Client Overview

As a major housing industry leader, the client works with more than 4,000 clients. They address client issues including rental management, residence security, and accident management.

Business Challenge

This large government agency has had difficulty managing their Notes development processes. As part of their IT Governance policy, they have clear best practices procedures stating that developers should not make changes to the design in the production environment, however rules do get broken. This is usually the result of a vital request to address a “hot” issue, or an urgent request from a high level official.

As a result of these exceptions to their best practices rule, developers found themselves unsure about which version was the most recent and contained all the required functionality. Comparing different versions of templates manually has previously proven to be an extremely unpleasant, time-consuming task.

The Teamstudio Solution

In searching for a way to minimize the time required to locate the most recent version of a template, the client turned to Teamstudio. Teamstudio recognized that their problem was the result of a poor process. As a result, a recommendation was made to use Teamstudio’s Build Manager which would allow the client to deny developer access to the production environment. Although the client would like to enforce this policy, it was not a reasonable solution, since they felt they would not be able to deny request changes from higher level management.

The second recommendation was to use Teamstudio’s Delta product, which would allow developers to conduct a side-by-side comparison of two different versions of a template or a database. Since this occurs on a regular basis, the client wanted to obtain a copy of Delta for each developer so that they could generate a comparison report as necessary, without having to go through a centralized group.

Results

As developers got more accustomed to creating and reviewing side-by-side comparison reports, they were able to significantly reduce the time required to identify the most recent version of a design template. As a side benefit, they found that Delta could be used to confirm the successful completion of a design refresh. Previously, this process would frequently skip one or more design elements as part of the refresh.

It has also helped identify the developer who made the change to production. Since these changes are usually the result of a high-level manager, developers cannot adhere to the policy of not making changes to the development environment. However comparison reports can be saved and distributed to developers who made changes in production but failed to update the template in the development environment. This has proven to be an excellent tool to remind developers to update both environments at the time of the change.

An unexpected benefit of Teamstudio Delta was discovered during the client’s Notes upgrade. They had made a large number of customizations to the mail template, but failed to document these changes. With Delta, they were able to identify all customizations and make those changes in the new mail template. The customer estimated that it would take several days to identify all the changes manually. With Delta, they were able to complete this work in less than 30 seconds!