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Enduring the rigorous process of System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is never that easy and it will never be!  Why? It is because it doesn’t just stop there. As a matter of fact, after the testing phase, you are still one step away into having that dream system of yours.

Do you even know what’s the last phase? Well, it’s no other than the production phase where the real challenge begins!  This stage entails the actual creation or migration of of the system from testing and staging environments based on the standards and specifications identified during the previous stages.

Relatively, this is the real deal before reaping the fruits of your labor. But how can you be sure that you are now 100% prepared to launch that system for production? Have you seen the green light telling you to go on or have you seen that red light or the red flags waving you to stop?

Given such, it is important to remember and consider some things before putting a newly developed system in production environment. Doing such things might help you to avoid poor execution and project failure.

Thus, why not try to do these things before production?

  • Identify and review all the requirements, specifications, resources, people needed before production. 

It is important that all the requirements are clearly defined and the resources are allocated before production. Conducting the testing and staging phase might have given you the idea on what are the issues that may transpire during the actual production. It can give you the edge to review and to plan ahead.

  • Verify the approach to be used and if adheres with the standards, needs and goals of the project

In software development, the model and the approach used to create the project is very vital. Thus, during the testing, the team should be able to verify if they are using the right model and approach. This should be done to avoid huge errors and too much costs during production. Hence, it is wise to know during the testing part if the mechanisms used were efficient and in line with the needs and goals of the business. During the testing, the team can also evaluate if there is still the need to do other approaches if the previous ones which were used were not effective.

  • Conduct thorough testing

Before production, it is important to conduct thorough testing, as much as possible close to the production environment. Every system has its own procedures when it comes to this stage so better follow such and do this seriously and exhaustively. This will be done to prevent and predict issues and threats that may arise during the actual production phase.

  • Fix bugs efficiently 

In creating any system, bugs are also inevitable so the QA team should be able to find the bugs efficiently. Fix and solve it with minimal time and effort. You can also strategize and focus on bugs that needs urgency and may pose bigger threat with the system that you are going to create. Be efficient, focus on issues that are important.

  • Ensure server and system security and its performance

Security is very vital especially if you are using (Software-as-a-Service) SaaS or open source codes. Thus, before production it is important to impose security measures and evaluation on the server and the system itself. This is required especially if the system will be hosted by using the Cloud. Relatively, system performance should also be evaluated at all cost during the testing so that during the production you can assure that optimal performance can be achieved. Performance risks should also be identified.

  • Simulate the testing environment and the data used for the production environment

It is very crucial to produce the same environment that you’ve used during testing including the data or the information. The very purpose of testing is to copy the production environment in order to validate if all the elements work. But before production, it is also necessary to remember that since you’ve already conducted testing, the elements that were efficient during the testing, should be simulated and copied to the production phase. The same pipeline should be used for both phases. 

  • Review the processes for every element of the project and implement Quality Control procedures

The team should be accountable for reviewing and checking every element of the project/ system. They should review every step to ensure that everything is working and every element is compatible with each other. Make sure that you are following your timeline without compromising the quality of your output. You should not put the quality at stake so make realistic deadlines and put your best foot forward.

  • Validate the system/product by running a regression cycle

The process of regression cycle is also known as the final phase to stabilize the system/product. It is presented by using a hierarchy with several branches. Normally, this has components that will make the client/customer to understand the system/product on their own perspective. This gives the team the opportunity to validate and impose some changes if it is deemed necessary. If the system passes all the tests, you can now see that green light which tells you to “Go” and proceed to the production phase.

  • Test if the system works by running a sanity test

In order to test if everything works, a sanity test is conducted. The results matter for it also evaluates if the third-party system works. It can also say if there are compatibility issues. Project success should be seen at this phase.

  • Document, Document and Document

All changes and configurations made from the test environment to the production environment as well as changes to the programs, the databases and any auxiliiary applications should be properly documented.

  • Provide and assign the right people to do the tasks

Choosing and assigning the right people for the development team is integral to attain access. Having the right people with the right skills can help you to avoid pitfalls and failure in developing a system. Just make sure that their tasks are clearly defined and they are designated properly. Sometimes due to the current trends, much more are expected for developers and the QA team. More often than not, they have to break the traditional ways and learn the contemporary methods of software development. 

These are just some of the few considerations that you need to remember before you put that newly developed system in production. These might be some ordinary guidelines for you but you’ll never know, extraordinary results might come out of these!

