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Browse Prior Art Database

LAN Based Customer Requirements Tracking Tool

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000109604D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-24
Document File: 2 page(s) / 149K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Catino, B: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The software development industry is currently under siege to be more responsive to requirements from customers and permit rapid changes in design and implementation. Quality measurements and error tracking are increasingly becoming more important than ever in building new software products. Often, software developers cooperate with each other on a local area network for sharing software and information on changes and problems with their code. Requirements usually filter through the system from the customer to the customer service representative or systems engineer to the development manager and eventually to the developer. Most requirements systems are host or paper based database systems and require a lot of resources for updating, quality control, and reporting.

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LAN Based Customer Requirements Tracking Tool

       The software development industry is currently under
siege to be more responsive to requirements from customers and permit
rapid changes in design and implementation.  Quality measurements and
error tracking are increasingly becoming more important than ever in
building new software products.  Often, software developers cooperate
with each other on a local area network for sharing software and
information on changes and problems with their code.  Requirements
usually filter through the system from the customer to the customer
service representative or systems engineer to the development manager
and eventually to the developer.  Most requirements systems are host
or paper based database systems and require a lot of resources for
updating, quality control, and reporting.  There is little
flexibility provided for changing work environments.

      Provided is a technique for customers and developers to be
linked together by a customer requirements database application.
This tool increases the responsiveness of the developers to the
customers needs by allowing customers to directly input their problem
or requirement reports, by notifying the appropriate developers
directly using a LAN (local area network) mail agent when new
requirements have been entered, and by notifying customers when
solutions or questions relating to the requirements they submitted
have been added by the developer.  The application allows the product
owner to perform direct tracking of problems and response times for
quality measurements without requiring the communication and
programming resources of a host-based system.

      The application is written using a graphical user interface
(GUI) tool to build the end user interface components and produce the
windowing system code.  In addition, this requirements tool is built
to support the product used to create it.  At present, the platform
that is developed for (but not limited to) is the OS/2* Presentation
Manager* environment.  The application logic is written as a separate
program which resides on a database server machine, in this case an
OS/2 version 1.3 server running the OS/2 Extended Edition Database
Manager.  The application logic is multi-threaded allowing multiple
concurrent users to access the relational database through the given
user interface and application logic.  Since some locking is already
provided by the Database Manager, the protection of accesses to the
data is provided transparently.  In addition, thread synchronization
with semaphores is done in the application to ensure that only one
thread can access the global host variables at a time and that these
accesses are not corrupted.

      The application logic communicates with the user interface
logic using dynamic link libraries and a set of messages.  The user
int...