all you need to know about alm
Automation Best practices Management Agile
5 mins read
June 23, 2022

All you need to know about application lifecycle management

The need to implement QA at early development stages or execute it in parallel is a big fuss amongst developers. Therefore, interest in application lifecycle management practices is a hot topic for everyone, somehow connected with software.

Olga Ryan

To understand the meaning of ALM, imagine a restaurant where clients are always satisfied. There is well-organised work in the kitchen behind this tremendous success, where the chef controls everything from products order to the final dish. The chef here is an ALM solution — the almighty power properly delegating tasks amongst employees, knowing everything about the surrounding, controlling changes, and mitigating financial and reputation risks. For comparison, if this chef were just a bug tracking platform, he would catch cockroaches in already made dishes before they are served.

This pushes us to the primary ALM definition — managing a product’s lifecycle, from concept to market. It covers project and requirements management, the entire software development cycle and quality assurance.

Importance of ALM

So what makes an application lifecycle management tool essential for companies?

  • Project and requirements management

Any development needs a structured plan, precise requirements and a comprehensive but flexible workflow. And the more functions your ALM platform can provide, the better the final product or a program.

  • Software Development

Bug report software for developers or an ALM test management tool can significantly mitigate unnecessary risks and issues. Traceability can show if there are human factor mistakes, proper communication under items can help address problems on time, and bug tracking feature to find out the consistent pattern of defects.

  • Quality assurance

Since the Shift left approach takes more part in contemporary development, companies prefer concentrating on quality from the earliest stage instead of fixing defects after release. 

It also explains why companies prefer tools with broad test capabilities instead of using a specific one, for instance, a performance test tool.

Stages of ALM

stages of alm

The stages of ALM in testing coincide with what makes ALM important for development:

  • Requirements

This stage includes gathering requirements from stakeholders and decision-makers accordingly to the company’s business goals.

  • Development

Once requirements are gathered, your project turns into the development phase. This phase includes three steps — creating, testing and deploying. 

  • Operation and maintenance

As the product is deployed, you need to monitor it throughout its functioning. At the same stage, you must test it for bugs and prioritise updates when required.

Best application lifecycle management tools

aqua ALM

aqua ALM framework is created to meet all requirements of the actual application lifecycle management app. Covering all necessary functionality of the test management platform also contributes to easier regulation compliance, proper project management and even Agile practices. Traceability of aqua ALM goes above and beyond — you not only check bugs in the system but also create test cases and defects and get access to information about who has ever interacted with the elements.


Zephyr offers similar to aqua ALM functionality with great rolled-out reports and comprehensive traceability. However, Zephyr doesn’t have a flexible pricing policy and is mainly suitable only for large enterprises. Among other things, Zephyr has limited functionality for the Agile methodology. It can complicate the early implementation of QA of the shift-left approach.


Polarion, featured by Siemens, is a popular ALM tool, especially for QA testing for manufacturing. However, this ALM solution is not cost-effective for small and middle enterprises. It enables integration with continuous releases, testing, build, and automation. But you also need to consider that Polarion depends on outside tools since it doesn’t have the features to source code configuration natively.

What is the Future of ALM?

future of alm

Even with the advent of new methods or the need to introduce artificial intelligence into all areas of development, ALM will probably remain the only solution for managing such processes. Of course, ALM will not stay in its original form and evolve into something more advanced. According to some experts, most likely, it will merge with Product Lifecycle Management and form Enterprise Lifecycle Management.


Global digitalisation made companies worldwide adopt new technologies to win this technological race. For most of them, it means increasing the quality of released software, which eventually burdens software development and quality assurance teams. As a result, it raises the urge to implement a single system lifecycle management process that can provide complete transparency and organisation. And Application Lifecycle Management tools can cover this demand.

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What is application lifecycle management used for?

Application lifecycle management governs the entire lifespan of a software solution. It is usually done with a dedicated ALM solution such as aqua.

What are the steps of ALM?

The primary steps of ALM are requirements definition, software development, and operations & maintenance. 

What is the difference between ALM and SDLC?

Unlike ALM, SDLC covers only the development part of the full path. Essentially, Software Development Lifecycle is a subset of Application Lifecycle Management.

What is the first step in the Software Development Lifecycle?

The first step in the Software Development Lifecycle is Planning, which can be grouped with the second step of Requirements Definition.

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