How to Integrate with an ALM Tool

Many SD Elements users take advantage of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) integration in order to reduce disruption on developer process. The following guide explains how to set up an ALM tool for integration.


In order to correctly set up your integration, you will need to understand whether or not your ALM tool can communicate directly with SD Elements. There are two possible scenarios:

  1. SD Elements & ALM can communicate directly. For example, they are both on the internal network or they are both on the Internet. In this case, you can use in-app integration. You can advance to the Steps section below and use the rest of this guide for your integration.
  2. SD Elements cannot communicate directly with the ALM tool. For example, SD Elements is on the Internet and the ALM tool is on the internal network or vice-versa. In this case, you will need to make use of the integration console. You will need to follow specific instructions from the integration console documentation, which is located inside the application: Support->Documentation->Integration


If SD Elements can communicate directly with your ALM tool, then you can proceed with the following steps to integrate your project with an existing project in your ALM tool:

1. Determine what you want to integrate. For example, only TODO tasks, all tasks, tasks for every phase, tasks for a certain priority, etc. Many users will start by integrating all high priority TODO tasks in Requirements, Design & Architecture, and Development. They may integrate testing tasks separately; for example, if testers use a different tool.

2. Ask your SD Elements administrator to create a system-level connection for you through the System->Integration menu.

Provide the administrator with the following information:

  • Name of the ALM product
  • Token of the SD Elements user that you wish to connect with (found in Your Name->API Settings)
  • Whether or not you wish to include code sample how-tos in task descriptions
  • Minimum priority of tasks you wish to synchronize (select '1' for all tasks, '7' for only high priority tasks)
  • Status of tasks you wish to synchronize: TODO, N/A, DONE or some combination thereof
  • Phases of tasks you wish to synchronize. For example, only requirements, or more than one phase, or perhaps all phases

The administrator should know the details of how to connect with the remote ALM tool, including options specific to that tool.

The administrator should provide you with the name of the integration that they have created.

3. In your project, click on Integration->ALM Tools, click on "Add ALM Connection" and set the "Parent" to the name determined in the previous step. Since most of the configuration has been handled for you in the previous step, you only need to specify project-specific information here, such as the unique identifier of the project in the ALM tool.

Be sure to specify a synchronization frequency. If you will only be periodically synchronizing, then you can choose "manual" which means that you must click on the "Sync" button to update status. For most projects, the "Daily" value is sufficient.

4. Click on the "Create ALM Connection" button.

5. If you have selected an automatic synchronization frequency (e.g. Every 15 minutes, Hourly or Daily) the synchronization will happen on its own. If you selected "Manually", then you will need to click on "Sync".

If the synchronization encounters any errors, you will see an error flag under the "Last Status" column. Most errors are a result of insufficient permissions to create items on the ALM system.

6. During synchronization, SD Elements will attempt to add tasks to the remote ALM system if they don't already exist. SD Elements will add a note to each synchronized task with a reference to the new item created in the ALM system.

7. In most cases, you will use the remote ALM tool to make changes to the status. When SD Elements synchronizes with the remote system, it will note any change to the ALM item's status and make the corresponding change to the SD Elements task along with a note.


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