MKS defended its decision to build its software change management suite in-house, rather than via acquisition like certain of its competitors.
Last week MKS launched Integrity Suite 2005, said to be a fully integrated suite of software configuration management (SCM) software modules including requirements management, configuration dashboard, improved support for regulatory compliance as well as refactoring and component reuse.
MKS' VP of product management, Dave Martin, explained the company's decision to build the software in-house: In the late nineties we saw that consolidation was going to happen in the SCM space, he told ComputerWire, and at that time we made the decision that what customers need is a single repository for source code tracking, requirements management and so on. We decided then that the best way to do that was to build it from the ground up, and that is what we did.
Rival change management vendor Serena Software Inc took the opposite approach, spending $380m on Merant in March 2004 and $3m on Chipware's Requirements and Traceability Management product and customer base in June of the same year.
But Martin said MKS' Integrity Suite 2005 has a single repository for source code and requirements management, and the same look-and-feel across all of its modules. Many of our competitors who have been consolidating now have at best loosely coupled integrations and at worst wildly overlapping feature sets, said Martin.
MKS said Integrity Suite 2005 features integrated requirements management, a management dashboard for management decision support, and e-signature support for regulated environments. It said its requirements management is integrated into the application lifecycle, so all roles within a team that need to access or even modify requirements - if they have been granted the security privileges to do so - can. The suite is built atop a workflow engine that takes care of any collaboration and approvals processes that an enterprise might want to follow.
Martin said the company's dashboard offers improved management decision support, and that its charts, reports and metrics with drill down capability into the details, enable full traceability from initial requirements through to line of code changes. Server-side audit logging and e-signature support aids compliance with regulations such as FDA 21-CFR Part 11 and Sarbanes-Oxley. Finally MKS' refactoring support enables developers to restructure rather than rewrite code for greater development efficiency and productivity, according to Martin, and it also supports the Eclipse Refactoring Wizard.
In its latest quarter ended October 31 2004, Waterloo, Ontario-based MKS reported sales of $9.4m, up 24%. Net income was $0.2m, up from a net loss of $0.6m in the year-ago period. Rival Serena Software reported sales for its quarter ended October 31 2004 of $56.6m, up 112% on the year-ago period thanks in no small measure to the inclusion of revenue from its Merant acquisition. Net income was $4.3m, or $15.3m excluding the amortization of intangibles related to the acquisition. Other competitors in the space include Telelogic, Segue Software, IBM/Rational, Compuware, Borland, Microsoft and Computer Associates.