Review: SSW eXtreme Emails!

SSW eXtreme Emails!
Neutral Bay, Sydney NSW, AUSTRALIA
+ 61 2 9953 3000

These days a number of bug-tracking products integrate e-mail so that customer communications can be managed from within the product. SSW eXtreme Emails goes the opposite route, integrating bug-tracking into Microsoft Outlook.

After the easy installation (just make sure you have .NET 1.1 and, of course, Outlook present), you can open up your Outlook to find an additional toolbar waiting for you. The first button on the toolbar is "Incident". Select an e-mail message, click the button, and then you get to fill in other information, like the priority of the incident represented by the e-mail and the person to assign it to. All of this is handled by attaching custom properties to the message. SSW eXtreme EMails also installs a custom view so that you can see the important properties.

With your e-mail folders full of incidents, you can have the product generate a daily scheduling e-mail so you can see what's up. You can also get rollup reports out of the product, which are formatted to be sent off to a client (the core target market here seems to be consulting organizations). Thus, you can keep all the incidents related to a project in a single folder and keep track of them easily.

Along with the actual guts of the software, you get a little tutorial showing you how you can use the product to drive an XP sort of process for your software development. Instead of using little cards for user stories, it uses e-mails - which, frankly, makes more sense to me. Think of it as XP moving out of the pencil and paper age.

The sweet spot here is going to be programming groups that use Outlook with Exchange and an agile methodology. If that's you, take a look - you can download a free trial version to test out, or just read the product manual online.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.

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