Any product that is mainly digital or has a digital component could benefit from application lifecycle management software (ALM software). ALM platforms are designed to combine software development with ongoing planning and execution of support, updates, and feature roadmaps.
As we all know, the first version of your product is rarely the “final” version. That’s where ALM tools come in: they help you continuously brainstorm, outline, and chart further improvements. ALM solutions can be used to plan and track the governance, development, and maintenance of your software product.
Below you’ll find an overview of each of the 10 best ALM software with screenshots, feature overviews, and pricing.
What is ALM Software?
Application lifecycle management (ALM) software is a suite of tools and processes that enable organizations to manage the entire lifecycle of software development projects, from ideation to deployment and maintenance. ALM software provides a centralized platform for teams to collaborate on software development, tracking progress, managing requirements, automating testing, and managing release cycles.
ALM software encompasses a wide range of activities, including project planning, software design, coding, testing, deployment, and maintenance, and incorporates best practices and standards to ensure that software is delivered on time, within budget, and with the desired quality.
Jama Software is an award-winning requirements management software that can tailor to any application lifecycle management strategy. They offer industry-specific solutions for medical devices, automotive and semiconductors, aerospace and defense, software development, and industrial manufacturing.
Some key features of Jama Software include end-to-end live traceability of people, data, and processes, along with real-time impact analysis, reviews, and approvals with team collaboration. Additionally, they offer the ability to accurately capture and communicate requirements, goals, progress, and interdependencies throughout the development process.
You can integrate Jama Connect requirements and test plans with ALM, PLM, QA, and MBSE. With API integrations and third-party integration hubs, teams can work in familiar tools while contributing to projects in Jama Connect.
Jama Connect licenses are available on a user and floating basis through an annual subscription model.
Pricing and trial information is available upon request.
Targetprocess is an agile project management tool that uses SAFe, LeSS, or your own framework to assist in your application lifecycle systems and strategy. It is currently used by Chevron, Belfius, ePay, and Callrail for their various product management initiatives.
Targetprocess boasts an intuitive and easy-to-use user interface that encompases workflow configuration, task management, requirements management, and web-based administration (field-level mapping, automated conflict resolution). You can set up reporting dashboards at the portfolio, program, or product level.
Targetprocess comes with 60+ pre-built integrations and offers plugins, mashups, webhooks, REST API and SDK to sync with your existing SLDC tools. It’s available as a SaaS and as an on-premise solution.
Targetprocess costs from $20/user/month. They also offer a free Team version with unlimited users.
codebeamer is an integrated ALM platform created by Inland Software that specializes in advanced software or product development in safety-critical industries like medical, automotive, and aviation.
codebeamer’s core capabilities include ALM, requirements management, software development, QA and test management, IT operations and DevOps, demand management, risk management, and variants management.
codebeamer integrates with Jira, Microsoft Word, Excel, IBM Rational DOORS, and plenty more.
codebeamer is available as an on-premise or cloud-hosted SaaS starting at $125/user/month. A free 30-day trial is available.
In 2018, Microsoft rebranded their Visual Studio Team Service (VSTS) as Azure DevOps. Whether you consider this an ALM tool depends on how you define ALM, but Azure DevOps does work much like an ALM solution. It provides a standardized environment for managing a software application through its complete lifecycle with a unified DevOps approach.
You can further expand Microsoft Azure DevOps’ capabilities by connecting it to their first-party Microsoft Power Platform. This opens up the ability to build data-driven business solutions with Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual.
As part of the Microsoft ecosystem, Azure DevOps offers dozens of pre-built integrations and a readily accessible library of extensions.
Azure costs from $1/user/month. It’s free for 5 users or less.
Micro Focus (formerly HPE ALM) has product development and issue management suite that makes it a perfect ALM solution. They also have tools for customer support and helpdesk, contract management, asset management, business support, project management, CRM, and service management. Micro Focus is great for teams that deal with all sorts of customers and contacts across their product portfolio.
Their full coverage solution to development and customer service makes them ideal for large ongoing projects as well as fast ad hoc-solutions in all your departments.
Micro Focus can be integrated with third-party tools through its REST API, and it comes with out-of-the-box integrations with leading tools like TFS, Jira, Jenkins, Git, and Visual Studio.
Micro Focus ALM Software costs from approx. $150/month.
Orcanos Application Lifecycle Management is a secure, robust, and simple platform used for ALM by companies like GE, Medtronic, ReWAlk, and Zimmer. They offer ALM systems as well as tools for research and development (like requirements management and testing).
Orcancos’ ALM system provides a single data repository for R&D quality and regulations, end-to-end traceability (project requirements, test cases, FMEA risk items, CAPA and customer complaints), document generation, and impact analysis.
Orcanos doesn’t go out of their way to promote available integrations. However, this is because they really are an “all-in-one” tool that–in many cases–won’t require supplementary software to get the job done.
Orcanos Application Lifecycle Management costs from about $69/user/month.
TeamForge is a traditional ALM solution focused on bi-modal development that is especially suited for companies in the embedded and/or IoT space. Key features include collaboration, end-to-end traceability across disparate tools, version control, and monitoring, reporting, and analysis capabilities.
Digital.ai (previously CollabNet) owns a series of software for traditional ALM, version control, agile management, and DevOps.
TeamForge is their ALM solution and it integrates completely with their other tools if you need them.Collabnet VersionOne comes with 80+ pre-built integrations with leading tools like Jira, CA Agile, ServiceNow, Microsoft TFS, HP, Salesforce, Perforce, GitHub, Jenkins (and the list goes on).
