditionally, integrations connect applications through so called “point-to-point connectors”. Their problem is that the cross-tool communication is difficult because they communicate in pairs only, and the implementation and maintenance are costly because they require development for each pair of tools.
Polarion’s integration platform uses an integration bus to connect the applications.
Because data is managed centrally and not in multiple points, the communication across the applications is easier and more robust. Development and maintenance are faster and easier because you only have to build the connection to the integration bus to get out-of-box access to the other integrated applications. The beauty of this architecture is that you don’t need to care about any other applications that may be integrated on the platform.
As an Integration Platform administrator, you can manage and configure the integrations via a web-based console. As is characteristic of Polarion’s solutions, the administration console is designed with ease of use in mind, enabling less technical users to perform complex enterprise configurations.
To configure an integration you need 3 simple steps:
- Configure the endpoints: add the details about the applications that you want to configure, the servers, and the project.
- Choose what artifact types you want to synchronize. The platform can synchronize any artifact type, standard or custom-defined in the applications.
- Configure the mapping: indicate what fields you want to be synchronized, the direction of synchronization, the transformations and who takes precedence in case of conflict.
The Integration Platform was designed to perform bidirectional and unidirectional synchronizations of any artifact types including critical ones like requirements, user stories, tasks, and defects. This ensures that you can see the same data, no matter what application you use.
- Bidirectional synchronization allows the data to flow in two directions. For example, suppose you have multiple functional teams that are using different tools and you want to enable all of them to modify the data, propagating the changes across all tools.
- Unidirectional synchronization allows the data to flow in only one direction. For example, you have a production and a backup server, and you want to allow changes only on the production server, with the backup server receiving the data as “read-only”.
The major advantage of the Integration Platform is that the synchronization happens in real-time. This ensures that the data remains consistent across all tools. At the same time, the possibility of conflicts is minimized because there is a smaller probability for the same data to be modified at the same time.
However, in case you need it there are also options for scheduling the synchronization of each of the integrated applications and project artifacts at different times.
One of the major advantages of the Polarion Integration Platform is the end to end traceability across multiple tools. The artifact types are synchronized together with their links. Any type of relationship is maintained.
You can see what has been built, track the impact of a decision, or analyze a potential change.
Imagine an artifact that is synchronized across different tools. In point-to-point connections, the same artifact can be modified from different tools that do not know about each other, which can lead to conflicting changes.
With the Integration Platform every modification is communicated centrally and there are conflict resolutions mechanisms that can be configured to resolve the conflicts automatically.
In the real environment, the network might fail, or endpoints might otherwise become unreachable.The Integration Platform has built-in mechanisms for failure management and automatic recovery.
- If the endpoint is down, it keeps the data in the queue until the endpoint is up again, then it re-transmits it.
- In case the platform is stopped for updates or other reasons, it has an auto recovery mechanism in place that allows it to continue to function correctly. No transaction is ever lost or duplicated.
- If for some reason the transactions fails, the Integration Platform notifies the administrator so that the error can be corrected.
CONNECT MORE POLARION SERVERS
The first connector available in the Integration Platform is the Polarion to Polarion connector.
If you are using two or more Polarion servers, you can connect them via the Integration Platform. Here are some scenarios that we received from our customers:
- You have one server for the engineering team where the software is developed and validated, and another server for the product and project management team where the requirements are written and managed. You want to give your engineers access to the requirements, and you want your project managers to see the status of the development.
- You have a project that is outsourced to be developed abroad. You don’t want to give the development team access to your main Polarion server, but you want them to see the requirements they need to implement.
- You are managing customer requests on one Polarion server. The customers have access to this server, they can post questions and they can see the status of their requests. You are using a separate server for the actual development and project management activities. You want your internal team to see what the customers are requesting, but you don’t want your customer to see your internal details.
- You have a public server and a private server. You want to be able to synchronize data between the 2 systems, but you want to keep the private data private.
- You are working with a partner that uses Polarion. You want to synchronize your requirements to the partner and receive the status updates back.
Let’s have a closer look at this use case example:
You have 2 Polarion Servers:
- The first Polarion server for Requirements Management and QA Management. Let’s call it “Polarion REQ-QA”
- The second server is for development. Let’s call it “Polarion DEV”.
You want to synchronize the User Stories and Defects to the development server so that the development team knows what to implement, and the status of the User Stories and Defects to the requirements server so that the Product and QA teams can monitor the status of the implementation.