What’s new in IKAN ALM - Release 5.9

IKAN ALM is a cross-platform web-based solution for Application Lifecycle Management. It combines DevOps initiatives (continuous build and continuous integration) and lifecycle management to support the complexity of service-oriented architectures and highly distributed systems.

IKAN ALM encompasses all aspects of the Application Lifecycle Management process offering build management, continuous integration, rebuild, manual build, release management, approval processes and deployment management. Within IKAN ALM, you define, implement and enforce software lifecycle processes, appropriate for your organization, including development, test, quality assurance and final production.

IKAN ALM is a methodology-independent and repository-neutral tool (enabling cross-platform development). IKAN ALM complies with industry standards, such as CMMI, ITIL and PRINCE. It helps your organization to enforce, control, audit, report and facilitate best practices and guidelines for Application Lifecycle Management, and provides benefits which guarantee conformity with audit requirements and improve communications with the different parties across the IT system.

IKAN ALM 5.9 includes the following major enhancements :

New functionalities

Enhanced REST API

The existing REST API has been re-factored and new endpoints have been added:

  • The existing GET endpoints now have pagination and search functionality.

  • Desktop functionality is also available through new or extended REST endpoints:

    • createlevelrequests : Create a Level Request

    • levelrequests : Update, Cancel or Abort a Level Request

    • approvals : Outstanding/Overview Approvals, Approve or Reject an Approval

    • packages : Create, Update and Overview Packages

  • The new Import and Export Project feature is also available via the REST API.

  • New projectstreams POST endpoint which allows the creation of Project Streams

  • The IKAN ALM REST API documentation is available from within the ALM Web GUI as an interactive Swagger UI.


Core upgrades (Java 11, frameworks, CSS refactor)

In order to support Java 11, all 3rd party libraries used by IKAN ALM have been checked, updated and extensively tested. This includes the upgrade of the following internally used frameworks:

  • Hibernate 5 (ORM)

  • Apache Struts 2.5 (UI)

  • Apache Karaf 4.2.8 (OSGi Container)

  • vt-ldap has been replaced by ldaptive (Java API for LDAP Server connection). Support was added for the ldaps protocol

  • xml-rpc: upgrade library and re-factor the secure xml-rpc support

In the UI, all the CSS has been converted using ITCSS/BEM paradigms for better maintainability.

Project import/export

This new feature allows exporting a Project from one (e.g. Test) IKAN ALM instance and subsequently importing it into another (e.g. Production) instance. It can also be used to easily create Projects by adapting previously exported Projects and importing them as new Projects. Supports xml and json format.


Nested User Groups

This feature allows User Groups to contain other User Groups. This means that User Groups defined in an external authentication system (like LDAP or Active Directory) can be added to internal IKAN ALM User Groups. These internal groups can then be used to assign certain roles in ALM, like for example assigning a group of users to the Project Admin role of a Project. This avoids the need to create specific principals and assign users in the external authentication system in order to give endusers access to the correct IKAN ALM roles.


Remote Agent install

An IKAN ALM Agent Installation can be configured, started and managed from within the IKAN ALM Web Application. IKAN ALM automates the complete file transfer, installation, service or daemon registration and start-up using Secure Shell or PowerShell.


The Agent Installation process is monitored by the IKAN ALM Server. The progress of the installation process is logged, and can be followed from the UI.


Platform independent build archives

In addition to the existing zip and tar.gz formats, it is now possible to store builds in the build archive in 7z format to support better portability between Windows and Linux systems.


New Desktop layout

Desktop items can now be presented as Tiles, resulting in a new Graphical representation of the status of different Levels in a Project Stream or Package. This new Tiles Desktop is an alternative option for the classic Desktop, which has also been restyled.


Support PostgreSQL database

PostgreSQL has been added as a supported production database for IKAN ALM. Versions 11, 12 and 13 have been tested on Windows and Linux platforms.