Collabnet VersionOne costs from $29/month/user.
Tuleap is an all-in-one, open source ALM software that provides an open framework for various ALM configurations. And by “various configurations” we really mean anything. The tool is marketed as “designed to be re-designed” so that you can integrate any number of tools you are already using: project management, requirements management, code versioning, code review, CI, test management, documentation, collaboration, and tracking.
One of the best things about Tuleap (like many open source tools) is the robust community support that users can tap into—or even add to themselves. The team at Tuleap further enhances these resources with their own webinars, live training, tutorials, and Q&A sessions.
This is a great ALM tool for teams who use, and like using, a lot of different tools and simply want a central place to integrate them.
Tuleap integrates with Jira, Jenkins, and GitLab.Paid versions of Tuleap cost from €5/user/month (~ $5.71 USD/user/month).
Atlassian is a household name in software development circles that is geared toward agile development teams in anything from startups to corporate enterprises. They are perfect for agile ALM workflows and processes.
The Atlassian software suite for ALM can include any number of Atlassian products, sold separately, that integrate with one another.
These include Jira (task and project management), Confluence (collaboration), HipChat (real-time messaging), Bitbucket and Stash (code management and software developing tools), and add-ons like Jira Service Desk (issue management and support).
These are available on-premise or as SaaS.Jira is well-known for integrating with a wide variety of tools, including ones for data analysis, bug tracking, project management, resource planning, and communications.
Their apps marketplace is home to thousands of apps that easily connect with Jira, from Slack, Zoom, GitHub, Zendesk, and many more.
Jira costs from $10/month for 1-10 users.
Visure is an open ALM tool designed to integrate with any existing ALM environment in order to best accommodate different teams and cultures across your organization.
Visure has a long list of capabilities, including requirements management, traceability management, change management, bug & issue tracking, collaboration management, version control, requirements report generation, standards & certification, test management, risk management, and quality management.
Visure’s API integrates with third party tools such as modeling tools, other RM tools, prototyping tools, bug-tracking tools, testing tools, project management tools, ALM tools, and PLM tools.
Visure’s pricing and trial information are available upon request. They also offer demos and product sheets.
Best ALM software for requirements management
30-day free trial
|Pricing Upon Request||Website|
Best ALM software for SAFe and/or LeSS frameworks
Free Team version
Best ALM software for safety-critical industries
Free demo available
Microsoft Azure DevOps
Best ALM software for enterprises
Free for 5 users or less.
Micro Focus ALM Software
Best ALM software for easy setup and implementation
|From approx. $150/month||Website|
Orcanos Application Lifecycle Management
Best ALM software for risk- & CAPA-management
|From about $69/user/month||Website|
Best ALM software for a robust integrations ecosystem
Free demo available
Best ALM software for small teams & startups
Free community edition
|$6.46/user/month (min. 10 users)||Website|
Best ALM software for flexibility & scalability
7-day free trial
Best all-in-one open ALM platform
|Pricing Upon Request||Website|
I haven’t had time to fully review these, but if the featured software above doesn’t work for you. Here is an additional list of ALM tools to check out:
- IBM CLM - Best ALM platform for existing IBM users
- Digite SwiftEnterprise - Best ALM platform for lean and agile teams
- Rocket Application Lifecycle Management - Best for built-in change management capabilities
- Kovair ALM Studio - Best ALM platform for automating task workflows
- Polarion - Best for built-in test and issue management
- Rommana ALM - Best for traceability of requirements
- VisionFlow - Best combined project management & ALM
- Helix ALM - Best for creating requirements and sharing requirements documents
- Enterprise Architect - Best ALM platform for fast, intuitive modeling and design
- Rocket Aldon ALM Software - Best for ALM + change management working together
- SpiraTeam - Best cloud-based ALM for software development lifecycles & defect tracking
How I Selected the Best ALM Software
If you're wondering how I selected the best ALM software, here's where I'll break it all down for you. First of all, I started with application lifecycle management software that have high user review and satisfaction ratings. Then, using my experience in product management, I discerned what key criteria were most important for ALM software and compared how each of them stacked up against the rest.
I empathize with how much time it takes to source the right software for a job. I do this work so that you don't have to. I've been using and reviewing product software for years so you can trust me to do the heavy lifting and compile all the facts you need to make your final decision.
After careful consideration, I've determined that these are the most important criteria when selecting the best ALM software. Here's a brief list outlining the whats and whys of my selection.
What do I look for when I select the best ALM app? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria:
User Interface (UI)
I look for application lifecycle management tools that aren't too cluttered, hard to navigate, or aesthetically outdated. Ie: Can product managers and their application development team find what they are looking for quickly and easily every time?
I look for an ALM system that comes with training resources, ongoing learning opportunities, an attentive customer service team, and any other perks (webinars, blogs, podcasts, whitepapers, and so on).
I look for an ALM tool that can connect to other third-party software development tools (SW development tools), deployment environments, servers, and reporting tools.
I look for an ALM software that is fair, scalable, and transparent in the pricing. Freemium plans, free trials, and/or free demos are favorable so users can try before they buy.
Related Read: Feature Flag Software For Managing Feature Flags
What are the Benefits of ALM Software?
What are ALM Platform Key Features?
What Product Management Resources Should I Check Out Next?
Product Lifecycle Management for Top Notch Products
The landscape of application lifecycle management software has evolved significantly in recent years, with numerous high-quality options available to businesses of all sizes and industries. Ultimately, the best ALM software for your organization will depend on your specific needs and requirements. I encourage you to consider my top picks and explore their capabilities to determine which one can help you achieve your goals.
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