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Tasktop Pro/Eclipse Mylyn Updates Released

Tasktop Technologies has announced updated versions of its Tasktop Pro task management for application lifecycle management (ALM) toolsuite, and of Eclipse Mylyn. New features include time-tracking, document sharing, and ALM system interoperability that fills a gap between software development delivery and Agile project tracking and management. Tasktop Pro is built on Mylyn, a task-focused interface for Eclipse that reduces information overload and makes multi-tasking easier for developers.

"With this latest release of Tasktop Pro, we have leveraged Mylyn's task management facilities to seamlessly link development activity with the leading change management and ALM tools," said Tasktop's Mik Kersten and creator of the Mylyn project. "For developers, this removes the pain of keeping the ALM system up-to-date with actual development activity. For Agile teams, it means realistic estimation thanks to the automated tracking of actuals, while providing managers with accurate project tracking and visibility. When linked with the measurable productivity benefits of the task-focused interface, it yields some of the biggest productivity benefits since the adoption of the IDE."

Tasktop task-management tools are designed to help developers be more productive by making it effortless for them to organize their work around tasks and automatically presenting the most relevant source code and project management information associated with each task. (For more information on task management and programmer productivity, see Programmer Productivity.) The end result is developers no longer have to waste time repeatedly searching and scrolling for the information they need to code, since the IDE shows only the information relevant to the task-at-hand. One-click multitasking allows the developer to minimize the impact of interruptions by instantly recalling relevant information needed to complete specific tasks.

In addition, Tasktop focuses on integrating ALM tools with the IDE. Tasktop Pro includes all of the Tasktop certified Mylyn ALM integrations, such as Atlassian JIRA and Bamboo, Rally, CollabNet TeamForge and Subclipse, Microsoft Outlook and Exchange, and Google Gmail and Calendar. Other features include:

  • Cross-repository accessibility. links between any ALM system with a Tasktop-certified integration (or, any OSLC-compliant application), can now be created to specify and share dependencies. New importing and migration features allow tasks to be easily moved between ALM systems, and to be established as new items within an application. For example, an email message can be converted to a user story.
  • Automated time tracking. As tasks are worked on and completed, precise time tracking features allow developers and managers to have accurate visibility into resource requirements and project progress. This data is imported directly into the reporting structure of existing project management tools and eliminates the need to manually track time that leads to a loss of productivity, commonly inaccurate data and annoyed developers.
  • Rich document collaboration. A wider range of desktop and office documents can be quickly and easily retrieved and collaborated on with the IDE and project management tool. In addition, improved capabilities allow for Web-based documentation and Wikis to be incorporated and automatically linked to development tasks, which also support Wiki-based collaboration.

Tasktop Pro also includes Mylyn 3.3, which contains new features intended to improve the usability of task management facilities. The most notable new Mylyn feature is:

  • Support for C/C++ projects. Tasktop's ability to automatically link relevant information with development tasks is now supported for C and C++ developers using Eclipse CDT. This is especially useful and popular with mobile and embedded application developers. C and C++ developers now get the same focused workspace and one-click multitasking as Java developers using Eclipse JDT.

Mylyn 3.3 is available as a free open source tool from Eclipse.org with community support and support for Bugzilla and JIRA. It can be downloaded at http://eclipse.org/mylyn/.

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