Support for GitHub

The application lifecycle in IKAN ALM can now start from sources stored in a GitHub repository. Just as with Git, a Package Based (mainframe style) build and deployment process is possible, by selecting and moving individual files or components through a lifecycle. Furthermore, GitHub Issues provided in commit comments of GitHub sources (and other supported VCRs) will be identified by IKAN ALM and automatically linked to Builds.

Integrate MF ALM as Issue and Testing system

IKAN ALM integrates with the Micro Focus ALM Defects System by linking MF ALM defects to an IKAN ALM Level Request Build and/or Deploy action. The artifacts are linked automatically based on the comments provided by the developers when committing code to the Versioning System. IKAN ALM retrieves additional information from the related MF ALM Defect such as a short description, the owner and the priority. This information is updated each time the build result evolves in the IKAN ALM life-cycle. Also new phases have been created to run MF ALM (UFT) Tests.


Enhanced functionalities

Several UI Usability Enhancements

  • Menu Enhancements

    • Show Recent Projects, Packages, and Level Requests in the Top Menu

    • Show Search Filters in the Top Menu

    • Search filters are automatically reloaded when a user returns to the page

  • Improvements on the Level Request Details Panel

    • Summary tab : Approve/Reject Level Requests

    • Summary tab : Deliver builds to the next Level

    • Results tab : Expand/Collapse all links have been added to fully expand or collapse the Build Result

  • Edit Build/Deploy Environment page: add link to View Parameters

New Package fields

Three new fields have been added to the Package definition in order to enhance its usability :

  • Status

  • Owner

  • Target Release Date

All fields are optional and have no impact on existing Packages.

The "Status" field has the following impact on Package semantics :

  • "Active" : the Package can be built and delivered, and its contents (files) can be modified.

  • "Frozen" : the Package can’t be built and its contents can’t be modified. It can still be delivered.

  • "Archived" : the Package can’t be built nor delivered, and its contents can’t be modified.


The Owner and Target Release Date fields are informational, and can be used to find Packages faster.

Enhanced Git Integration

The default branch name in Git may now be configured. When creating a new Git definition, the default branch name is main. In earlier IKAN ALM versions the default branch name was not configurable and its value was always master. The Git integration now also supports a Package Based (mainframe style) build and deployment process, by selecting and moving individual files or components through a lifecycle.

Documentation migration to Asciidoc

The IKAN ALM 5.9 documentation, including the User Guide documentation that is embedded into the IKAN ALM UI, has been migrated to Asciidoc and is available online at https://docs.ikanalm.com . This allows us to continuously enhance the documentation without the need for customers to upgrade their IKAN ALM installation. PDF files and the 5.8 release of the documentation are also published online.

Enhance flexibility of Scripting Tool

The Build Type and Deploy Type fields of a Project have been removed. They unnecessarily restricted the Scripting Tool Type of Build and Deploy Environments. The removal allows a more flexible configuration of Scripting Tools for Build or Deploy actions.

Extension of integrations:Azure DevOps (VCR and ITS) and Jira Cloud (ITS)

The existing integration with Microsoft Team Foundation Server (Version Control and Issue Tracking System) now also supports the Azure DevOps Services, Microsofts online version control and requirements management. The Jira Issue Tracking Integration has been enhanced to work with Atlassian’s Jira Cloud online system.

Several small Enhancements

  • Support for MySQL 8

  • Support for Oracle Database 19c

  • Filter accessible Projects in Create Package and Add to Desktop interfaces

  • Newly created Build/Deploy/Machine Parameters are now mandatory by default

  • Add User Controlled Build and Deploy Parameters to ease the work of Global and Project Administrators

Obsolete functionality, end of support

  • remove support for Microsoft Visual SourceSafe source control

  • remove support for PVCS Version Manager

  • remove support for HP Quality Center test management

  • remove support for TeamForge issue tracking

Bug fixes

Several small bug fixes and optimizations have also been implemented. Refer to the readme of the installed product for more details.