System Instructional Manual

Protocols, Instructional Manuals & Set-up Documentation

Scaffolding AltanaESP System Scaffolding & Developmental Foundation

Finances & Costs

Financing R&D projects, system developments, maintenance and frequent updating to accommodate ever changing needs, circumstances and demands, can be extremely costly… when not going the open source development strategy route.

[wptabs style=”wpui-sevin” mode=”horizontal” background=”true”] [wptabtitle]Open Source Software[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]Open source software is very reasonably priced, and made available for use under the implied “gentleman’s agreement” of using it, and then – when value is added – you can make a donation.

Although this is a very favourable consideration, when deciding what kind of development strategy to follow, the most – for SASCEC that is – attractive aspect, is the fact that a variety of similar software can be downloaded, installed and thoroughly tested under different circumstances, in a variety of contexts and many scenarios for as long as its might be necessary.

Since the code is open source, the software can be tweaked, adapted, change, integrated and/or synchronized with others applications to meet specific functions, needs and requirements… a 100%. The adapted code can also be distributed to others, providing that such distribution honour the GNU GPL code and with due recognition to the original developer (coder) of the software.

In essence, open source software can be tried, tested and calibrated to suit specific processes, functions and purposes. And only then, one “buys the product” (i.e. make a donation) that most effectively and productively meets the Network functional requirements and System demands.[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle]Copyright Software[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]Apart from being quite expensive to purchase in the first place, copyright software is also compiled to protect “trade secrets” and protect intellectual property. When copyright software seems to be a possible solution for a problem, the only way to get hold of and evaluate software performance, is to actually buy it.

Before buying it, one has to rely on (i) marketing information that normally inflates the real value and many features of the application (i.e. software program) and (ii) a 30 (sometimes 60) day trail period to evaluate performance under a limited set of conditions. However, once the trail period has elapsed, one has to either fork out the money or discard further use of the software.

Unfortunately, during times of rapid changing circumstances, it might take up to a year before all possible conditions could be trail and tested reliably. It often happens that the efficiency of a function – due to the copyright limitations and restrictions – might become redundant within 2 or 3 months, and adapting/tweaking the software to accommodate the change, is quite frustrating and nearly an impossible feat.

Copyright software – most of the time – also functions as a standalone and isolated “all purpose” program, which makes integrating and synchronizing with other programs almost an impossibility and also is severely taxing existing hardware (computer) resources.

Thus, one ends up buying a variety of “almost there” software products, hoping to find “the one” that will – at best – meet at least 70% of the expected and required functions and specifications. Financially, quite an expensive exercise when doing research and development.[/wptabcontent] [wptabtitle] AltanaESP System Requirement[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]The AltanaESP System serves as a “working space” and also provide a collection of “tools” for use by the AltanaESP Network to deliver quality services to individuals.

The AltanaESP Network essentially is a Self-organizing Network that requires a fluent, adaptable and flexible “operational platform” as foundation for Network Service processes, procedures and activities, and which will also allow for the effective accommodation of individualization requirements, customization demands, contextual specifications and effectively deal with present day change dynamics.

The above necessitates a system development and maintenance strategy that could accommodate the following AltanaESP System specifications and requirements in a cost efficient and productive manner….

  • The need to thoroughly test software for all kinds of purposes and dynamics, mainly because individualization and customization may present unique and unexpected challenges.
  • To evaluate whether software is flexible enough to effectively deal with an ever – and rapid changing – “working environment“, takes time (anything from 1 week to 12 months) and is something that could only be reliably accomplished, when the application is installed and tested under various operational circumstances.
  • Ability to adapt, change, tweak and calibrate software to meet functional requirements that would address specific specifications, processes and procedures.
  • Different programs and applications must be able to integrate and synchronize with one another on a coding level, because the highly acclaimed import/export option, often isn’t really worth all the trouble in the end (unverified personal observation: seldom experience problems with export/import functions in open source… copyright software… plenty).
  • A Modular System structure, which will allow for the quick and cost efficient replacement of different functions, when necessary. Should certain functions become redundant as a result of technological advancements and when function specifications or information needs change.
  • The ability to log data and activities in a “drill down” methodology. In other words, data and activities must be logged in a pedantic detailed fashion (i.e. sweat the details) for troubleshooting purposesshould the need arise in future – without tying-up delivering of serves in an unproductive bureaucratic-administrative nightmarish cycle of “generating” a “quality” paper trail to maintain standards.
  • Software must be accessible and usable on as many different operating platforms and devices as possible (i.e. desktops, laptops, iPad’s, cellphones, Windows, Linux, Apple Mac, …etc.)

BottomLine The opportunity provided by the open source philosophy to first determine what exactly are needed, whether it actually address the problem and then to buy and pay for what is really needed & 100% usable. Thus, to determine value (i.e productive contribution) first, before investing any money. Time and effort? On the other hand, is totally another ball game all together. [/wptabcontent] [/wptabs]

Updated: 22 June, 2016 — 11:39 pm
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