CA Technologies has acquired Oxford-based Grid-Tools, a long time partner,  whose software automates the process of testing newly-built applications.

CA's acquisition will boost its tool set for agile development methodologies, and follows from last week's $480 million purchase of Rally Software, which offers a set of software and cloud services to help developers manage complex software projects.

There is money in Agile and Agile needs automated software testing. Image: iStock/spxChrome

Software testing can be one of the most time-demanding parts of the development lifecycle. it is often squeezed when projects over run - compounding difficulties that manifested tehmsleves earleir in the development cycle. This pattern of failure and the need for incresingly speedy software deploymetns for businessreasons, has driven the uptake of agile development and the use of automated testing tools, such as Grid-Tools' Datamaker software.

Another Grid-Tools product, called Agile Designer, provides a way to design test cases that can be executed by Datamaker.

A number of British banks have used Grid Tools, as has energy analyst firm PowerAdvocate and credit card service company ActiveCard. Grid Tools, founded in 2004, is based in Oxford, U.K. and maintains an office in New York.

Although it maintains a considerable business in mainframe software, CA has branched out to offer a wider range of cloud and systems management technologies.

For large teams, CA offers a variety of lifecycle management and change management products, such as the CA Application Lifecycle Conductor and CA Endevor, for change management.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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