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                             FreePint
         "Helping 61,000 people use the Web for their work"
                     http://www.freepint.com/

ISSN 1460-7239                                  10th July 2003 No.140
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           ALTERNATIVE NEWSLETTER FORMATS AVAILABLE AT:
            <http://www.freepint.com/issues/100703.htm>

      LATEST SUBJECT-INDEX TO ALL PAST ARTICLES AND REVIEWS:
           <http://www.freepint.com/issues/03indexa.htm>

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                           IN THIS ISSUE

                             EDITORIAL

                       MY FAVOURITE TIPPLES
                           By Steve Wood

                           FREEPINT BAR
                    In Association with Factiva
                   a Dow Jones & Reuters Company

                               JOBS
                     Project Leader - Records
                         Research Analyst

                           TIPS ARTICLE
          "Copyright and the Internet: Myth and Reality"
                          By Paul Pedley

                             BOOKSHELF
                          "Google Hacks"
                    Reviewed by Russ Singletary

                          FEATURE ARTICLE
                  "The Product Development Cycle"
                        By Stephanie Taylor

               EVENTS, GOLD AND FORTHCOMING ARTICLES

                        CONTACT INFORMATION

             ONLINE VERSION WITH ACTIVATED HYPERLINKS
            <http://www.freepint.com/issues/100703.htm>

                      FULLY FORMATTED VERSION
            <http://www.freepint.com/issues/100703.pdf>


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                    What is the ResourceShelf?

ResourceShelf is a free daily update containing news of interest
to information professionals around the world.

Topics include the latest news with web search engines, research
tips, new web resources, and much more.

                   <http://www.resourceshelf.com>

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                     >>>  ABOUT FREEPINT  <<<

FreePint is an online community of information searchers. Members
receive this free newsletter twice a month: it is packed with tips
on finding quality and reliable business information on the Internet.

Joining is free at <http://www.freepint.com/> and provides access to
a substantial archive of articles, reviews, jobs & events, with
answers to research questions and networking at the FreePint Bar.

Please circulate this newsletter which is best read when printed out.
To receive a fully formatted version as an attachment or a brief
notification when it's online, visit <http://www.freepint.com/member>.

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                             EDITORIAL

Every time I attend a conference, I always find myself questioning the
value of sitting listening to someone reading bullet points from a
PowerPoint presentation or verbatim from a published paper. I can
read those myself from the relative comfort of the FreePint offices.
It's certainly cheaper.

The value comes in being able to quiz the presenters, or have a coffee
with a colleague from across the globe who you rarely see. These brief
encounters are nearly always the things which produce the most
valuable leads or prompt the best ideas when you return.

When my colleague Annabel and I were recently in New York at the SLA
conference, we tried to talk to as many people as possible. Annabel
took the opportunity to line up interviews with a number of key people
in the information industry and the first of those interviews is now
available.

We asked Clare Hart, CEO and President of Factiva, about her views on
a number of key developments in the information world: Factiva's
integration with Microsoft Office; changes in the way Factiva provides
customer service; future challenges for information professionals; and
much more.

We put forward a number of the many questions and concerns which had
been suggested by FreePinters. So, I invite you to read Annabel's
in-depth interview with Clare Hart, as it makes for very interesting
reading: <http://www.freepint.com/portal/events/sla-2003>.

In today's newsletter we dispel some of the myths about copyright law.
The article is a selection of the key issues covered in a brand new
report "Copyright & the Internet: Myth and Reality", published by
FreePint and written by Paul Pedley. You can find out more, see a
sample and purchase the report online at:

       <http://www.freepint.com/shop/report/copyrightmyths>

Also, don't forget that the "FreePint Freedom of Information
Exchange" takes place on July 22nd so you've still time to book
if you wish to attend.

We hope you enjoy today's issue of FreePint and will visit the Web
site soon. We're increasingly publishing articles, interviews and
other material (including photos) direct to the site and so make sure
you don't miss out.

All the best
William

William Hann BSc(Hons) MCLIP
Founder and Managing Editor, FreePint
Email: <william.hann@freepint.com>   Tel: +44 (0)1784 420044

Free Pint is a Registered Trademark of Free Pint Limited (R) 1997-2003

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         >>>  FreePint Freedom of Information Exchange  <<<
                     22nd July 2003, London, UK

This seminar will provide an overview of the Freedom of Information
Act. The session will cover: * practical issues to consider when
implementing FOI * discrepancies between the Data Protection and
Freedom of Information regimes * the role of the publication scheme
* records management issues; handling FOI requests * right of appeal,
complaints procedures & compliance matters * copyright issues.

