Making promises is usually a bad idea for product managers (and worse for salespeople). We always advocate against promising features, unless you are absolutely confident that you will be able to keep your word. Last week, we pledged an integration update for Rally (CA Agile Central). And our confidence was justified — Rally users, today is your day.
When we announced our recent enhanced integration with Jira, we shared how our new second-generation integrations framework provides the most flexible and comprehensive integration capability between product roadmapping software and dev systems ever available. And if you read that announcement, the following will be very familiar.
Our powerful new integrations framework creates a bidirectional link between Aha! and development tools, with custom options for linking the fields in both systems — so you can seamlessly integrate Aha! with tools like Rally.
But before I get into the details of what is new, let’s take a step back to understand how this update fits into our overall integrations strategy and what it means to you. Aha! is built to integrate directly with the tools your company already uses, including many non-development systems. Those integrations continue to work as they have and are not impacted by today’s release.
The types of tools Aha! integrates with today include those used for:
- Development (enhanced with this launch!)
- Capturing ideas
- Single sign-on
- File storage
- Your internal tools
For example, Aha! acts as a message broker when integrating with communication tools. Pre-built plug-ins are available to send ideas to Aha! from other customer relationship management systems, such as Zendesk and Salesforce. We have a framework in place for single sign-on systems and securely connect with third-party file storage services. Our robust API makes it possible to both import data into Aha! from your internally-built tools and to export data from Aha! for analysis and reporting purposes. And all these integrations are available to you at no additional cost.
The new integrations framework is unique in that it dramatically improves how Aha! can connect with development tools — in this case, with Rally. It is purpose-built for integrating with the tools that engineering teams use to track their work.
At a high level, the improved framework now supports the following functionality:
- Set record mappings for Aha! initiatives, releases, master features, features, and requirements and link them to nearly any corresponding record type.
- Map default or custom fields in Aha! to any “like” field and specify which direction the updates should flow (e.g. from Aha! or from the development system).
- Automatically send outgoing changes from Aha! or choose to review and approve them.
- Import records directly from development tools to make getting started in Aha! easy.
If you have already set up an Aha! integration with Rally, you can create a new one using the Rally link that is listed in Aha! under integrations 2.0 or convert your existing integration from 1.0 to 2.0. You can also continue to use your 1.0 integration. Note that to benefit from the new functionality, you will need to set up a new Aha! integration with Rally or convert your existing integration.
These enhancements give you more flexibility to communicate changes, collaborate on requirements, and track progress throughout the development process. And you now have deep customization options so you can configure your integration to reflect exactly the way your team works.
Here are a few ways you can get the most out of the enhanced Aha! integration with Rally:
Customize how records sync
You now have full control over which record types will be sent to your development tool and how those records will map. For example, you can now choose to have initiatives, master features, and releases in Aha! correspond with similar items in Rally. You can also map Aha! features and requirements to reflect the way you organize and break down work.
As work is completed, feature status and other updates in Rally will automatically sync back to Aha! based on your configuration.
Update fields that matter to your team
Share important information between teams. You can now map default and custom fields between Aha! and Rally as well as set the direction of updates. For example, you can communicate priorities by syncing the Aha! feature position (or rank order) field with a custom field used by your engineering team in their development tool. You can even set this field to sync only when it is initially sent, so your engineering team can then organize their work the way they need to without affecting the rank in Aha!
Set the direction to synchronize bidirectionally or unidirectionally.
Automatically send updates to engineering
In the world of software, things move fast. Keep updates timely and consistent by automatically sending changes from Aha! to Rally. With this option enabled, once a record has been synced, any updates made by the product team will automatically be sent to Rally so your engineering team always has the latest information.
Choose to approve all changes sent from Aha! to Rally or automatically send them.
Review and import new updates
When the engineering team begins work on a feature, it is not unusual for new requirements to be added as work progresses. Now, when engineering creates new features or requirements in Rally, those records are collected in an “Integration updates” queue in Aha! for you to quickly review and determine if you want to import.
Integration updates can be filtered by product name, record type, or specific integration.
Build a roadmap using existing Rally records
You also have the ability to import existing records into Aha! from Rally. This makes it possible to quickly build a roadmap in Aha! using releases, features, and requirements already defined in Rally. Once imported, the Aha! integration automatically creates a link between the records so that both systems stay in sync as you make changes.
You control which record types to import to Aha! from Rally.
You can now set up your integration to work the way you want it to and be confident that everyone sees the right information — in the right system and at the right time.
These enhancements provide you with the most robust integration between a product roadmapping software and a development tool available. Try out the enhanced Aha! integration with Rally and let us know what you think.
We will continue to roll out additional development tool integrations in the coming months. What system would you like to see next?
Sign up for a free Aha! trial — be happy
The enhanced Rally integration is available to all Aha! customers. If you are not already an Aha! customer, you may want to sign up for a free 30-day trial of Aha! now to see why over 150,000 users trust Aha! to set product strategy, create visual roadmaps, and prioritize releases and features.
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