Software Configuration Management... for the Technical Writer

Written by Edward B. Toupin

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* QA

Quality Analysis and testing are important parts ofrepparttar SCM process as this is where problems are found andrepparttar 133602 product can be evaluated to see if it meetsrepparttar 133603 standards and requirements forrepparttar 133604 project. For your purposes, you can provide a set of basic tests by creating a Task Analysis and a simple Test Plan.

The Task Analysis provides a set of steps that must be executed to perform a specific operation withrepparttar 133605 product---also part of Documentation Analysis. It's essential thatrepparttar 133606 Task Analysis be performed for each major update torepparttar 133607 software to ensure thatrepparttar 133608 changes are carried through torepparttar 133609 documentation. * Bug Tracking and Resolution

Bug tracking and resolution are not only part ofrepparttar 133610 SCM process, but are also used with Change Management. It's essential that bugs be reported and that developers are notified ofrepparttar 133611 problems to ensure resolution. But, resolving a bug can placerepparttar 133612 product into deeper jeopardy when, in some cases,repparttar 133613 resolution introduces another set of bugs.

This is where a Feature Update document comes into play. Whenever a change is made torepparttar 133614 software, to either resolve a bug or changerepparttar 133615 functionality,repparttar 133616 Feature Update document assists inrepparttar 133617 tracking ofrepparttar 133618 changes. Additionally, Feature Update documents can be used as addendum torepparttar 133619 documentation untilrepparttar 133620 actual content can be updated.

Some ofrepparttar 133621 more popular bug tracking and management systems are as follows:

- TestTrack: - Gnats: - Bug Wiser:

As you evaluaterepparttar 133622 newly built product, keep track of various problems you encounter and report them back to development. In this way, you can provide a service forrepparttar 133623 development staff as well as learnrepparttar 133624 various issues associated withrepparttar 133625 product itself.

* Packaging

Products available for release should be presented as a completed and tested installation on CD and overrepparttar 133626 Web. For CD installations, documentation can be provided in HTML or PDF format. All installations should auto-start when inserted intorepparttar 133627 CD drive or be started by double-clicking onrepparttar 133628 setup application.

For Web-based installations,repparttar 133629 basic installation information is located onrepparttar 133630 Web page associated withrepparttar 133631 given download. Oncerepparttar 133632 product is installed,repparttar 133633 user can read detailed documentation from an HTML or PDF file.

Some ofrepparttar 133634 more popular packaging systems include:

- InstallShield: - Wise Solutions:

* Deployment

Web-based deployment can consist of a Web page with a link torepparttar 133635 installation executable. The user can accessrepparttar 133636 page, readrepparttar 133637 instructions for installation, then click onrepparttar 133638 link to download.

CD based deployment can consist of a full installation copied to a CD. The user can accessrepparttar 133639 CD, readrepparttar 133640 instructions for installation fromrepparttar 133641 online documentation, then maneuver throughrepparttar 133642 installation.

* Customer and Technical Support

All products should come with a User-Acceptance Test (UAT). For custom products,repparttar 133643 UAT ensures thatrepparttar 133644 product meets a minimal set of requirements originally defined inrepparttar 133645 Requirements Analysis document. The UAT allowsrepparttar 133646 user to feel comfortable thatrepparttar 133647 product meets their needs and functions according to their requirements. For off-the-shelf products,repparttar 133648 UAT ensures thatrepparttar 133649 product is setup properly and functions inrepparttar 133650 user's environment.

Customer and technical support are essential in that, oncerepparttar 133651 product is out inrepparttar 133652 field and in use,repparttar 133653 customer needs some way of reporting bugs that were missed during QA. It does happen, but a solid QA process should capture a good percentage ofrepparttar 133654 problems before deployment.

Additionally,repparttar 133655 customer will need to access a portion ofrepparttar 133656 bug tracking system to monitor progress on their trouble tickets. This makesrepparttar 133657 customer feel better aboutrepparttar 133658 product andrepparttar 133659 process if they can monitorrepparttar 133660 status of their issues and reports.

--- What's next? ---

Numerous new software companies don't haverepparttar 133661 time orrepparttar 133662 desire to put a proper SCM process in place. Such a process not only helps inrepparttar 133663 development, but it also assists inrepparttar 133664 documentation. In such a situation, it's important that you understandrepparttar 133665 basics of SCM and various software development life cycles. Not only will you be able to generate a solid set of documents, but you will also assistrepparttar 133666 development of a solid infrastructure forrepparttar 133667 company's development team!

Edward B. Toupin is a freelance consultant, writer, and published author living in Las Vegas with his singer/actress wife. He currently handles technical writing tasks for various companies in New York, Chicago, and Denver as well as imagineers and markets feature-length screenplays.

Resources for Learning About Mobile Wireless Internet

Written by Richard Hsu

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* ( * AnyWhereYouGo ( * ( * ( )

And if you want to invest in or send your staffs to wireless training, try these sites for additional information:

* Institute for Wireless Education ( * Basser Associates (

Of course, you can purchase several related books and learnrepparttar essential skills to develop your wireless sites on your own. Here are my favorite books:

* "Designing wireless information service" by John Hjelm * "A Manager Guide to Wireless Telecommunications" by Ron Schneiderman * " The Comphrensive Guide to Wireless Resources " by Lawrence Harte * " Programming with Wireless Application Protocol:-Complete Developer Guide " by Sandeep Singhal

If you wish to know more about wireless and other related matters, you can check out at eMobiNet! ( ) for additional resources. New links are added on a continual basis.

Richard Hsu is the president and founder of eMobiNet!. eMobiNet! ( is an one-stop mobile link service for wireless Internet users, wireless telecom developers and business. Richard can be reached at

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