Borland Software plans to blend business intelligence with application lifecycle management (ALM) during the summer of next year.

It will also release products that will collect data stored in disparate toolsets for use in reporting metrics in application development projects.

"It's actually bringing business intelligence or reporting and visibility to the application lifecycle," said Marc Brown, Borland's vice president of product marketing.

Borland's effort entails collecting, then collating data to determine risk and performance. Products will focus on business management and collect data gathered by tools from open source projects and different vendors, such as IBM Rational.

"[Users would] like to aggregate the data housed in those different tools," said Brown.

The plan involves developing a platform that can aggregate data that would reside in a centralised data warehouse.

"There's a very good sense of urgency today because most businesses are expected to be much more agile," Brown said. Software development teams have to be more agile, while applications have to satisfy customer needs, he said.

Meanwhile, Borland recently commissioned a study by Forrester Consulting, that found "gut checks," subjective estimates, and irrelevant metrics remain the norm for managing software delivery. The study gathered feedback from 20 development managers and executives in charge of application development organisations at $1 billion-plus companies.

Commenting on the study, Brown said users often rely on "superficial metrics" such as the number of lines of code a developer writes. But this does not provide any value, he said. Meanwhile, manual collection of metrics is complex and costly, said Brown.

The most commonly tracked measures are postmortem project management metrics such as schedule, cost, and defects. But these do not describe the work being performed, Borland said.

During the next 18 months, Borland will introduce products and services to deliver "metrics that matter" and establish measurement best practices, the company said. These offerings also will automate the transparent collection and aggregation of relevant data scattered across silos of the software delivery cycle, giving an aggregated project view by way of operational and informational dashboards, Borland said.