ASL in 3 Minutes

The basics

ASL (Application Services Library) is a framework and collection of best practices for application management.

Summary

ASL (Application Services Library) was developed by a Dutch IT service provider, PinkRoccade, in the 1990s and was made public in 2001. Since 2002 the framework and the accompanying best practices have been maintained by the ASL BiSL Foundation.

The current version is ASL2, published in 2009.

 

ASL is concerned with managing the support, maintenance, renewal and strategy of applications in an economically sound manner. The library consists of a framework, best practices, standard templates and a self-assessment. The ASL framework provides descriptions of all the processes that are needed for application management.

 

The framework distinguishes six process clusters, which are viewed at operational, managing and strategic levels see Figure.

 

The application support cluster at the operational level aims to ensure that the current applications are used in the most effective way to support the business processes, using a minimum of resources and leading to a minimum of operational disruptions. The application maintenance and renewal cluster ensures that the applications are modified in line with changing requirements,

usually as a result of changes in the business processes, keeping the applications up-to-date. The connecting processes form

the bridge between the service organization cluster and the development and maintenance cluster.

 

ASL

The management processes ensure that the operational clusters are managed in an integrated way.

Finally, there are two clusters at the strategic level. The aim of the application strategy cluster is to address the long-term strategy for the application(s). The processes needed for the long-term strategy for the application management organization are described in the application management organization strategy cluster.

Target audience

The target audience for ASL consists of everyone who is involved in the development and management of applications: application support personnel, application architects and designers, programmers, testers, and managers with responsibility for application development or application management.

Scope and constraints

The scope of ASL is the support, maintenance, renewal, and strategy of applications, and the management of all related activities.

Strengths

•   It offers a common language and conceptual framework for application management (maintenance and support)

•   It provides an overview of all the activities (from operational to strategic) that are needed to keep applications up-to-date with the changing needs of the organization

•   It is usable in various organizations

•   It is owned and supported by a not-for-profit, vendor- independent foundation with participation by a wide range of organizations

Constraints

•   ASL overlaps partially with other IT Service Management frameworks