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Tasktop's New Agile Planner for Eclipse

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You probably know about Tasktop Pro's 'Task-Driven' interface, which is a boon to developers.  The most recent version of Tasktop Pro was released in June during the Eclipse Helios GA announcement.  Today, Tasktop Technologies announced the Tasktop Agile Planner, which helps connect developers with team leaders and other stakeholders.

With connectors to Agile Lifecycle Management technologies like ThoughtWorks Studios’ Mingle, IBM Rational Team Concert, Rally, CollabNet’s ScrumWorks, Atlassian’s JIRA, and VersionOne, Tasktop's Agile Planner can manage existing defect and project management systems directly from Eclipse.  Mik Kirsten, the CEO of Tasktop and author of Eclipse Mylyn, says that Tasktop's Agile Planner is not meant to foster micro-management from above or impose procedures that would contradict agile principles.  The software is instead meant to solve the widespread problem of developers being disconnected from managers' plans.  Today's release addresses the issue by integrating ALM systems so that they are accessible directly through the Eclipse IDE, where many developers will spend most of their time. 

Burn Down Chart in Eclipse

The Tasktop Agile Planner uses an Eclipse-based native user interface for Windows, Mac and Linux, and provides a web client that still allows offline access to plans.  Agile Planner features cross-repository planning facilities that allow user stories to be associated with defects stored in external systems, such as HP Quality Center and Bugzilla. The Eclipse integration supports automatic linking between plan items and source code artifacts.

In the Task Planner you could construct plans that span multiple systems.  For instance, a plan can include a story in Rally that is linked to defects in a JIRA repository (which also are displayed on the plan).  The Task Board provides a graphical iteration board within Eclipse for tasks that have not been started, are in progress, or have been completed.

Task Board in Eclipse

Tasktop Agile Planner also includes Burn Down Charts that visualize outstanding work over time on a graph.  Finallly, there is a Time Tracking feature that automates the tracking of time spent on stories.  This information can be accessed from within Eclipse as well.