Only requirement gathering should be done using Jama Connect
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
May 21, 2019

Only requirement gathering should be done using Jama Connect

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Jama Connect

We are using Jama Connect for collecting/gathering different types of requirements (i.e. business requirements, functional requirements, and non-functional requirements). We also used to get approval for those requirements to start working on it. Also, we use this as the golden source for all types of work to then track in JIRA.
  • Jama provides flexibility to add customized types of items, e.g. functional requirements, components or projects. Jama is useful for adding any specific attribute in any type of item.
  • Jama is useful to track approvals or get approvals for any specific requirement and proceed with it.
  • Jama provides a complete history of activities related to any item.
  • Jama doesn't provide any functionality or features to add any item type that has user validation in place. i.e. we added Jama_Authors item type and then used the same to create an attribute for the story. That attribute can't have the user validation, or we can not add it in Jama.
  • ALM protocol doesn't support URL type attributes in Jama 8. That must be fixed.
  • Jama doesn't provide an audit history of administrators on the UI to track the administrative activities.
  • Jama says 25,000 active items per project is good to get better performance, but it is less.
  • Jama is providing good requirement gathering management which starts our current agile process and helps it run smoothly to quickly deliver objectives in less time.
  • Jama is only providing the approval mechanism for requirements, and that's the difference I see between Jama and JIRA. JIRA is a state management tool and it can be used to gather the requirements.
  • Jama is our golden source of all the requirements. It helped to link the requirements in ALM or in JIRA, which helps to resolve the redundant work as it is compatible to work with Tasktop.
We used Jama as requirement gathering purpose and we have achieved it very well. From the functionality perspective also from the automation perspective we achieved 60% from the Jama.

Jama doesn't provide self onboarding if it uses the LDAP directory and that is creating extra work for L1/L2 team. so, automation forJama can not be possible to reduce the manual efforts. Also, Jama doesn't provide the proper audition history which also doesn't satisfy most of the needs.
Jama is well managed in the sense of traceability, reuse, export or importing batches etc. Reuse operation is very useful to avoid redundant work. Jama reviews are helpful in case someone needs to review the requirements before approving it. Then, we can add multiple reviewers. This functionality is good in all other tools. Upstreams functionality is useful when we have two or more epics or stories upstream.
I have mostly worked with ALM and JIRA Software. they are good enough to gather the requirements but not much like Jama software. JIRA doesn't provide approval mechanism and ALM doesn't provide traceability and reuse or reviews functionalities so in all of them Jama is better to gather the requirements in SDLC framework. JIRA has too many plugins which add the extra functionalities to JIRA without vendor support. This is lacking in Jama and to only to get approval for requirements, we don't need to spend a lot of money on licenses.
In the case of Requirement Management and Test Plans, Jama Connect is well suited. But in the case of tracking the progress of each requirement, task, or defect, JIRA is better than Jama. Workflows and other features of JIRA are better when compared to Jama. Also, Jama's backup strategy and support are not that as good as JIRA's. That's why I would not recommend Jama if you want more from the application.

Using Jama Connect

15000 - All business streams including development and support teams are using Jama Connect as our requirement gathering tool. Jama is used across all of the domains to write a requirement and acceptance criteria of each of those.
Jama Connect is well suited for all kind of requirements, that’s the reason it is more popular in all of the business streams.
3 - We generally recommend a DevOps background person to support Jama Connect. From the functional perspective to support Jama, there must be a skilled and knowledgeable person required because Jama is too vast to understand all the functionalities they provide, such as relationships, upstreams, connected users, attributes important, reuse operations etc. There are many more operations that can be supported by a skilled worker only.
  • Requirement gathering including business, functional and non-functional requirements.
  • Requirement gathering for development work and get the approvals for those requirements.
  • Reporting of all the requirement statues for presentation.
  • Integrating all these requirements with multiple applications like JIRA and ALM to reduce the redundant work.
  • Creating new requirements types
  • Creating new attributes in those requirement types
  • Using reuse operations
  • Linking Jama to Octane for the requirements and so that those requirements will be connected to test cases, test plans, and test results.
  • Creating new requirement item types and also new attributes to support the ongoing needs.
Jama Connect is not adding many extra features with their major releases. It showed launched new features, but those are not very useful for developers or creators working with Jama. From the performance side, Jama has been reduced it's performance in Jama 8 as compared to Jama 2015.5 from the functional perspective. The test suite must be provided by Jama to test the performance and function of things in our instance, but Jama doesn't provide it. Also, Jama requires a lot of manual intervention for adding users.

Evaluating Jama Connect and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Vendor Reputation
  • Third-party Reviews
Product usability and features are most important while purchasing any license. We look to see if it's really worth it to spend money on a thing that is going to help to improve the SDLC framework, bring traceability, and also provide good reporting to get the status of current projects. The product must reduce manual intervention and it should work as SaaS in local instance also. It should not have any issues in any areas of the platform.
Personally, I don't recommend using Jama Connect if you are looking for a requirement gathering system only, if you already have tools like JIRA or ALM. If there is JIRA, then you can develop your own approval plugin and it can bring the same functionality as Jama in JIRA. Most of the other features are available in JIRA, so we can use JIRA as development gathering tool. JIRA has a wide range of plugins that improve its the functionalities.

If there is no constraint on your budget, then I would recommend Jama for requirement gathering since we can keep requirements in separate tool and link those requirements to different tools. Even Tasktop-like tools consider Jama as the golden source of information.

