Thursday, April 11, 2002
As expected, the book starts with a discussion of function points, its evolution as a methodology, and how it has evolved as a means of measuring a full spectrum of attributes, such as quality, productivity, time and effort. In addition to generic attribute metrics this book shows how function points can be applied to earned value project management, developing a balanced scorecard that views the enterprise holisitcally, business and e-commerce metrics and evaluations and benchmarking.
Parts that I especially like include:
- The complete data collection, analysis and action process that is embodied in the book. This can be used in any setting, such as the Constructive Cost Model (CoCoMo), as well as FP.
- IT work units, which are applicable to production services and support. This dispells the notion that function points are only useful for software estimating. This is also augmented by a later section in the book that addresses IT and business measures that is sure to change the way you approach measuring the overall value of IT.
- Demonstrated use of function points as a viable project estimating technique that extends to projects other than software development.
- Clearly written explanation of statistical process controls.
Traffic Engineering. Network traffic engineering is a science that can be applied to not only circuit capacity, but any activity or process where queuing is involved. This includes help desk staffing and similar uses. The basics are explained in Traffic Engineering, which is an outstanding 29-page overview that starts gently and goes into the details. If you are currently struggling with capacity planning for Voice over IP, the VOIP calculator, which is an Excel application, will help you arrive at capacity plans that are traced to quantitative analysis instead of the usual method (throwing money at the problem). You'll also want to read our previous entries that cover capacity planning, as well as the PowerPoint presentation about measurement capability.
Processes. Much of what I cover in this weblog is about software engineering. The MS Word document titled Integrating Iterative Processes examines life cycle approaches and is something every architect, project management and software engineer will find interesting.
Systems Integration. If you are faced with an enterprise integration project you'll undoubtably be using XML (if not now, you can be sure that you will be in the future). Connecting E-Commerce to XML is a good starting point for understanding the issues.
An excellent book on the topic is XML, Web Services, and the Data Revolution. In many respects this book extends David Linthicum's B2B Application Integration by focusing solely on the data aspects, and explaining the web services approach that has matured after Mr. Linthicum's book was published.
This book defines the tools, cuts through the hype and sorts out the pieces needed to design and deploy enterprise-wide solutions. What makes it particularly valuable is that it doesn't side with the two major factions espousing web services - the Microsoft .NET and Sun-sponsored J2EE approaches are presented without bias (refreshing in itself considering the hype and industry posturing). The same objective treatment of approaches by IBM, BEA, HP Oracle is given, which ensures that you have ample insights into the available approaches to developing web services. Of course, SOAP, the XML-family of protocols, and UDDI are also covered in depth using clear writing and excellent illustrations.
What I particularly like about this book are:
- The way Chapter 1, Extending the Enterprise, presents a coherent picture of the complexities of web services and enterprise integration. This is done in less than 30 pages and packs an amazing amount of information into those pages.
- Chapters 3 (XML in Practice), 4 (SOAP) and 5 (Web Services) drill down into the guts and sort out the complexities - especially the discussion of web services, which doesn't [yet] seem to have a standard definition.
- Chapter 7's discussion of XML security, which is a nice and needed touch that rounds out the information provided in the book.
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]