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If I had to classify the questions I get on a routine basis, among the first in the list would be “Why should I buy software for reason X when Microsoft has built it in free. X could be anything from firewall software for desktops through availability tools for SQL Server. It’s absolutely true that Microsoft builds a ton of great tools into their products these days, but that doesn’t mean you should rule out the need for 3rd-party solutions, and here’s why. Let’s take the case of anti-virus as an example. Windows 7 – Microsoft’s upcoming desktop OS platform – will not have a built-in anti-virus solution. However, Morro will be released by Microsoft as a no-cost anti-malware (anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc) that will be available free of charge. So, why are other players in the Windows anti-malware area still in business? First things first, not everyone will meet ... (more)

Measuring #DevOps Success | @DevOpsSummit #CD #DX #Agile #Serverless

Measuring DevOps Success in Your Software Delivery Pipeline By Jason Lenny When it comes to measuring the success of your DevOps rollout, it can be challenging to identify the right metrics that will provide intelligence while avoiding the trap of vanity metrics that indicate action—but not necessarily progress—towards the outcome you’re looking for. In my experience, the most valuable metric of all is the lead time between when you make a commit in source control and when that change makes it to your consumers. Some very mature organizations have even been able to link this metric to validated learning or planned outcomes in production (i.e., user engagement, revenue, or even a pivot decision). This sort of full-cycle measurement closes the DevOps build-measure-learn loop and gives you unparalleled insight into the performance of your overall delivery metrics. This ... (more)

uTest and AutomatedQA Form Strategic Partnership

uTest and AutomatedQA have announced that the two companies have formed a strategic partnership to offer a combined package of automated testing and community-based software testing services. The two companies will develop integrated features and services to enable uTest's community of 14,000+ professional software testers to provide automated software testing via AutomatedQA's TestComplete software. AutomatedQA customers will receive special promotional offers to introduce them to the benefits of community-based functional testing through uTest. uTest's community of testers will be able to create and sell TestComplete automated tests to complement the exploratory and functional testing that they currently submit through the uTest platform. Software teams will receive testing value by purchasing TestComplete automated tests along with bug reports. This will let uTes... (more)

A Case Study on SOA and Process

SOA World Magazine In this article I will present a step-by-step service-oriented solution development methodology and then describe how it is being used for the successful implementation of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) at a federal agency to integrate its financial systems with E-Gov Travel Services. I will discuss major service components constructed, service-oriented processes followed, business benefits gained, best practices used, and lessons learned. After reading the article, readers should have a good understanding of how SOA is used in real world situations to integrate large scale, highly valued, and mission critical information systems within and across enterprise boundaries... ... (more)

Federal Open Government Directive, Social Media, SEO & Information Sharing

Last week’s “Meeting the Open Government Directive” (OGD) conference hosted by GovDelivery (new owners of the popular public/private social media forum) showcased a number of very important, relevant initiatives and ideas to help Federal Agencies comply with this important White House mandate. The directive comes from a memorandum signed by President Obama on his very first day in office, to all federal agencies directing them to break down barriers to transparency, participation, and collaboration between the federal government and the people it is to serve. Most agencies have already started their compliance initiatives, creating “Open Government” pages (for example at DHS) to highlight shared data sources and programs, and all agencies are required to present their holistic strategies (i.e. their “Open Government Plan”) by April 7th of this year. Idea... (more)

‘There is No Software Market in China’: Ballmer

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer likes India or even Indonesia way better than China, he told Bloomberg while in Hanoi, because China doesn't have a handle on piracy or on IP protection in general, which makes it a "less interesting market to us," he said. "There is no software market to speak of" in China. The value of the software China pirated hit $7.58 billion last year, double the 2005 figure, according to IDC and the Business Software Alliance. Microsoft may only see returns from 5% of the copies of Office and 20% of Windows that the Chinese use. ... (more)

Software Quality Best Practices: Healthy Software

Consider the following scenario-typical in many application development organizations. A major new release of an application has just gone into production. Although the development and QA teams endured many late nights of coding and testing, and consumed large quantities of delivered pizza, the project missed its ship date. Still, customers are happy with the product and are giving positive feedback. By many definitions, the team has produced a quality product. Then, a new, large business opportunity requires the rapid implementation of a significant new feature in the product. The tired and over-worked development team struggles with how, or even if, it can meet the new requirement. They are concerned that the new feature will break the existing product and predict a lengthy development cycle. Schedule overruns, tired staff, and difficulty in changing or adding f... (more)

Metasploit Helpful Tips

Introduction The Metasploit Framework is a penetration testing toolkit, exploit development platform, and research tool. The framework includes hundreds of working remote exploits for a variety of platforms. Payloads, encoders, and nop slide generators can be mixed and matched with exploit modules to solve almost any exploit-related task. This tutorial will walk you through how to use the latest version of Nessus pre-built plugin filter ‘Metasploit Framework' in your pentest assignments. It will also cover some useful metasploit tips to achieve privilege escalation. Wouldn't it be great to have a shell on another box just in case you lose your meterpreter shell? This tutorial covers this and other metasploit tips. Integrating Nessus 5 with Metasploit With the release of Nessus 5 by Tenable Network Security users now have better filtering in policy creation, analysis,... (more)

Step Away from One-off Release Thinking

Not long ago, customers and prospects had to find a computer to visit your website. But today they're online 24/7 via mobile devices. Serving your customers is now a continuous interaction, and this phenomenon will only grow in the coming years as customers and prospects demand reliable and up-to-date Web services from anywhere at any time. For your organization, this translates into constant pressure to quickly and frequently add features and updates to your application services. The environment also makes the quality of your online services more important than ever as issues become visible instantly. Applications to support your business need to be deployed not only at a much faster rate, but also with more predictability. For many organizations, a new approach to delivering software isn't simply about development and deployment practices - it's critical to busin... (more)

Podcast: Development Testing for Embedded Software

In the latest Techpost Media podcast, Parasoft Product Manager Jason Schadewald shares his insights on testing the software that drives embedded devices. Jason explains that the trick to great software testing is to avoid grand visions and ambition and simply start tackling each small test problem on its own. You can always stitch everything together into a complete testing process later. Listen to the 15-minute podcast Want Quality Software Testing? Lose The Ambition to learn why: Working with devices requires a different approach to traditional app development for web browsers or OSes.  Relying on unit tests alone is dangerous.  The less complex the device the more complex the testing. ** Want to learn more about quality strategies for embedded software development? Browse the articles, papers, and videos at the Parasoft Embedded Testing Resource Center. ... (more)

Faster Test Suite Boot Times with Ruby on Rails

Developers need to be able to run tests quickly or they will stop running them. The biggest bane of test driven development, or whatever variant you practice, is long boot times. Even when you just run one test a slow boot will make it a tedious job. There are a number of ways to reduce startup times in a Ruby on Rails project. Load less dependencies to get a faster test suite boot time Project dependencies need to be loaded every time you start your test suite, less dependencies means faster startup. Keeping project dependencies to a minimum is always a good idea, not just because of boot time. Let's jump into an example. We're assuming you're using the following, simplified, Gemfile for your dependencies: gem "rails" gem "bcrypt" gem "foreman" gem "thin" gem "newrelic_rpm" gem "airbrake" First we stop loading gems which aren't used in the code. gem "rails" gem "b... (more)