“StarTeam enables us to categorize, prioritize, and filter defect reports and change requests so that we can better manage the changes in each software release and communicate to the development team what they should be working on.”
Chief Software Architect
Timely Industries manufacture prefinished steel door frames. Founded in 1971, Timely has international distribution and leads the way with new products and features. The company is committed to long term partnership with dealers and unmatched product quality; assuring end users receive the very best door frame available at a reduced total cost.
When Steven Colagiovanni, Chief Software Architect at Timely, joined the company in 2000, he was the start of an in-house software development effort. He spearheaded the introduction of a home-developed CRM and ERP system which is used to track customer quotes, orders, invoices, and the production schedule.
In his previous roles, Colagiovanni had some experience which stood him in good stead at Timely: “I understood the importance of source code control. Too often I had seen a scenario where a copy of the source code was kept on a file server, alongside previous code versions and artifacts. It would be quite easy to overwrite the latest version by accident with an older version, or have two developers working on the same source code file with no way to isolate the changes made. I didn’t want this to happen at Timely Industries and recommended we implement a structured Source Code Management (SCM) system.”
In addition to source code control, most organizations see a need for structuring their defect reports and change requests. Trying to maintain these in Excel or Word documents is time-consuming and error-prone as there is no easy way to track the history.
Colagiovanni investigated the options available at the time and decided on StarTeam because it had a modern, Windows-based IDE, and offered the possibility to integrate source code management and change management. Within Timely Industries, StarTeam manages all the source code and files needed to deploy the software, including software used during the manufacturing process in the factories. This involves configuration files, third party libraries, and any images used within the software. The repository also contains the different script versions for the database-stored procedures, views, triggers, and database schema modifications.
The source code archive can be used to compare earlier versions to identify how an issue might have been caused.
Change requests could come from end-users, or they could be prompted by a change in the manufacturing process. They often come in faster than the development team can respond to them and are captured in StarTeam. This provides close management in terms of prioritization and resource allocation. Once tasks are completed and tests are verified, it’s easy to close issues in the system and keep track of what is still open.
The partnership with Micro Focus over the years is one of the reasons Colagiovanni is still convinced StarTeam is the best solution for Timely Industries: “The support we have received from Micro Focus to guide us through various upgrade processes has been outstanding. StarTeam is easy to use anyway, but if we need any help Micro Focus is always there. The documentation is a great support for us too, well-written and clear.”
The Timely Industries team can work more efficiently with change requests and source code management contained within a single IDE. Colagiovanni comments on the specific benefits: “The ability to quickly view the links between defect reports and the resulting source code changes is invaluable. StarTeam enables us to categorize, prioritize, and filter defect reports and change requests so that we can better manage the changes in each software release and communicate to the development team what they should be working on. We can just print a specific report on a particular request and assign it to an individual developer without any confusion on resource allocation.
He concludes: “I would wholeheartedly recommend StarTeam to my peers. It has given us the transparency and control you absolutely need when you are managing mission-critical software systems.”