IT Enterprise Applications Systems Integrity Group
Monthly Testing Newsletter -- October 2000
ContentsSoftware Development Process
Software Development Process
Article: Writing Good Requirements
All too often, software requirements are badly written and hard to follow. Clarifying your specifications will benefit everyone involved. [Editor's Note: This article includes some excellent practical guidelines for writing quality, testable requirements.]
Article: Everyman's Guide to Data Warehousing
Essential questions to be answered before going ahead with a data warehouse project.
Article: Software failure can lead to financial catastrophe
Software failure is a terrifying possibility that should scare the bejeezus out of any company looking to stay in business. Although the media inundates us every day with software success stories, news on the growing economy, and reports that the Internet has caused an information revolution that rivals the advent of Gutenberg's printing press, we rarely hear the flip side of this fairy tale: Hundreds of thousands of software projects fail every year.
Editorial: Long-term thinking (Ed Yourdon)
Measuring the success of an IT project means looking at its long-term benefits, as well as the costs of implementing it.
Article: 10 Java Maxims (Bruce Eckel)
Because Java projects are so often tied to mission-critical Web applications, Java developers often find themselves writing applications under cruelly insufficient time frames. The urge to cut corners in an effort to demonstrate progress can be great. But for every shortcut, do not doubt that there is a tradeoff down the line.
Software Testing & Quality
Article: Step-by-Step Test Design
This is an excellent article with a practical approach to creating test cases, procedures, and scenarios for application features/functionality. It offers a comprehensive approach and process for planning tests and includes a very good example. This article is highly recommended.
Article: An Evolutionary Approach to Software Quality Assurance
The amount of rework performed to fix software defects and the associated cost in dollars and missed opportunities, is causing many software organizations to rethink their current process(es) for developing and testing software. Why are there so many defects in software? One theory is that the current role of Software Quality Assurance (SQA) as a tester, is insufficient, and incorrect. Usually, the SQA individual/group tests the software after it has been developed. By this stage, the schedule is often so compressed that much of the planned testing has to be sacrificed so as to deliver the product on time.
Tutorial: Unix Shell Scripting
This is a great little introduction to Unix shell scripting. It gives nice background and makes no assumptions about prior knowledge beyond basic Unix.
Just as a public utility for gas or water uses metal or plastic pipes to serve your home, an Internet service provider pumps communications bandwidth, or Internet connectivity, into a business or residence via electronic "pipes" such as standard telephone lines, cable connections or dedicated Internet lines.
Article: Mired in Meetings
If you think you just can’t sit through another endless session, you’re not alone. How firms are fighting back against the bane of corporate life.
Article: Bandwidth Be Thy Name
A leading techno-pundit argues that an entirely new new Internet will change our lives. If only we entirely understood his grandiloquent writing.
Article: SBC offers first glimpse of Net voice strategy
SBC Communications will release an early version of its Internet-based voice telephony strategy Tuesday, offering its first business-focused version of the technology.
Article: Small phone companies losing ground to telecom giants
Small phone and Internet providers are struggling as they try to launch new services, upgrade their networks and generally compete with the giants of the communications world.
Analyst Report: IP telephony will suffer growing pains before it is ready for extensive business use
In a time when information sources are blending together, faster is better. The search for an efficient way to transfer data over the Internet has placed Internet Protocol (IP) telephony in a good position to take over the way organizations communicate. However, some IP telephony pundits say the technology is not ready to handle the volume of use it will receive if fully launched for use in the business world. Many experts agree, however, that IP telephony will someday be the key that merges computers, telephones, and television into one integrated information system. [Editor's Note: This article gives an excellent overview of VoIP and some of the issues surrounding its implementation.]
X-Setup(Free – Windows NT/9x – 2900kB)
Recommended by Andy Lewis
X-Setup is probably best described as Tweak UI on steroids. This utility allows you to change 500+ internal system settings to improve system performance, customize Windows, etc. The GUI is quite user-friendly with an Explorer-like tree view with the customizations grouped into logical families. The application even supports 3rd-party plug-ins for additional special customizations.
Superfast keyboard shortcuts
In addition to using <Ctrl>+<Alt>+letter keyboard shortcuts for your desktop or Start menu icons, you can use single keystroke shortcuts by using numeric keypad keys. To use one of these, right-click on the desired icon and choose Properties. In the Properties window, select the Shortcut tab and place focus on the Shortcut Key edit field. Press the desired key on the numeric keypad. The Shortcut Key field will show "Num" plus the key you pressed. Press OK to save your changes.
Summary results when using voting buttons in MS Outlook
When you need to solicit responses from a group of folks not much beats using the Voting Buttons option in MS Outlook. However, if you receive many responses it's sometimes hard to keep up with the results. To quickly see the results, open the original message that you sent in the Sent Items folder. There will be an additional tab called "Tracking" that includes summary results and the responses of each recipient of the message.
Use Excel and ODBC to retrieve data from Oracle databases
SQL Navigator is a handy tool for querying Oracle databases. Sometimes, though, you just need to pull some data into a spreadsheet to look at it. SQL Navigator allows you to save query results as a comma-separated value (CSV) file. However, you can use ODBC to retrieve your data directly from Oracle into Excel. Here's how to do it:
To rerun a previously saved query, select Data | Get External Data à Run Database Query… and select the desired query.
Just For Fun
Humor: Microsoft: The Next 25 Years
Found by Mike Modugno (Remember him?!)
As we "celebrate" the first 25 years of Microsoft. We take a look ahead at what the future holds for the next 25 years at Microsoft.
Parody: IT Olympics
This site is a parody of the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics