Service Virtualization Facilitates DevOps Implementation

DevOps is the new paradigm in software development that is meant to bring about synergy amongst development, quality, operations, delivery and management teams. This helps to bring out better quality products in the shortest turnaround time, thus helping businesses to stay ahead in competition. Traditionally, various departments within an enterprise worked in silos with different work ethos and more often than not, at cross purposes with each other. DevOps adopts lean and agile methodologies to break barriers between various disciplines and work seamlessly to achieve optimization and automation.

DevOps is more to do with a change in the work culture of an organization, where synergy and collaboration are the buzzwords. As development and testing of software simultaneously by involving various disciplines of an organisation becomes the new norm, creation of a real test environment where different components of software can be tested assumes significance.

However, there are a few challenges to create a real test environment for DevOps testing:

• The software architecture has individual components that are either evolving or not tested properly.

• The individual components or dependencies are mostly developed and controlled by third parties or partners – at locations that are far off from the parent organisation.

• Ensuring dependencies and various teams handling them to work in tandem is difficult.

• The dependencies might be separated by distance, language and time zones, which are not always possible to be included in a real test environment.

• Dependencies need real datasets to validate their results, which are not always available.

• The task of aligning dependencies for testing purpose is cost prohibitive.

• Delays are inevitable if testing teams have to wait for dependencies to be ready.

The above mentioned challenges can be addressed by using Service Virtualization technique. In this process a virtualized test environment is created, wherein the behaviour of dependencies is simulated as if they form part of the embedded software architecture with connections to other parts of the system. Here, the entire system architecture is not simulated, but only the ones that are needed for testing purposes. Service Virtualization strategy does not require setting up of a real test infrastructure or data sets, but helps testing or development teams to record the behaviour of dependencies – if they perform as desired.

How Service Virtualization works to the advantage of DevOps

• Creates a functional test environment without real dependencies and datasets

• Leads to cost savings, as setting up of real test infrastructure is not required

• Shorter turnaround times as testing teams need not wait for dependencies to be ready or available

• Any number or type of datasets can be used to check the behaviour of dependencies, which can be helpful to study abnormal behaviour of components (if any)

• Glitches thus identified are addressed promptly leading to better quality software made available in the shortest time

• Better quality product leads to better user experience, thus better brand value

Conclusion

The integration of various disciplines in a business to work in tandem is the hallmark of DevOps testing and leveraging service virtualization to achieve the same is the proverbial icing on the cake with respect to savings on cost and time, and enhancement of an organization’s brand value.

How To Evaluate A Business Idea For Developing An Enterprise

Why Do You Need A Business Plan?

Planning is a process that never ends for all businesses. It is extremely important in the early stages of any venture when the entrepreneur will need to prepare a preliminary business plan.

There are different types of plans that may be part of any business operation. These include but not limited to Financial plans, Marketing plan, Human Resource plan, Production plans, Sales plans etc. Plans may be short term or long term or may be strategic or operational. Whatever the type of plan or the function, plans have one important purpose; to provide guidance and structure to management in a rapidly changing market environment.

A business plan on the other hand is a written document prepared by the entrepreneur that describes all the relevant external and internal elements involved in starting a new venture. It is often an integration of functional plans such as marketing, finance, manufacturing and human resources. It also addresses both short term and long term decision making for the first three years of operation. Thus, the business plan, or road map, answers the strategic questions of where am I now? Where am I going? And how will I get there? Potential investors, suppliers and even customers will request or require a business plan.

How I Prepared My Preliminary Project Proposal

In my case, I followed the following break downs keeping each section as brief as possible.

1. Background: in this section, I established the context of the project by giving an account of the problem it is trying to address.

2. State of the art: I gave an overview of existing and emerging technology in the field, including an account of rival technologies and a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of the various options.

3. Proposal: I wrote an overview of the proposed project and the approach, i.e. the activities which I will be undertaken to achieve the project objectives. Clearly establish the research element or novelty component in the proposal.

4. Consortium: an overview of the proposed manpower and establish the required ability to carry out the project successfully (e.g. skills, competencies, etc.)

5. Objectives and Deliverables: Identify (1) the objectives and (2) the deliverables of the proposed project.

6. Competitiveness: if applicable, establish the competitiveness or advantages of the proposed solution compared to other solutions, whether these already exist or are still being researched.

7. Cost: give an overview of the project cost (including start-up cost and working capital requirements).

8. Impact: this section should include:

i. Markets and Uses: identify possible uses and markets for the deliverables of the project.

ii. Benefits and Beneficiaries: identify the beneficiaries of the project’s results (e.g. the project participants, the general public, third parties) and the manner in which they will benefit.

iii. Roadmap: give an indication regarding what further steps, effort, costs and timeframes are necessary before tangible benefits can be realized from the deliverables or results of the project (unless these are realized within the lifetime of the project).

iv. Spillover Benefits: identify any secondary benefits of the project (e.g. facilitating participation in funding programmes, improving Malta’s ranking, strengthening Malta’s reputation in a particular area, etc.)

Preparing a Detailed Business Plan

Stages of writing a business plan are: After deciding to go into business, before starting the business and when updating is required.

Business plans can be written for retail business, wholesale business, service business, manufacturing and any other type of business.

A business plan is written by doing the following:

Identifying all the questions that could be asked about the business.

Determining what further information needs to be gathered to answer all the questions.

Obtaining all the necessary information.

Comparing various alternatives

Making a decision on each question.

A business plan should:

Have a good appearance

Provide an index

Provide a summary

Number each copy

Be signed to show who is submitting it.

Depend on the nature of the business.

