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FAQ: 2.2 Development Platform and Development Process
apri
Is there a defined and efficient development methodology?
The software is developed using the Extreme Programming approach. Extreme Programming is a new way of developing software, which addresses the increasing need for an effective response to changing requirements and technology throughout the development cycle of a software project. In other words, XP was set up to address the problems of project risk. Almost all software projects managed in the traditional way either missed the delivery deadline exceeded the allocated budget or both. Furthermore, projects thus developed are often unused. The main cause for failure is that the traditional development process is based on 4 stages carried out by different teams of mainly independent individuals. In such projects every stage takes from 3 up to 12 months. Things worsen when the software is put into production: a technically less skilled team must maintain the application. No major resources are allocated for them and no further improvement activities are undertaken. The consequences are that the value and quality of the software decrease very rapidly. The XP approach is different. This methodology emphasizes teamwork. Managers, customers and developers are all part of a team dedicated to delivering quality software.
apri
What are the application fields of this development methodology?
The XP methodology is applicable to all the development phases: analysis, design, testing, implementation and production.
apri
What kind of a development approach does Lifeware use: classical or object oriented
Object Oriented. Lifeware’s development tools are all object oriented!
apri
Which development tools are used?
Smalltalk is an OO-development language, Gemstone is an OO-Database.
apri
Is there a central repository?
Yes, the developed code, the tests and the documents are stored in the central repository
apri
How long does it take to have a new version or a software update?
Thanks to the web approach, the system offers the great advantage of not having to be distributed and installed by the users. In fact, Lifeware updates the software daily on its own central server.
apri
What is your experience with the error tracking / quality management? What is the percentage of payments that is not possible to register?

Development
Lifeware uses a development methodology that treats testing as the most important activity of software development. At the moment Lifeware has more than 7000 tests that monitor the behavior of all implemented business processes.
Portfolio Management - Back office
We have developed a set of tools that allow us to monitor the quality of the portfolio.
Daily monitoring

  • Pending tasks
  • Cash flow monitoring: money received, but not already associated to a contract; benefits to be paid, but no payment instruction is available
  • Portfolio consistency, for example tax rules against home address
  • Technical alerter controlling the consistency of the object model

Monthly monitoring

  • Monthly cash flows matching with accounting
  • End-of-month processing

Bug monitoring
Lifeware receives in real time via SMS or E-Mail a report about a System’s error. The bugs are registered in a issue tracking system.
In this application it is possible to see the error and monitor progress.

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