          <http://www.freepint.com/exchange/fi220703.htm>

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                       MY FAVOURITE TIPPLES
                           By Steve Wood

* E-government newsletter from Headstar <http://www.headstar.com/egb>
  offers a regular & comprehensive overview of key developments in UK
  e-government.

* E-Biz Search <http://gunther.smeal.psu.edu/index.html> is a niche
  search engine focused on e-business; search by subject or author.

* Like many people I've become interested in blogging, the Blogger
  tool <http://www.blogger.com> being the best.

* Webopedia <http://www.webopedia.com/> is great for IT technical
  jargon-busting.

* Taking a different perspective on World Trade and other global
  issues <http://www.nologo.org/>.

Steve Wood lectures in Information Management at Liverpool John
Moores University, School of Business Information
<http://cwis.livjm.ac.uk/bsn/>.

Submit your top five favourite Web sites. See the guidelines at
<http://www.freepint.com/author.htm>.

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    ****Subscribe to Factiva's InfoPro Alliance Newsletter****

     As a member of the InfoPro Alliance, you will receive our
monthly e-mail newsletter telling you about the latest enhancements to
   Factiva.com, product tips, TechTalk and links to our new online
                  sessions for advanced searchers.

                 <http://www.factiva.com/infopro>

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                            FREEPINT BAR
                    In Association with Factiva
                   a Dow Jones & Reuters Company

There's nothing quite like hanging out in a place with a real 'buzz'.
That's been the FreePint Bar lately, with loads of great questions,
answers and advice. Here's a few that have been particularly
interesting or are in need of a response ...

If you're looking for software to stop those annoying 'pop-up windows'
when browsing, then the update to Google's toolbar might be what
you're looking for <http://www.freepint.com/go/b23884>. It also seems
to work with Windows 2000 and the 'Messenger' service
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b24454>.

One FreePinter wants to make a financial donation to an overseas
charity without incurring massive fees. Would you know how?
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b24491>.

On information-related topics, do you have a view on the information
vendor OneSource? <http://www.freepint.com/go/b24223>. What about
EBSCO? <http://www.freepint.com/go/b24360>.

If you're in a workplace information centre in London then can you
join a focus group about perceptions of CILIP?
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b24347> Do you manage an intranet? Have you
thought about benchmarking it or having its effectiveness evaluated?
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b24429>.

There's been interesting advice for someone wanting a career change
and studying for an information qualification whilst still working
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b24372>. Or perhaps you've already
completed an information-related Masters in the last five
years -- if so, then can you help a current student with research
for their dissertation? <http://www.freepint.com/go/b24449>.

Finally, if you were asked to nominate a great book on Internet
research, search engines or competitive research methodologies,
which would you put forward? <http://www.freepint.com/go/b24605>.

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The FreePint Bar is where you can get help with your tricky research
questions, for free! <http://www.freepint.com/bar>

Help with study for information-related courses is available at the
FreePint Student Bar <http://www.freepint.com/student>.

Twice-weekly email digests of the latest postings can be requested
at <http://www.freepint.com/member>.

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        >>>  Copyright & the Internet: Myth and Reality  <<<

  New FreePint report about copyright law in relation to the Web:
        <http://www.freepint.com/shop/report/copyrightmyths>

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                           FREEPINT JOBS
                   <http://www.freepint.com/jobs>

FreePint Jobs -- the best place for information vacancies.

*  VACANCY SEARCHING -- Free search and set up a weekly alert profile.
*  VACANCY RECRUITING -- Complete the form and advertise a vacancy 
   for just GBP195 <http://www.freepint.com/jobs/submit/overview.php3>.

This week's selected listings are below. All new jobs are posted to
the Bar and Bar Digest (circulation 11,000+) and matched against the
1000+ live job seeker profiles. This week's Bar 'new jobs' listing is
at <http://www.freepint.com/go/b24581> and last week's at
<http://www.freepint.com/go/b24466>.

