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Re: What is Enterprise Software?

by Tanktalus (Canon)
on Oct 30, 2005 at 23:53 UTC ( #504082=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to What is Enterprise Software?

Given that I'm probably as much of an expert as anyone (translation: I'm picking this out of me arse), the first thing to come to mind with the concept of "Enterprise Software" is software that is needed for business-critical processes. Of course, this definition is probably over-broad. After all, it would include the word processor that the secretary uses (after all, he couldn't get his job done without it - it's critical to his part of the process), the email program that the manager uses (again, she couldn't do her job without it since about all she does is send and receive email... at least at my company that's all managers do...), or even the web-browser that everyone uses - since in order to access the web-based enterprise software, one needs a browser. Now, granted, with commoditised browsers, if one browser stops working, you do, in theory, have a few other options available to you. In actual practice, however, I'm not sure - how many apps depend on IE, and depend on the quirks of IE?

For example, we recently switched over to Rational ClearCase/ClearQuest for development and tracking. ClearCase itself works on many platforms. ClearQuest doesn't. And I don't work on Windows. So I started using the CQWeb interface - which only supported IE on Windows and MacOS. It has been an uphill battle to get Firefox on Linux supported - although they seem to be going that way. For me to get through my processes, I need CQWeb - to me, that makes it Enterprise Software.

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Re^2: What is Enterprise Software?
by Jenda (Abbot) on Oct 31, 2005 at 14:50 UTC

    CQ? I pity you! I've seen that beast and I don't think you can get anything worse. The "designer" was definitely insane, if there ever was one. I'm really glad I'm one of the very few developers in the company that doesn't have to "use" it (often).

    And as far as the "support" goes, let include a quote from my conversation with someone near the top management:

    The people who own it are insane too because I remember Xxx talking about their "support" plan
    they don't support it :-O
    they probably don't have anyone capable of supporting it. I remember Xxx telling me how she would figure out the issues and solve them herself and they would be amazed, kind of like "wow, so that's how you do it".
    Yeah, enterprise, that's what it is.

    XML sucks. Badly. SOAP on the other hand is the most powerfull vacuum pump ever invented.

      Really? That's your experience? Mine is about 180 degrees different. Admittedly, my situation was a pretty unusual one, working for a company that paid the $$$$$ for top-grade support from Rational. But we had Rational engineers (CC and CQ experts, respectively) on site two days a week and always on call. I learned a lot from them (as well as from the on-line resources) about how these products work, and I personally can't praise them enough. Yes, there's some complexity; yes, the products have some quirks and warts; yes, there's a substantial learning curve. In an enterprise environment, you should expect to, and shouldn't be afraid to, climb that curve. The payoff is a suite of powerful, "enterprise grade" tools you can exploit in taming your change management dragons. None of the open source tools I've encountered come close to the depth and breadth of power available in the Rational tools.

      A word spoken in Mind will reach its own level, in the objective world, by its own weight

        Maybe they got better later. Or maybe your company paid more $ than mine.

        As I said I did not have to use it often, I guess maybe three times or something, but it was enough. I don't know what does the current interface look like, but the version I have seen was simply ... interesting. Eg. the form for entering an issue resolution was insanely long so you kept on entering and selecting and checking and clicking and scrolling down until everything looked like it was there ... and then you have to scroll all the way up to find the Submit button. Beg your pardon? The forms were so long and complex that I got session timeout twice before I finished entering the data and submitted the form. Of course I lost all the stuff I entered.

        Sure, part of the problem was that it's a complex tool for complex situations and big number of users and issues. Which to some extend has to cause the UI to be more complex than one of some simpler and less feature-full tool, but IMHO at least in that version they did a very bad job designing the UI.

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