ADF EMG at OOW 2009

Everyone’s that’s going to be present at Open World and has questions regarding ADF, regarding project approach or want’s to share his/her experiences with the community … this is the ideal moment to step up and talk about it!

Besides the different sessions that are organised by as well Oracle, partners as ACE’s, the ADF EMG will be present as well.

Take a look at the schedule for ADF EMG and put it in your agenda.

Hope to see you all there, to have lively discussions and some cool demo’s!

Scrum in a validated environment

One thing has become crystal clear the last couple of days:
Using Scrum in a validated (Pharmaceutical) environment requires a somewhat different approach.

In a validated environment a number of documents, that are normally not required in Scrum, have to be delivered. These documents, Functional specifications, Risk Impact analysis, … are artifacts from the classical approaches. The solution we came up with is to have a task in each single sprint that states updating these documents. This way, after every Sprint, the documents will be updated, and thus the documents will be finished after the last sprint, ready for acceptance by the Business.

However, this is not the biggest challenge in a validated environment. The people working with these projects are used to doing everything by the rule. Using Scrum, we bend the rules a little bit. For example, we don’t have the Functional Specifications signed off by the business prior to the development phase. This makes some people very nervous. Every day I realize more that this project will be more about coaching the team towards Scrum, than focusing on my task as Scrum Master.

We have started writing User Stories, this makes the analysts feel uncomfortable. They want to have everything defined up front, but that is not what User Stories do. They will have to wait until the first Sprint Planning meeting to get the details. This first meeting will be on the 1st of October …

Scrum, getting started…

These are my first days as Scrum Master.
The mission is clear, introduce Scrum in the Project and, at the same time, guide the Project Management Team to start using Scrum.

The first days on site it became clear that this is not going to be Scrum from the book!

A Scrum project starts with defining the Product Backlog, which comes from the User Stories, defined by the business. This concept is well known over here. It’s the way they do it that makes it special.

Writing the User Stories will be done as a Scrum project, a Scrum project within a Scrum project so to speak. Maybe not even a bad idea to start out with, but …
What about priorities? You cannot label a User Story as less important; they all have to be written before they can be prioritized.

The area’s for which the User Stories have to be written are defined, and it is also defined which area’s get priority. This way, three priorities can be defined
1. The stories that have to be ready before end September;
2. The stories that have to be ready mid October
3. The stories due after mid October.These represent 20% of the functionality, and are less important.
Thus we will start with the first priority User Stories; these have to be done by end next week, that is a short Sprint …

Selecting a testing approach?

We’re approaching OOW rapidly, and we’re discussing the different topics that can be adressed during the ADF EMG Sessions.

One of the topics I would like to start discussing in this group, is the testing strategies that are used at the different project sites.

In most projects we’re now trying to introduce Test Driven Development, to make sure that all functionality that is integrated within the project lifecycle is thouroughly tested before releasing the code into the release management lifecycle.

What does it mean Test Driven Development :
Each new feature begins with writing a test, which will inevitably fail because it is written before the feature has been implemented. To write a test, the developer must clearly understand the feature’s specification and requirements. This could also imply a variant, or modification of an existing test.
This is a differentiating feature of test-driven development versus writing unit tests after the code is written: it makes the developer focus on the requirements before writing the code, a subtle but important difference.

At our current ADF project most developers we’re already acquanted with Unit-testing code and had no difficulties with the TDD-approach.

The benefits for the project:
1) Better communication and collaboration between the business analyst, product owner and development team
2) Code was much more failproof and the team could easily delegate tasks amongst each other. E.g. one developer wrote the tests and the other member of the team implemented the functionality.

Limitations:
1) When deadlines and production dates are approaching, it’s hard to keep the team focussed on this approach. It’s in everyone’s mindset that refactoring test cases and creating new ones, will take up time that is limited, instead of just writing the code, or changing it and pushing it through release management
2) The tests themselves become overhead for the maintenance part of the project.
3) Test cases aren’t bullet-proof, if the code and test cases don’t cover the functional requirements, it won’t be shown in the testing results. As well functional and business validation is needed before you can be sure the implemented functionality is bullet-proof.

Attending OOW – Interested in ADF / Fusion Sessions

For those who are attending open world and are interested in ADF / Fusion Sessions, have a look at the following overview page.

Have a look at the unconference sessions as well, where the ADF Enterprise Methodology Group and other ACE Directors will talk about their experiences within Fusion Middleware: http://wiki.oracle.com/page/Oracle+OpenWorld+Unconference

If you’re looking for best practices, tips & tricks or want to discuss problems you’re facing at your current projects, come to the ADF EMG meetings where we can try to tackle them.

Forms Modernization at OOW 2009

Oracle OpenWorld 2009 is rapidly approaching, only a few weeks from now, San Francisco will turn into the mekka for the developer community around the world to share experience, knowledge and of course to network and learn from eachother.

At OOW 2008 we gave 2 presentations regarding Forms Modernization and Data Warehousing, and the audience was great. A lot of people were facing the same questions and problems we discussed during the sessions.

At ODTUG 2009 we saw that the audience was very pleased with the Fusion Middleware 11g, because more and more questions regarding Oracle and BEA infrastructure were getting answered.

But what to do next, how to get started?

That’s why we’ve decided to give another presentation regarding Forms modernization:
“Integrate Bleeding-Edge Technologies in Your Existing Oracle Forms Application”!

We will talk about the different issues customers are facing today with their existing Forms Applications. After identifying some cases, we will dive in to some Forms cases we’ve worked on were you will see it’s no rocket science to integrate with bleeding edge technologies and of course about modernization.

Do you also want to modernize your existing Oracle Forms applications, give it a rich look and feel, adopt bleeding edge technologies without throwing away years of investments in Oracle Forms?

During this session we will show you how you can achieve this!

More details regarding the presentation:
ID#: S308194
Date: 11-OCT-09
Time: 13:15 – 14:15
Venue: Hilton Hotel
Room: Yosemite C

Hope to see you all there !