Bug Tracking Points to ConsiderWritten by Seapine Software
A bug tracking system is central to a successful quality control process. The strategic importance of purchase becomes clear when you consider impact data can have on your enterprise. Here are a few points to consider when selecting your bug tracking solution.
1. Not all bug tracking solutions are alike.
Some bug tracking solutions trap you in a Web-only interface with its limitations and performance issues. TestTrack Pro gives you choice of a true Windows client and a Web-browser client. Most bug tracking solutions limit you to one server operating system - Windows. TestTrack Pro gives you additional choices of Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X. Some bug tracking solutions don't scale well past a dozen users or a few thousand defects. TestTrack Pro scales easily to handle any team size.
When selecting a bug tracking solution, make sure you are getting all of features you need at a competitive price. TestTrack Pro is solution--offering best mix of features, architecture, support, and scalability.
2. Not all bug tracking vendors are alike.
Anybody with a little database experience and a copy of MS Access can build and market a basic bug tracking solution. Designing a feature-complete solution requires years of effort and customer feedback. Seapine Software has been developing and delivering bug tracking solutions since 1995 on multiple operating systems across a wide range of industries. Seapine backs its solution with a variety of services and outstanding customer support. When selecting your bug tracking vendor, ask yourself "What is their track record? Will this company be around to help me next year or even next month?"
When considering your bug tracking vendor, ask "How long does it take to talk to someone in support?" Does company even offer telephone support or are you limited to email support? Do they answer their email in a timely fashion or does it go into email black hole?
3. Does your bug tracking solution scale well?
Many solutions are based on MS Access databases or other database technologies that require you to upgrade database back end as your company grows. TestTrack Pro is based on a fast, industry-standard database engine that easily scales to handle hundreds of users in multiple geographic locations. Make sure you are not going through process of finding a new bug tracking solution as your company grows.
Effective Software Development ProcessWritten by Blane Warrene
There is never a guarantee of project success when endeavoring to build a sophisticated application. However, there are established steps to follow that will ensure a clear, concise scope, support for team involved, and a solid opportunity for successful deployment. Previous experience has shown many project and technical teams that keys to failure can be as follows: * Lack of senior management support and business planning. * Lack of clear and detailed design specifications. * Lack of functional specifications which read as a handbook reference for technical team involved to start writing code. Writing Your Declaration of Dependence A project always starts as an idea which generally provides a solution. Often these are drummed up in brainstorming sessions and scratched out onto legal pads or napkins. It is this step which leads to your project charter, or your declaration of dependence. The key in this phase is to include, from start, all parties involved, including most senior managers impacted by this effort. This means technical team, development manager, project manager, business representatives from impacted departments, and preferably, CIO and a non-technical senior management representative. By utilizing this group in developing charter, there is unity in business plan mission for project from beginning. This is also opportunity to better understand lifecycle on business side for developers and for developers to articulate process they go through to build solution. This provides a forum for business users to discuss processes they use or would use in this application, giving some insight, perhaps, into interface design and application flow. Additionally, technical team can present process for moving from design specification to functional specifications to a test-ready application. A process should also be agreed upon for ongoing status reporting and future resources which will be needed, such as quality assurance staff and alpha/beta testers. Depending upon timeline, these resources may need to be identified and notified at this stage for budgeting and scheduling purposes. This completed document defines entire scope of your project, its mission statement, supporters, reporting processes and ultimate end result with broad timelines. It also clearly reflects interdependencies required to successfully complete initiative. Business Requirements This standard accepted process needs little explanation. However, it is step which will enable technical team to develop design and functional specifications we will discuss later. Most important is to ensure this document is written in user-friendly language and format. This is also document to build your projects glossary and definitions document. It enables a final review of scope by team that built Declaration of Dependence to ensure all aspects are covered before process moves forward to design specifications. It is also important to avoid including design elements in this document. For example, if a data mart will be built and accessed via this application, it is important to define definitions of a record, but not to define field structures, data types and naming conventions. This document will produce necessary definitions of business processes and needs to identify hardware and software specs, as well as components and elements needed inside of design specification. Design Specifications Design specifications are "meat and potatoes" of project for technical team. This is where major system goals will be established and will very likely sound similar to mission statement implemented in Declaration of Dependence or charter. Several reviews of charter and business requirements by technical team will lead to an introductory high-level technical document which ties systems, components and modules, and database needs to business processes and tasks in proposed application. Top Level Design This should be capable of technically describing and defining application without necessarily specifying underlying language to be used. Additionally, this is where all challenges should be identified: * How is overall application to be organized? * Are all systems and sub-systems clearly noted and defined? * Have all functions been defined for component development? * Have all data definitions been converted into data structures and types? * Are there existing systems which can be leveraged for some of this application, or is it 100 percent original development? * What will be built and what will be bought? Cost analysis of components required versus available commercial components. * Limitations of internal resources. * Interfaces and systems outside of internal control, which impacts future change management and application updates.