Jama Connect Implementation

Jama 2015.5 implementation is very smooth and no need for much manual work. Jama 8 has many challenges and we can not install it as smoothly as Jama 2015.5. Initially, Jama didn't provide the Jama 8's installer files or zip files and they were just providing docker files to everyone (which was really strange). It is the worst that they don't provide all the files at a time. Why should they tell us where we should deploy, and why only a dockerfile? I am not very satisfied with Jama implementation.
Change management was a big part of the implementation and was well-handled - There are many things that fall under change management such as certificate management, database whitelisting-connectivity, and other audit perspective things that need to be considered before the actual implementation. There were actually very few issues, but those did need to be sorted out before the actual implementation of Jama in multiple environments.
  • Jama 2015.5 was really very smooth and there were no issues faced while implementing.
  • With Jama 8, we have too many challenges due to multiple processes and interconnection of those processes.
  • Jama 8 had many bugs, but fixing them was not a Jama priority.
  • Jama 8 doesn't have good performance results which is the reason multiple teams don't want to upgrade the current environment 2015.5 version to Jama 8.

Jama Connect Training

Internal training is sufficient to learn Jama.

Configuring Jama Connect

In the case of Jama 2015.5, it is very smooth and very simple. But in Jama 8, they made it quite complex.
There should be only one configuration file and startup file. Also for setting environment variables, there should be only one environment variable file before you start Jama. Where customers want to configure their project and with which database must be the choice of customers. Right now, Jama doesn't support Oracle.
We added customized item types and their attributes or report templates in Jama Connect.

Jama Connect Support

Support teams fail to push the current defects to development teams to fix it. Jama doesn't provide 24/7 support, but it creates a lot of dependency. SOAP API calls and REST APIs are also not available for some of the automation which creates problems and adds extra cost to manage the resources doing those manually.
ProsCons
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
Poor followup
Escalation required
Yes - No, bug reports are never solved. Jama Connect has not fixed or prioritized reported bugs. One bug of Jama 8 is that TDS protocol doesn't support URL field of Jama, and it is impacting a lot of our projects. But, it still has not been fixed in the last 8 months.
Jama supported us on the weekend when they generally don't support on weekends or on their off hours. We were facing some issues with the application and we wanted to fix it on weekend, but we wanted help from vendor. They helped with prior notice of one week.

Using Jama Connect

Jama is mostly designed for requirement gathering, but that can be possible using JIRA if we add only approval type of plugin for special requirement types. Jama's performance and features do not improve on a periodic basis i.e. with each release. Even bug fixes take a lot of time and they don't care about customer impact.
ProsCons
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Creating item types and their attributes. In the case of Jama 2015.5, it is very smooth and very simple. But in Jama 8, they made it quite complex.
  • Reusing existing items for a new set of requirements.
  • Finding the activities of each item and history.
  • Adding users in Jama is a completely manual process and it is really very difficult to add in each group. User onboarding must be more simple.
  • Jama's database schema is more difficult to understand. We can not read or write a query for any work using the current names of tables. Jama's database schema must be simpler.
  • Doing automation with Jama REST or SOAP API is quite difficult.

Jama Connect Reliability

There is no horizontal scalability available in Jama, we have only one choice to scale it vertically. But vertical scalable applications always have limitations to grow. In this case, Jama doesn't support horizontal scalability functions like multi-node architectures with a shared drive for the home directory.
Jama is available most of the time if it is used within the application's boundary. Jama has very good availability if we use very high hardware servers. Sometimes we face issues if there are batch operations running.
With performance compared to JIRA, I do recommend Jama in this case. Jama provides very good performance, it loads immediately for any of the items and searches any item immediately. Performance is really good in all of the operations including creating stories, epics, item types or other support operations or report generation.

Integrating Jama Connect

Jama is easy to integrate with multiple applications as field values or attributes of each item types are common and we can integrate with the destination's item types. Conversion of item type supported in Jama creates problems in case of integration, since conversion can't be supported in integrations most of the time.
There are many challenges, we faced while integrating Jama with JIRA due to field values and attribute names. We need changes on both sides for any integration requirement, and that is time consuming. But, this integration really helps to reduce manual work and improve productivity.
  • File import/export
  • API (e.g. SOAP or REST)
Tasktop
If an item is integrated with any of the application, then Jama should not allow any conversion of that item otherwise the integration breaks. Also, REST API performance must be better because as soon as we increase the frequency of hits, Jama's performance gets degraded.

Relationship with Jama Software

The vendor is good.
After the sales process, the vendor is average for the response to queries which raise support issues. We have a problem with their support hours as they don't have 24/7 support and it delays the resolution. We need to wait until their support member comes online, and even then we cannot set up meetings immediately.
I never participated directly in negotiating but I was aware about the negotiation process with vendor. We generally keep in mind support, licensing cost and escalation process while negotiating, as well as defects resolution, audit perspective principles, and security vulnerabilities.
Ask for 24/7 support in case of production issues or outages if you are negotiating. Also, set the SLA time for the issue resolution. For premier support tickets, SLA must be there. Performance related issues must be resolved with patches and any defects that need immediate attention or require an immediate fix must be provided by the vendor in a set time frame. Right now, Jama doesn't prioritize the defects on customer impact, they prioritize on their own.

Upgrading Jama Connect

Yes - The new release of Jama from 2015.3 to 2015.5 went very smooth without any issues. There were problems with 2015.5 to Jama 8 upgrade process. Jama has changed its base completely and provides only dockerfiles for Jama 8, which is not acceptable. They must provide options for individual customer need. They haven't tested Jama 8 outside the docker (since they support only that environment). Maybe they have changed this recently?
  • Some defects got fixed
  • New performance related improvements
  • New features
  • New fields support
  • Jama should provide REST API for more actions.
  • Jama should provide major features like support of plugins to customize the needs of the customer.
  • Jama should fix current major defects which I have discussed earlier.