Introduction to DevOps Collaboration Tools:

There are DevOps tools that help you really good during your Requirements Gathering, Development, Testing or even during Deployment but apart from these some tools are essential through which team members (either from the same location or if they are spread across the globe) can communicate and also collaborate. These tools are required for your team members to communicate effectively and efficiently, share work, keep up with the tight schedules and also to track the progress of the scheduled tasks.

The difficulty in collaboration might grow exponentially when you try to bring both the development team and operations team together. Fortunately, there are enough options available in the market that the Managers can choose from. Having said that, we will take a closer look into the top 10 of these tools which help Organizations implementing DevOps. There are a number of advantages for these tools but the important aspect is that they should satisfy your requirements. 

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Types of Collaboration DevOps Tools:

Each of these Collaboration DevOps tools has its own uses, advantages, implementations, and drawbacks. It is for sure that these might not fit in every other Organization but you should study these tools and then you can select the tool. Let us go through all these:

Related Page: Introduction to DevOps Tools

10 Tools For Effective DevOps Collaboration

1. Rational DOORS Next Generation (DNG):

IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation, formerly known as Telelogic DOORS can be categorised as a Requirements Management tool that helps to optimize communication, collaboration and also verification of requirements. It captures the requirements first and then keeps track of all the changes in requirements complying with all the regulations and standards. The Project scope management can be easily improved with the use of DOORS Next Generation.

Following are some of the advantages of using IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages:

  • It enhances your satisfaction as you can come to a conclusion regarding the requirements of software development.
  • Compliance management towards all the regulations and standards of Requirements gathering process
  • Engineering efficiency can be improved further by providing a seamless user experience and design standards.
  • With the advancement in cloud, you can reduce the time for carrying out tasks. 
  • Provides its support for all domains of the requirement (be it Agile, Lean, SAFe, Continuous engineering or DevOps).

2. Rational Team Concert (RTC):

IBM’s Rational Team Concert (RTC) is a perfect tool that manages the capabilities like planning tasks, projects, statuses and also collaborative change management. Flexibility towards process adaptation is one of the best traits that RTC provides for organizations’ to decide on their release cycles and dependencies. If this tool is purchased in conjunction with the other tools from IBM as a suite, then it becomes a complete Collaborative Lifecycle Management solution with IBM Rational Team Concert, IBM Rational Quality Manager, and IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation. This solution is available on-premise and also on the cloud.

Following are some of the advantages of using IBM Rational Team Concert, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages:

  • Rational Team Concert (RTC) is configurable and hence can be configured to match your own processes
  • Another major advantage in using RTC is it acts as a Rational Requirements Composer (for Requirements gathering) and also Rational Quality Manager (for software testing).
  • The other advantages of RTC are task tracking, source code control and also agile sprints planning

3. Bitbucket Server:

Atlassian’s offering in the form of Bitbucket Server is a combination of GIT server and web interface product. It is usually a web-based hosting solution that is targeted for projects which use either Mercurial or GIT version control systems. This tool is specifically developed for the professional teams, as it not just enables users to code but also to manage and collaborate on GIT projects.

Following are some of the advantages of using Bitbucket Server, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages:

  • BitBucket provides a disseminated control system that eases the collaboration among the users and also enables massive scaling. 
  • BitBucket also boasts of providing unlimited private and public repositories.
  • BitBucket also provides granular permissions and hence the Workflow feature of it is pretty secure
  • Provides a provision to integrate with the leading business applications like Bamboo, JIRA, and HipChat. This also helps the users to work efficiently and productively.

4. Pivotal Tracker:

Pivotal Tracker, a Software as a Service (SaaS) product that is targeted towards Agile Project Management and also for Collaboration. It is a user-friendly, story-based Project Management application that is suitable for the Agile projects for software development teams to work together. It is built based on the proven Agile methods, which is derived from experience on thousands of large-scale commercial software development projects.

Pivotal Tracker provides similar access to everyone and as well as provides the real-time updates of the projects to everyone, through which we can proceed in the right direction. All details of the project can easily be accessed and shared with others, allowing the developers to concentrate on what’s required for them rather than creating unnecessary reports about their work in actual.

