IoT, ALM, PLM, CD, and all that Jazz!

Written by: Electric Bee

With the proliferation of IoT and connected devices, many traditional manufacturing companies find themselves now needing to become software companies - expanding their focus from production of physical goods, to infusing software into their products. This complexity of integrating software, hardware, firmware and physical components requires an evolution in how companies design, develop, test and produce their products.
To help companies manage both the physical components and their corresponding firmware, Siemens has partnered with Polarion and CloudBees for a combined solution to accelerate the delivery of these complex products.

Accelerating PLM delivery: ALM + Continuous Delivery

Polarion ALM suite helps software teams to manage their agile development by providing software requirements management, work item management, software repository, test case repository and management, change orchestration and traceability.
Siemens has been enabling companies to manage product life cycles through the Teamcenter Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software.
CloudBees Continuous Delivery solution focuses on the acceleration and automation of the build, CI, testing, system integration, deployment and release of IoT software and embedded devices.
Together, these three products form a joint solution that allows manufacturers to achieve a faster, more reliable, delivery of PLM initiatives. Now, Polarion ALM and Siemens Teamcenter users can take advantage of Continuous Delivery by automating error prone work and reducing the friction involved in manual handoffs while providing all users with shared control and visibility over the end-to-end delivery process. This brings software engineers in the loop with their Electrical and Mechanical counterparts, delivering unprecedented productivity gains.
The combination of Polarion ALM and CloudBees's Continuous Delivery helps bring Agile methodologies to the manufacturers of software/connected products or embedded systems. The joint solution accelerates product and service time-to-market without sacrificing quality. Large organizations with development teams across the globe lower IT expenses by eliminating duplicated resources and reducing the management of duplicated tool chains.

Key features and use cases:

Consider this following use case. When a software engineer checks-in code to Polarion source code repository, CloudBees Continuous Delivery intercepts the check in request and execute the integrated Continuous Integration, Continuous Test, and Continuous Release process. This process also orchestrates all the tool chain involved - all the way from Build, through test and into release and deployment.
Examples of tasks that are automated as part of the CloudBees CD pipeline:

  • Centrally manage and orchestrate the hundreds of existing tools used in the build, test, and release process

  • Create a clean workspace for CI

  • Configure and set up on-demand machines to perform the build, link, and test tasks in parallel for acceleration from a pool of shared resources

  • Extract last known approved libraries that the about-to-be-checked-in files depend on from an artifact repository

  • Based on the changed files, automatically run the corresponding unit tests, component test, and integration test cases from a test repository

  • Perform the test in parallel to accelerate test execution

  • Based on pre-determined rules, make a decision to pass or fail the check-in request

  • Notifying the engineers of successful/failed builds and progress of the pipeline

  • Providing dashboards and detailed reports for traceability and compliance purposes - so that project managers and business owners can monitor the progress of the release.

  • After the project teams are satisfied and the final release build is available, CloudBees submits the binary to Polarion.

  • When the product management gives the final blessing for the deployment of the binary or a set of binaries, Polarion automatically triggers CloudBees to deploy the binaries- using different artifacts and processes, depending on the different targets (for example: if an IoT company performing software upgrade to enhance its IoT service, the software release process will involve three different targets: the embedded device, the data center, and the mobile app.)

What used to typically take many hours can now be completed in minutes - freeing engineer's and testers' time to focus on their code, rather than on setting up infrastructure, manual handoffs, or various operations to "babysit" the software delivery tool chain and workflow.

In summary, the combination of Teamcenter PLM, Polarion ALM and Eletric Cloud CD solutions accelerate the delivery of products with embedded software by accelerating the software development and test processes. This, in turn, enables the product and software teams to iterate faster on hardware and software integration tests. More integration test iterations will lead to a higher quality product and predictable release schedule. Siemens, Polarion, and CloudBees bring Agile to System Engineering.

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