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Building Modern Applications for the Connected Business

By:  Michael Carew, Agile Coach, Hewlett Packard Company

 

Bullet train - compressed.jpgSurely we must be able to do something even more useful with the systems we have built in the last 30 years. Just look at all the data in them! Unless we can put that data in the hands of people who want it, what value is it? And if we can then we really have done something useful.

 

Reality check: A lot of data is contained in systems employing relational or hierarchical data storage technology. This is hosted on mainframes, Unix or Windows servers, or something similar. They talk in dialects of SQL or worse. People don’t access this type of system. They have browsers, mobile phones, tablets, and a growing list of things, there is even an internet of things. These new devices talk in HTML 5 or similar. The users don’t know this, or care.

 

So these systems, often referred to as systems of reference, have lots of data about people we care about, products we sell, schedules of things such as train journeys and so on. These were designed with massive documents and users were not at the centre of the thinking. Users considered themselves lucky if they could access the data and do things with it. They were not worthy. So, the ata is already there, but it may need SOA or REST style interfaces built to exploit it for users.

 

But today Mary doesn’t want to call an agent to tell her where her packages are, she wants to use her mobile. And if she is having tea at her friend’s house, send the parcel there. She wants to do things with her data. We could let her access the traditional app to do this. The screen could look like this.

 Bad App.png

Figure 1: The way we were

 

But she has a phone that she wants to use. In her mind the application she wants to use is more like this. A true UX person would make it look more attractive, where as in the first example a developer would probably be able to get even more on the screen.

 

 Good App.png

Figure 2: New UX style

 

In both cases the external systems are still present, and the apps need to be developed and tested against them. We can employ service virtualisation to create test tools for these systems; that we can use during development.

 

Agile development enabled through the HP Express Agile Release Train puts the user, YOU, at the centre of massively connected systems. Our development environments focus on delivering value fast. Using the Agile principle of release early and release often, the train allows customers to open revenue streams early while providing feedback to the developer to ensure that the right product is built. Market share is captured early using these approaches.

 

So get on the train!

 

 The Train.png

 

Other blogs by Michael Carew:

Related links:

About the Author

 

Michael Carew - cropped.jpgMichael Carew, Agile Coach, Hewlett Packard Company

Mike joined HP in June 2007 and has focused on introducing and coaching the use of Agile techniques for software development across a variety of projects and engagements. His most recent assignment is with HP’s Agile Mentoring Office (AMO) and is a champion of Agile and Lean methods within EMEA. Mike has 35 years of overall experience in the IT industry.

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About the Author
Agile Champion and coach. Passion in software development using lean and agile techniques. Software is a people business!!
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