COMMERCIAL SOFTWARE PACKAGE: VOICE–POWERED INVENTORY SYSTEM


Background: Client Facing Deadline A local software firm faced an approaching public release date for a major upgrade of their chief software product, a voice–powered inventory system that enables its users to make inventory decisions and enter inventory data by means of voice commands.


Three Key Components With in–house resources and time at a premium, the firm decided to outsource three key components of the product to B–Three Solutions. B–Three personnel rapidly mastered the complex architecture of the software product and went to work on the reporting module, the printing module, and the customization tool.


Customization Tool: Proof of Concept Work on the customization tool was handled in three phases. At the beginning of Phase I, the client identified specific customizations for B–Three to carry out on the software product. Working in Java 5.0, B–Three completed the manual customization of the product, and established the validity of the modifications through extensive testing.


Automated Customization Tool B–Three then collaborated with the client to produce the design document for an automated customization tool that would enable a licensed user of the software product to carry out the same modifications.


The design document served as the blueprint for B–Three’s work in Phase II of the project. We developed and tested an import customization tool that would run as an Eclipse plug–in, installed into the user’s development environment. By means of a wizard interface, the user could add new fields to the imported model objects in the software product.


As part of Phase II, B–Three produced documentation appropriate for distribution to users of the customization tool, providing a high–level description of its functionality and details of the user interface and the available options. We also produced technical documentation for the client, describing the code architecture.


Expanded Customization Wizard In Phase III, B–Three expanded the functionality of the customization tool. This gave the user the capability, through a wizard interface, of adding new fields to the software product’s export files. An additional wizard interface enabled the user to create a new model object in the product’s code base.


After developing and testing the expanded customization tool, B–Three modified the user documentation and the technical documentation to cover the additional functionality.


Meeting the Deadline The components were completed and integrated into the software product in time for the product to be released on schedule