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Following are some of the advantages of using Pivotal Tracker, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages:

  • As its tagline suggests, Pivotal Tracker is designed to help companies in developing better software quickly by simplifying the collaboration process and helping teams to easily identify priorities.
  • Total control over their projects via absolute visibility.
  • Clear and effective lines of communications that help team members share their concerns and documents of any type to other members, either specifically or generally.
  • Streamlined workflows that are optimized for efficient, integrated story estimating, and adopting and implementing agile processes.

5. Atlassian Confluence:

Confluence, an offering from Atlassian, is a Content and Team Collaboration software that provides a new method for modern teams to work together.  Through this tool, You can create, share and even collaborate on projects. You can easily publish and organize company information at a central location. This can even be used to increase and also to share the knowledge that colleagues have on the processes that they work on.

Following are some of the advantages of using Confluence, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages:

  • As described earlier, Confluence is a content-based platform that helps teams to create and share knowledge amongst coworkers which is very much required for the necessary work to be done at a quicker pace.
  • Confluence is a wonderful place to create/organize rich content using the projects from JIRA. You can organize your Meeting notes, Project plans, Requirement documents, Concept notes, discussions, Release notes, Project roadmaps, etc.
  • Atlassian provides an SSO feature so that you can access your JIRA content in Confluence, thereby giving the right picture of your development processes to the stakeholders.
  • You will be able to manage each version and you can also handle each change that your teammate makes on a specific Confluence page
  • You will be able to control the access to content by providing granular permissions to your pages.

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6. Atlassian JIRA:

JIRA from Atlassian is a great Project Management software and at the same time, it can also be a very strong Collaboration tool that can be used in an Organization. It is a software tool designed uniquely to capture, assign and prioritize tasks for the enhancement of the Project execution. It has one of the simple and intuitive interfaces that helps anyone with almost no knowledge to gain a grip over it in no time.

JIRA is the most trusted tool that is used in the areas of Collaboration and also Project Management from the likes of Spotify, eBay, Cisco and LinkedIn. It can simply be used to plan, track and assign tasks for better sprints and further we can release new versions. That being said, JIRA also offers real-time visual data reports to boost team performance.

Following are some of the advantages of using JIRA, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages:

  • It is the best Project Management tool that is equipped with a plethora of unique features and functionalities.

  • JIRA, an agile system that can fit in any of the niches or industries has evolved itself as a highly configurable and customizable product over the past few years. With its rich set of features, and also the adoption of Agile, Scrum, Kanban and the hybrid models – any project implementation can be launched LIVE with it.

  • JIRA is an active source of all your Project Management related queries and can also act as a regulatory evidence at every stage of the whole process. JIRA provides the big picture to all the members of the team, hence everyone has a fair idea about their responsibilities and ensures that these are performed in time for a successful implementation of the Project all by itself.

  • As JIRA has all the necessary details from your Organization, you can make use of the available out of the box templates to perform the read analysis, statistical investigations and also to prepare constructive reports for your own Organization’s reporting hierarchy.

  • Provision of JQL (JIRA Query Language) will make JIRA no longer a ticketing system but also a data hub and with the integration of JIRA and BitBucket, GitHub – it also enables you to provide backlog to deployment traceability.

  • The deployment options are pretty flexible and based on the needs of the Organization, you can go from On-Premise to On Demand in a jiffy.

  • Its connectivity is totally unparalleled as it provides REST and Java APIs for custom implementations and provides a huge set of readymade applications in its Marketplace.

  • Provision of mobile applications via Android and iOS, which are as strong as the desktop version is the on-premise versions of the system.

7. Micro Focus Project and Portfolio Management:

Micro Focus' innovative Project and Portfolio Management solution is targeted to help executives to overcome their challenges in providing the most critical information in real-time which helps PMO to take the right decision. It provides a robust Work breakdown structure (WBS), but for those individuals who still prefer to use Microsoft Project as a WBS tool, the tool has refreshed PPM-MSP integration. Now Project and Portfolio Management can read MSP files directly without any need for any additional plug-in. The key objective in doing all of this is to bring the projects and the program information together under a single umbrella.

