User story: At Fidelity
- By Jack Vaughan
Nancy Landau of Fidelity Information Services, Boston, works in a world that
others can only imagine. The leading mutual fund has a complete test bed that
very nearly mirrors its actual operations, as described by Landau last fall at
Gartner's AD Summit. She described her company's effort to have testers work
more closely with enterprise monitoring teams to find process changes that could
help bridge the gap between development and operations.
Landau described a production environment with more than 600 systems to
monitor, and a very large test environment. Monitoring teams had a good handle
on whether a physical box was up or down, but a less sure handle on whether an
application was up or down. Given that the company had more than 300 servers in
the test lab, management was inclined to ask what more the test people could
''Now we take people from assorted backgrounds -- testing, business,
archictecture. When we have put a team together, we are looking at multiple
aspects of how things work,'' she said.
Developing for deployment is still new. While only the largest operations can
create such a lab, some lessons learned there can be shared. Her message to
developers: ''Don't spam the event log.'' Often, Landau said, with no little
understatement, a warning is better than a fatal error message.
Architectural walkthroughs are also useful. Such meetings allow operations to
get server agents configured and activated much earlier in the process.
''Design consistent logging and reporting frameworks,'' she said, so messages
are similar across applications. Track the use of error message dialogs, so
developers know what is used, Landau added.
There is a lot of data management involved with bridging the
development-deployment gap, she indicated. Thus, you have to filter through to
what is truly important.
Please see the following related stories:
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''User story: At EBSCO'' by Rich Seeley
Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.