 

References:

TechBeacon Online Website. (September 29,2016). Retrieved from http://techbeacon.com/10-best-practices-qa-teams-deliver-quality-software-fast

 Image Source: (Freepik Online Website) http://www.freepik.com/free-vector/businessman-in-front-of-a-choice_765208.htm

 

 

 

 

 

Published in Software Development
Monday, 05 September 2016 11:01

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) 101

                            

               

             Do you love to use different kinds of software that you do not store (or partially store) in your device, whether it be paid or on a free basis?  Chances are you may have used a Software-as-a-Service or SaaS.

Before, we always perceive software as a “product” or something that we can buy in the form of a CD and install in our computers. But now, with the concept of SaaS, it is also considered as a service or subscribed software.

Apparently, this is very different from our normal notion looking at software as a product that we normally purchase. Do you still remember the days when you asked your mom to buy you a CD of Sims? Maybe, a CD of Encarta Encyclopedia or Jumpstart which you happily installed on your computer?

Indeed, with the emergence of the Internet, things have really changed. We can now even watch and stream our favorite movies online or listen to our music playlist online. We don’t really need to buy a CD just to have that software. If you want, you can still do it but if you know about the idea of free download or even SaaS, I bet you’ll think twice!

What is SaaS?

SaaS is also known as an “on-demand software” or a a delivery model for software usage. SaaS is defined as “a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet. SaaS is one of three main categories of cloud computing, alongside infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).” (Techtarget, 2016) The idea is that users can access software applications over the Internet. Yes, even the apps or games in Facebook, Google, Yahoo are considered as forms of SaaS. Other examples of SaaS are Salesforce, Evernote, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and even some variants of Microsoft Office 365.

This is also commonly used by a lot of companies and institutions especially if they need a particular software, application or hosting online. SaaS works with the idea of “renting” or “subscribing” rather than purchasing. Are you familiar with companies online who are offering an Accounting software, Payroll Management System or hosting for a specific period of time with a certain amount of money? That’s exactly an example of SaaS. Sometimes companies are required to pay on a monthly basis and they can just upgrade the version for an additional cost if they wanted to. More likely, the files are saved via the cloud so they can access it with the use of the Internet.

What are the benefits of using SaaS?

  • Justifiable & Flexible Price

Using SaaS can give you the option to subscribe and run an application for a specific period of time. This means that the payment terms are also flexible because you have the option to use it for 2-3 months or more. You can extend it or not so there’s really no harm in trying it. In this way, you will not waste so much money just in case you didn’t like the application or if it is not efficient for your business operations. It’s like just paying for the service that you actually use. There are no hardware costs or initial costs as well. If you want to stop using the software, you just need to stop the subscription and you are done.

  • Compatibility Wise

SaaS is very flexible in terms of the devices where the applications run. Since it works via the Internet, all applications can be accessed through different devices. You can use mobile phones, tablets or an Ipad so it is much easier to use SaaS than buying a CD at the mall and installing it on your laptop. A CD is just compatible to your laptop and specific operating systems and not on your other devices.

  • Upgraded Versions & Customization

One amazing thing about using SaaS is that you can upgrade it anytime for an additional cost as well. Aside from purchasing a CD most of the applications are limited to the version that you purchased. If you want another, you have to buy again. But with SaaS as long as you subscribed with the current version, you can just pay an additional cost to improve it or add other plug ins. Some companies are offering custom-fit solutions so they can adjust the app to suit your needs. Other companies are giving free updates as well.

  • Accessible Any Time & Anywhere Via the Internet

Since most of the data are stored via the cloud, most of the applications as SaaS can be accessed at any location and time as long as there is an Internet connection. This is far different from other software which can just run with a CD or where you have installed it. But in the event that you forgot it, you don’t have the means to access your files.

  • Easy to Use, No Complexities

Most of the people today are tech savvy. In just a snap it feels like they have digital cells in their body. Thus, all the more they want to access things instantly. This is the reason why SaaS is a trend because the applications are easy to use. Just point and click. Using SaaS can minimize hardware and software management issues

These are just some of the few benefits of using SaaS. I might not be surprised if you can even think of a barrel of reasons why you love SaaS or why you want to try it.

In the end, there’s more to unfold behind this concept and what matters most is how it can actually make lives easier. We don’t know what lies ahead so in the future SaaS or another might be the next big thing!

 

References:

Tech Target Online Website.(September 5,3026). Software as a Service Retrieved from: http://searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com/definition/Software-as-a-Service

Interoute Online Website. (September 5,2016) Software as a Service Retrived from: http://www.interoute.com/what-saas

Image Source: http://www.freepik.com/free-photo/hands-with-application-icons_928590.htm#term=cloud computing&page=1&position=3

 

                     

Published in Software Development

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