Following are some of the advantages of using Micro Focus Project and Portfolio Management, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages:

  • Ensures focus on what matters, hence robust data insight is achieved.
  • Provides a provision to take advantage of the “what-if” scenarios to determine the mix of deliverables versus investments.
  • Provides out of the box integration with the leading agile tools like ALM Octane, Agile Manager, CA Rally, Atlassian JIRA, etc.
  • Let's manage your program and project requests efficiently, providing a perfect understanding of the possible risks and resource spills for Project completion/success.
  • Provides a flexible workflow that enables process automation throughout with the help of integrated modules.
  • It offers a lot of innovative integrations and also provides an Open API to enable data transfers from other applications.

Related Page: What is DevOps Automation?

8. Microsoft Teams:

It is basically a chat-based workspace for Office 365, which lets colleagues of an Organization keep in touch with each other and build the necessary collaboration and relationships as required. Teams have a unique feature of maintaining private group and channel-based conversations amongst their colleagues to keep up with the privacy, the security of the information intact. The project team members or the colleagues can go back and also take a look at these conversations as the Project progresses forward.

Following are some of the advantages of using Microsoft Teams, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages:

  • Communication with the collaborating members in real-time, the experience cannot be beaten by the others.
  • Provides a customizable workspace as every team is different – an example of this can be provided as the communication from Twitter being received on Teams for the Sales teams in your Office
  • Since the collaboration here on Teams is chat-based, it ensures that all the participants are on the same page rather than split conversations over emails or the other mediums of communication/collaboration.
  • Microsoft Teams has a wonderful integration with applications like Office 365, Skype for audio and visual calls.
  • Microsoft Teams comes from the operational side of the DevOps implementation in an organization and the powerful backing that makes it the best choice for a Collaboration DevOps tool implementation in any given Organization.
  • Teams provide support to over 18 languages as of now and this is going to increase in future.

9. Slack:

Be it the development space or in social gatherings, it is the poster child for all the modern-day collaboration and also the group chat functionality provided by the tool Slack itself. The “freemium” business model has made it pretty familiar to most of the users even before they encounter this in a business setting. One of the main driving forces that any Organization would love to have is transparency and also a great foundation for any development team to collaborate in.

Following are some of the advantages of using Slack, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages:

  • Teams can organize communications via various channels for groups and individuals
  • They can send direct messages, make audio/video calls and everything from the same platform
  • Slack provides a feature that makes users call for it is – inline replies
  • One of the other main advantages of Slack is its mobile versatility – the provision of it being accessed from your smartphones.
  • It is a wonderful tool to tear down all the barriers and provide the needed access to the DevOps flow.

10. Basecamp:

One of the main reasons organizations have adopted it as their collaboration medium and haven’t thought of leaving it is developed as a project management model. To be very specific, it has the chat feature (with the Campfire module) and a threaded chat message board to lure others but the other features like the to-do and calendar functions were over the top. All of these features are weaved into a perfect collaboration medium through itself. One of the points to note here is that there is no “freemium” model to this, but there is a provision to use a free trial for a certain period of time.

Following are some of the advantages of using Basecamp, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:

Advantages:

  • Organizing projects and communication is no more a messy job with the to-do functions/lists, schedules and chats from Basecamp.
  • Basecamp makes it really easy to browse through all the available discussions at just one place.
  • It provides a provision to go through all the to-do activities at one place again.
  • All the forwarded mails along with the documents that each of these mails has come with are all shown at one single place, for the team members to get a perfect view of the email conversation rather than cluttering the information into different sections and confusing them further.
  • It also provides an open API for the users who want to design their own 3rd party integrations with Basecamp.

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Conclusion:

In this article we have seen how DevOps implementation in Organizations can be taken to the next level with the introduction of the necessary Collaboration DevOps tools, we have further discussed the most useful list of Collaboration DevOps tools available in the market as on date. Along with the tools and their implementations, we have also taken some time to discuss the advantages of each of these Collaboration DevOps tools, if implemented in an organization as such. Hope you’ve got all the information that you wanted on Collaboration DevOps tools here.

Please do provide us with your feedback in the form of the suggestions or comments, for us to improve the quality of the articles.

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