Here are some of the latest featured jobs:

Project Leader - Records
  Records Management contracts available - 3-12 months long, p/t and
  f/t hours; FoI audit, relocation, etc; salaries neg., in London
  Recruiter: Sue Hill Recruitment
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/j2548>

Research Analyst
  Undertake in-depth research projects for strategic in-house aims,
  understand a range of methodologies, excellent report writing skills
  Recruiter: Glen Recruitment
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/j2549>

[The above jobs are paid listings]

       Find out more today at <http://www.freepint.com/jobs>

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                            TIPS ARTICLE
         <http://www.freepint.com/issues/100703.htm#tips>
          "Copyright and the Internet: Myth and Reality"
                          By Paul Pedley

Copyright law has a reputation for being an arcane and marginal
discipline. When someone raises a question regarding a specific point
of copyright law, the respondent is likely to find that when they try
to give an answer the questioner's eyes will glaze over. It is hardly
surprising that many copyright myths abound, because people generally
have a sense of fair play. They think that what copyright law says
must make sense; and if it doesn't then surely that cannot be
what the law says. The article below outlines ten copyright myths and
briefly explores why each of the statements made is not strictly
correct.


MYTH 1

It is alright to copy 5% of a copyright work without breaching
copyright.

Untrue. The legislation does not specify a percentage that is
acceptable in all circumstances. The courts would look to see whether
all or a "substantial part" of the work has been copied. The problem
is that "substantial" can relate to quality just as much as quantity.
A small but key part of the work could be ruled by a court to be a
"substantial part".


MYTH 2

The information is accessible to anyone on the World Wide Web. It is
therefore in the public domain and internet users have an implied
licence to copy the material.

Untrue. Just because information is accessible on the Web, there is no
implied licence to copy it. Under UK law, copyright material sent over
the Internet or stored on Web servers will generally be protected in
the same way as material in other media.


MYTH 3

My whole site was designed by a professional Website designer. I paid
them for the work, and therefore they will have checked that it is
alright to use the clip art, pictures, and other material.

Not necessarily. Not all Website designers will check that the
material used has been cleared for copyright purposes.


MYTH 4

I have acknowledged the source from which I got the information,
therefore copyright has not been breached.

Untrue. Whilst it is true that you sometimes see copyright notices on
Websites stating that copying is allowed so long as the source is
acknowledged, this does not apply to all content. It does not mean
that you can automatically copy big chunks of everything that you want
to copy just because you acknowledge the source.


MYTH 5

There is no copyright symbol on the work, so it can't be protected by
copyright.

Untrue. Copyright protection is automatic. There isn't a formal
registration process that an author has to go through to have the
rights to a work; nor do they need to put a (c) on the work in order to
claim copyright protection.


MYTH 6

The database is on the Web and it just consists of a list of names and
addresses so it can't be protected by copyright, and it must be
alright to copy.

Untrue. With the introduction of "database right" through the
Copyright and Rights in Databases Regulations 1997, a database could
still be protected by database right, even if it isn't protected by
copyright.


MYTH 7

The full text of the journal article was posted to a discussion list.
The person who posted it to the list will have obtained copyright
clearance.

Untrue. It is incredible how often you see people asking if anyone has
a copy of an article that they are looking for, and a helpful person
then responds by posting the full text of the article to the
discussion list on which the enquirer has made the request. They might
not have even considered the copyright implications of their actions.


MYTH 8

Anyone can copy material on the Web using fair dealing for research as
a defence.

Untrue. The implementation of the Copyright Directive (2001/29/EC)
means that fair dealing for research or private study is restricted to
fair dealing for a non-commercial purpose or private study.


MYTH 9

I am entitled to make a copy of the work on my Website because I am
not charging people for the material.

Untrue. If you publish someone else's work to your own Website without
permission, copyright is infringed regardless of whether or not you
charge people for the copied material.


MYTH 10

I have only created a link to the document rather than making copies
of it. There are no potential legal problems with doing that.

Untrue: If the link is to a pdf, for example, it could be argued that
each time the link is clicked, the entire work is being "published".
There are plenty of legal hazards from hyperlinking, particularly if
you are using frames technology. You could be accused of "passing off"
other people's material as your own.


This article has outlined a number of misunderstandings which commonly
occur regarding copyright law. These are explored in much greater detail
in the report "Copyright & the Internet: Myth and Reality", available
from FreePint at <http://www.freepint.com/shop/report/copyrightmyths/>.

