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Software Configuration Management

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Last week we talked about how we review code, open pull requests and use GitHub issues to manage our development workflow. This week I will show you every step that happens after a pull request is merged into our master branch. We use an automated deployment pipeline for releasing our code into production. Deployment Pipelines A deployment pipeline lays out the whole process that your code needs to go through from your repository to production. It breaks the build into several parts (e.g., build, test and deploy) and all the associated steps that need to be taken. By defining a pipeline it is always clear which step needs to happen next. Martin Fowler describes it really well in his blogpost. If you want to dig deeper into Deployment Pipelines I highly recommend Jez Humble and David Farley's book: Continuous Delivery. Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases t... (more)

When is Your Small Business Ready for an ERP System?

A common question small business owners ask themselves is when their business is ready to implement an ERP software application that will replace their existing small business software. Fortunately for the small business owner, there are a number of small business ERP software solutions on the market today that serve as a viable replacement for QuickBooks, Peachtree, and other small business accounting software packages. In my experience, there are three telling signs of when a small business is ready to migrate from its existing small business software to a more sophisticated ERP system. First, the small business is operating in a multitude of software packages based on a given department within the organization. Accounting personnel make journal entries in QuickBooks; warehouse managers enter data into Excel; sales representatives use ACT, Goldmine,,... (more)

Perforce Integrates Fast SCM System with WebSphere Studio

Perforce Software has announced the availability of its Fast Software Configuration Management (SCM) system for IBM's WebSphere Studio Application Developer and Eclipse. The Perforce Plug-in for WebSphere Studio and the Eclipse Platform, known as P4WSAD, gives developers easy access to Perforce SCM from within any of the WebSphere Studio developer tools and P4WSAD gives Eclipse developers a complete SCM integration, the company says. P4WSAD allows access to Perforce from within Eclipse 2.0.2 or higher and from any of the WebSphere Studio WorkBench family of products, which includes: WebSphere Studio 2.0.3 or higher; WebSphere Studio Application Developer 5 or higher; WebSphere Studio Site Developer 5 or higher; WebSphere Studio Homepage Builder 6 or higher. P4WSAD automatically versions refactored files, according to the company. Refactoring is a powerful development... (more)

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Beta Draws Industry Interest

Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) announced that the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization portfolio of products has transitioned to Beta and is on track for final delivery later this year. These products are part of the company's outlined strategy to offer solutions that expand the scope and market reach of its virtualization and cloud technologies. By sharing Red Hat's broad hardware and ISV ecosystem, the products will offer customers flexibility, operational choice and efficiency, while expanding the market adoption of virtualization. In February, Red Hat announced its 2009 virtualization strategy and roadmap, which included plans to deliver the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization portfolio, featuring server, client and management products designed to enable ubiquitous adoption of virtualization across the enterprise. Red Hat has worked with customers and partners over the ... (more)

Successful Software Best Practices: Requirements

I'm not in love with "requirements". There are some who think that "Requirements" are the be-all and end-all for building great software. They're not wrong, but they are off by a third of a bubble. Great software companies come from creating and bringing to market (with a great "go to market" strategy) quality software that solves one or more significant problems for an appropriately chosen target audience - and does so measurably better than alternative solutions. How does such successful software happen? Certainly not by accident. Understanding the Target Customer It comes from truly understanding the "target customer" - their needs, their plans, and their pain, the severity of their pain, their ability and willingness to spend money to fix that pain, and knowing what other alternative solutions exist for them (and how your proposed solution compares). And this un... (more)

Book Excerpt: Introduction to Design Patterns

Design patterns are one of the most successful advances in software engineering, by any measure. The history of design patterns is a strange one though, and somewhere along the way, much of their original utility and elegance has been forgotten, misplaced, or simply miscommunicated. This book can fill in some possible gaps for those who have experience with design patterns and can provide students new to the literature a better way of consuming it bite by bite. When it comes down to it, the design patterns literature as it stands is a collection of rather large nuggets of information of varying degrees of digestibility. This text is a foundation that provides a practitioner familiar with design patterns a methodology for placing those nuggets into a larger system of understanding and provides the student new to design patterns an approach for learning them from basi... (more)

Private Bankers May Move to Take Over BMC

Private equity houses KKR, TPG Capital or Bain Capital Partners may be persuaded to take BMC private. Bloomberg says the company, which has a market cap of $6.5 billion, met with potential buyers last week. It also approached Oracle, Cisco, Dell, EMC and CA. Bloomberg says those strategic investors are unlikely to bite because they're not interested in BMC's old-line mainframe software and breaking up the company would be expensive. The Texas company also sells software for storage management, database performance and data recovery. It's under pressure from activist shareholder Elliott Management to sell out and recently hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch to scout out opportunities. Elliott now owns at least 7.7% of BMC and got two people on the BMC board in July at the threat of a proxy fight. ... (more)

The Science and Art of Open Source Software License Management

The industrial revolution continues - starting with the steam engines of the 18th century, continuing with large-scale steel production, oil exploitation, electrical and photographic innovations of the 19th century, and moving on to the transportation, communications, computation and electronics of the 20th century. It is still early in the 21st century, but we can safely say software has become the engine that feeds the industrial, economic, medical, and gradually the political issues of our existence. The only way to satisfy the demand for the volume and complexity of the software that is needed to keep our world moving is to maximally share and reuse code within and across application domains. Open Source Software (OSS) is the epitome of code reuse, enabling complex applications to be realized rapidly, economically and safely. Probably the largest collaborative ... (more)

[session] Offshore Development | @CloudExpo @MobiDev_ #Mobile #AI #IoT

Offshore Development: How Not to Screw It Up In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, will present a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project results within possible constraints You will see how it is possible to find your perfect software development partner and establish a long-term business partnership in the world of offshore development. Speaker Bio Alan Winters is an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur. After spending two deca... (more)

Perforce SCM Extends Version Control Support to MS Office Project

Perforce Software has announced support for Microsoft Office Project as part of the integration between its software configuration management system and Microsoft Office. Perforce's Software Configuration Management tracks and manages source code, document and digital asset development for software production environments. The Perforce Plug-in for Microsoft Office (P4OFC) extends Perforce's SCM functionality, which includes storing and versioning files, to Microsoft Office Project, Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs. P4OFC adds a Perforce drop-down menu to Office applications so users don't have to leave a familiar environment to bring their documents under Perforce control. P4OFC tasks include: - Checking files in and out - Determining which version of a document is checked out and who else is working on it - Accessing a document's complete revision history - Explicit... (more)

DNDJ Feature — Where's i-Technology Headed in 2007?

At the end of each year, when SYS-CON informally polls its globe-girdling network of software developers, industry executives, commentators, investors, writers, and editors, our question is always the same: where's the industry going next year? Every time, the answers are surprisingly different from the year before, and of course throw light not just on where the industry is going but also how it's going to get there, why, because of who, within what kind of time-scale - all that good stuff. Enjoy! Ruby on Rails . JRuby . AJAX . Rules-Based Programming JASON BELL Enterprise Developer, Editorial Board Member, Java Developer's Journal My predictions for 2006.... 1.  Incremental mainstream adoption of Ruby on Rails It's going to happen, isn't it? Keep an eye out for Sun's offering of JRuby. Whether this is the death of other open source scripting languages like Groovy ... (more)