We reviewed the first common myth in the development community. Here’s a look at the second one and a possible solution.
One-size-fits-all fits me
So enter the one-size-fits-all (OSFA), one-stop-shop, everything-you-wanted-all-in-one-place tools. These tools try to provide an end-to-end solution that does facilitate the support of the whole lifecycle. The problem is that these tools come from vendors who have to reach a mass audience and so they develop very generic solutions that are entirely agnostic as to your role in the SDLC, your organization’s domain or methodology, best practices, policies and procedures. The big selling point for them is often their “single repository” database. I have all my artifacts in one database and I can control access to everything from that one place.
While the concept seems to make sense you have to dig a little deeper and ask some questions. Most of these tools are incredible “bloatware” solutions with hundreds of menus and options and a dizzying battery of configuration and customization needs. But perhaps the most insidious feature of these tools is that they are optimized for a single platform. Whether it is optimized for the OS, the hardware, the language, the methodology; these tools are trying to force you focus on one OS/platform/hardware/methodology. But today’s applications are highly heterogeneous because we constantly innovate in our solutions and embrace new ideas and incorporate them into extant systems. Of course migrating all your existing data into one of these OSFA products is expensive, time consuming and very error prone. And let’s not forget none of these vendors is the domain expert in every part of the lifecycle. So these bloatware tools provide adequate to capable functionality throughout but never the deeper capabilities for dealing with the inevitable corner-cases we all have in all of our systems.
So what is the answer? There is a hybrid solution here that needs to be considered. You want best-in-class tools but you want them to work together and support your end-to-end delivery process.
Orchestrated Application Delivery addresses this problem directly, simply and preserves your existing investment in solutions you have chosen because they meet your technology needs. It supports your methodology and topology and geographical challenges. It is designed to allow the most flexible implementation without massive data migration and it supports an evolutionary roll-out strategy (not a revolutionary overturn everything we hold dear because we have new tool to implement strategy!).
We’ll look at how this works in my next post.
|Kevin Parker is a 30 year industry veteran, holder of three technology patents and is VP of Worldwide Marketing at Serena Software. He speaks and writes on application development methodologies, business analysis, quality assurance techniques, governance, open source issues, and tool interoperability, from the mainframe to distributed platforms to the web and mobile and embedded systems.|