A business plan should be organized to carry a cover page, table of contents, executive summary, business description, Marketing plan, organizational plan, operational plan, financial plan and appendices.

Outline of a typical business plan is as below;

1. Title: Feasibility study Report on______________________

Commissioned by_________________________

2. Project consultants

3. Table of contents:

Executive Summary

The Report

Project Background

Objective of study

Project description and

Loan advancement

Promoter

Location

Market and marketing plan

Potential customers

Competition

Pricing

Sales Tactics

Advertising and Promotion

Distribution.

Technical Feasibility and management plan:

Factory

Machinery

Overhead charges

Packaging materials

Raw materials Manpower and Labour costs.

Financial Projection/Feasibility:

Overview on capital requirement

Financial plan

Projected cash flow

Projected profit and loss account

Projected balance sheet

Break-even analysis

Source and application of funds

Organization Plan:

Form of ownership

Identification of partners/Principal shareholders

Authority of Principals.

Management team background

Roles and responsibilities of members of organization

Assessment of Risk:

Evaluate weakness of business

New technologies

Contingency plans.

Schedules:

12 months projected sales

12 months projected purchase

Fixed Assets and depreciation schedule

Profitability index.

Thanks for reading

New Rules for Uploading Applications in the Google Play Store

Introduction

In response to the changing times, the search engine behemoth Google Inc. is tightening screws on the applications that are being uploaded to the Play Store. The company has put in place a special team to screen the new applications for bugs, sexually explicit material and malware. It has put in this mechanism to strengthen its age-related rating system so that its products are in tune with time. Like Apple, Google has its operating system running in different devices. To be more precise, Google has its proprietary Android software powering various devices. Every year, developers make a large number of applications whose functionalities range from calendars to video games. So, it is quite natural to see an updated system in place to check the new applications developed by developers across the world. In this article, we would be looking at the rules the search engine behemoth has introduced for the first time for the benefit of the readers who plan to develop new applications.

Updated Rules

The people who want quality applications look forward to the Google Play Store for downloading them. The applications that are up for grabs include digital games, entertainment software, gaming applications and social media applications. The Silicon Valley software company wants to bring certain rules to tighten the quality before uploading the applications to the Play Store. A content quality team would check whether the applications getting uploaded follow the stipulated standards in the software industry. However, it is not putting in place as stringent rules as what the Cupertino Company has incorporated in its applications store to set high benchmark of quality. Yet, it has made sure that the rules are in sync with the changing times so that only relevant applications get uploaded to its Google Play Store.

1. An expert team will screen each application submitted by developers to find any variation in the content as per the rules laid. Earlier, it used automated technology for screening the applications. The manual intervention is reintroduced to catch and solve the glitches the automated system has ignored.

2. Developers will have to answer certain questions listed in the questionnaires about their applications so that independent review organizations can rate them based on their intended use.

3. Applications submitted without the accompanying questionnaires are liable to get rejected by the expert team. Hence, it will not be published in the Google Play Store..

4. Existing applications that don’t have any rating from the independent agencies would summarily be blocked to bring a level playing ground across the world. This move is certain to help the developers from the developing world to get the required exposure in the global software development industry.

Work Design and Technology

To increase employees’ job satisfaction and productivity technology is used by organizations to redesign jobs and work schedules. Technology changes the organization’s work style and employees’ performance analysis process. Technology is not just an instrument which transfers input to output. This term is used as such a machinery and instrument which is sophisticated in natures and develop output through computers and other electronic instruments. This technology looms the industrial sectors and now cloth can be produced much quicker and faster than before.

Electronic instruments developed for money transfer and finance management, open dynamic progress in banking and finance sectors. Workplace style and work lives of employees are being affected by technology. Continuous improvement is demonstrated in any organization to enhance productivity and efficiency simultaneously. This continuous improvement requires modification in all organizational processes. The term re-engineering comes from developing a better electronic version. In any organization, re-engineering fundamentally demands altering the ways we do things.

Its primary rule is to commence from a plan sheet to rethink to alter current management system. This redesign means to spruce up the process by removing antiquated elements from any work design.

Management responsibility is to understand the key elements and core processes that insert worth to organizations’ distinctive competencies. Since early 1990s, process re-engineering has been popular and all major companies of European countries and of America have introduced some changes in support of work redesigning. The employees, who continue their jobs after redesign process in organization, found that they are not doing the same job. Work redesign process can include more employees’ services excellence, interaction with customers, coordination with suppliers and colleagues, more responsibilities, creativity, follow-up and incentives.

It is mostly tough on employees and takes 3 to 5 years to complete the whole process re-engineering. During this time period, workers get anxious while taking more responsibilities, challenges, new work style and because of risks involved. Implications for process re-engineering is designed and selected on individual and group basis. Employees’ motivation and reinforcement, cyber loafing and ethics related steps are taken on individual basis. Along with decision making, communication & coordination and organizational politics are taken on different look; for group level implications.

By introducing new technology in workplace, job rules and interpersonal relationships are also being changed. For analyzing work tasks its characteristics need to be understand first. These task attributes, collectively affect different jobs and determine employees’ performance, motivations and relationships. Tasks attributes mainly include expertise variety, task identity and its significance, independence provided and feedback. By keeping in mind these tasks characteristics employees’ development need strength can be evaluated for specific job; on the basis of core job dimensions, critical psychological state and personal and work outcomes.

Technology is also facilitated in establishing an ideal work design to enhance overall performance. Organizations are looking towards offering alternative work schedules options for employees. Employees need flexibility in a changing work place and work schedules options as in organizations they act as a strategic tool.