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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

 

 

             Across all business strata, the concept of “database” has been a crucial aspect of Systems Development. Indeed, it is tantamount to say that, nowadays, almost all business establishments are investing to venture upon it, after all the database is the lifeblood of business operations aside from Sales and Marketing. Name all of those from the big corporations, institutions, government agencies down to the Small-Medium Enterprises (SME’s).

Apparently, this is no surprising because before you drive that line towards the concept of Above-the-Line (ABL) advertising or marketing, a company needs to establish itself first and manage its own knowledge bank.

One better way to do this, is to have an organized and established database. Take note, not just a database but a good and well-structured one!

Talking About the Database

The heart of a database is the data itself. It contains all the quantitative or qualitative information about a company, its customers, their people, its services, products, sales, etc. These pieces of information are collated inside the database; which is an integral part of systems development. It serves as the content and meat of any system or application. Hence, it is indispensable to know what type of data should you use in creating a database.

Unstructured data is a set of information that lacks categorization and arrangement. One simple example would be having too many email messages with a different subject and sender. Imagine how chaotic it may appear, right? But once you categorized it into folders, your life will be much easier. This is where structured data will come into play.

Structured data is a set of information that has a fixed format and arrangement. It has a high-degree of organization and flexibility rather than the previous one. It is arranged in a manner that can easily be accessed by anyone either by order, name, location, gender etc. It follows a data model which depends on the type of business data available and how they are stored, processed and accessed. Thus, it is important to define the values first to organize your data in a database. (Webopedia, 2016). 

Companies and SME’s with a growing number of clients and employees might have been facing a lot of issues due to unstructured and cluttered data. Imagine how much information they need to compile? Or how much information that they need to collate using voluminous and multiple sources of data just to create a report?  This is the very reason why having a database became the most sought after solution for data management problems.

Knowing the Importance of a well-structured database

According to Global Industry Development Network (GIDN), a well-structured database is paramount to the success of a business. Keeping all  information into a one secured place to be accessed anytime by any business. Here are some of the top reasons why there is a need for a well-structured database.

  • Accessibility and Availability of Data

A well-structured database can make information easily accessible anytime and anywhere. Any information in a database can also be searchable due to its categorization and fixed arrangement of values. You can now eliminate the hassle of manually going through a lot of papers or multiple sources before finding the right piece of information that you need.

 

  • Sharing of Data/ Multi-User Scheme

  A well-structured database is beneficial for the sharing of data. A database is designed for processing transactions, storing these transactions and sharing data with a lot of users. Yes, it follows a multi-user mode where anyone can access the information at the same time. If you are a developer, normally structured data is done by using Structured Query Language (SQL) a programming language used in data management systems. 

  • System Performance

   A well structured database allows systems or applications accessing such information to perform much better by just going through a structure piece of source, instead of an application or system to browse several sources just to get or acquire specific values.

  • Security and Authorized Access to Information

A well-structured database is better on how it sis being controlled and managed. . User-level access mode is used to verify a number of people who can use and access the database. Security measures are also included to limit the access to some information which should not be for everyone. By having a database, you can ensure that information is stored safely and efficiently. Database Administrators are the only people allowed to change or revise the database according to their needs as well as perform the necessary optimization of these structured databases for it to perform efficiently.

  • Easier and Simpler Storage & Backup

A well- structured database requires less effort for storage and backup. It helps in preventing data loss and storing important files for monitoring and growth tracking. With the available technology right now, you can even store your database by using Cloud.

  • Analysis and Verification of Data

 A well-structured database is also important and helpful in analyzing data. Since information is structured and categorized, analyzing data won’t be that difficult. You can easily get all the figures and details that you want and turn it into a report. The database can also verify if the data is valid, you can set up some values or verification codes to test the integrity of data.

  • Time, Effort and Cost Efficient

A well structured database minimizes the effort of browsing all the locations at your library to look for some details about the client. More importantly, this is cost efficient especially if you have a daily operation where the transactions need information from a database.

These are just some of the benefits why it is viable to have a well-structured database. On a pragmatic level, having a good database is also used to complement with certain marketing strategies and business approaches. Some companies can also use this to bridge the gap between the company and its clients or even an organization and its members. This is also a reason why having a good database is becoming not only a solution but more of a necessity and business philosophy.

 

 

References:

Global Industry Development Netowork. (September 14, 2016). Importance of Structured Databases. Retrieved from http://gidn.co/news/the-importance-of-structured-databases.html

Bright Planet Online Website (September 14, 2016. Structured & Unstructured Database. Retrieved from https://brightplanet.com/2012/06/structured-vs-unstructured-data/

Webopedia Online Website. (September 14, 2016) Structured Data Retrieved from http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/S/structured_data.html

Image Source: Freepik.com 

 

Published in Software Development

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