Copyright law has become so complex that one almost feels as though it
is necessary to have a lawyer on hand to help make sense of the law.
If people are expected to abide by copyright law, then surely that law
needs to be designed with the needs of the majority borne in mind.

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Paul Pedley is Head of Research at the Economist Intelligence Unit,
and has previously worked in the information departments of a law
firm, property developer, and in a number of government departments.

Paul is a Fellow of CILIP; represents Aslib on the Libraries and
Archives Copyright Alliance; and is also on the steering group of the
JISC Legal Information service.

Paul is also Editor of KeepingLegal.com. The service covers legal
issues affecting the information profession such as data protection,
copyright and freedom of information. There is a fortnightly
newsletter which can be requested via the site.

He regularly runs training courses on copyright, data protection and
freedom of information; as well as on Internet topics such as the
invisible Web, and business information on the Internet.

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The full report "Copyright & the Internet: Myth and Reality" is
published by FreePint and Paul Pedley and is available online at:
<http://www.freepint.com/shop/report/copyrightmyths/>

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Related FreePint links:

* "Copyright & the Internet: Myth and Reality" full report:
  <http://www.freepint.com/shop/report/copyrightmyths/>
* 'Intellectual Property' articles in the FreePint Portal
  <http://www.freepint.com/go/p143>
* Post a message to the author, Paul Pedley, or suggest further
  resources at the FreePint Bar <http://www.freepint.com/bar>
* Read this article online, with activated hyperlinks
  <http://www.freepint.com/issues/100703.htm#feature>
* Access the entire archive of FreePint content
  <http://www.freepint.com/portal/content/>

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         >>>  Community Hosting Technology by Willco  <<<

  The FreePint community is managed using Willco's modular hosting
   technology. Their system is flexible, enabling you to pick and
     choose the components you require: member management; list
        hosting; forums; password-protected areas; and more.

                      <http://www.willco.com/>

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         >>>  FreePint Quizzes Factiva CEO Clare Hart  <<<
          <http://www.freepint.com/portal/events/sla-2003>

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                         FREEPINT BOOKSHELF
                <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf>
                          "Google Hacks"
                By Tara Calishain and Rael Dornfest
                    Reviewed by Russ Singletary

Who isn't already familiar with the name Google? You may be less
familiar with the names of Google Hack's authors. Tara Calishain is
responsible for <http://www.researchbuzz.com>, and Rael Dornfest is a
researcher at publisher O'Reilly & Associates. Their new book on what
is arguably the best search engine is timely for those of us with
clients grown adept at self-service Internet research.

Calishain and Dornfest present "100 industrial-strength tips and
tools" to unearth the gems hidden within the Google mine. The book is
neatly organized into eight chapters with about a dozen or so tips in
each chapter.

The Google Toolbar comes as an interesting tip listed in the first
chapter. I've had trouble with various "helper" toolbars I've
downloaded onto my PC - including the Google Toolbar. Computer
technicians have told me they discourage users from souping up their
machines with these add-ons. As I've found out several times, they can
compromise the integrity of your Internet browser, and furthermore,
I've had little luck figuring out a work-around.

Another chapter focuses on Google's so-called special services and
collections. These include Google News, Froogle (as in frugal Google,
for us Blue Light shoppers), and Google Labs. As the authors point
out, "each data collection has its own unique special syntaxes". You
could easily debate the advantages and disadvantages of this scenario,
but I would have assumed (before reading this book) that Google
applied a one-size-fits-all approach to its syntax application across
all its services.

Chapter five centers on the Google Web API (application programming
interface). "If you've always wanted to learn Perl, but never knew
what to 'do with it', this is your section," according to the authors.
I list this chapter as a highlight, because I imagine many of us try
to maintain at least a minimal level of awareness of library-related
technologies.

Another noteworthy chapter focuses on Google pranks and games, which
makes for lighter reading after the API sections.

Google Hacks follows in the O'Reilly tradition of being a compact book
with reader-friendly design. Thermometer icons, for example, are used
to indicate the relative complexity of the 100 hacks detailed in the
book.

Calishain and Dornfest have done a good job, in the words of a library
school professor of mine, at looking under the hood and noodling
around inside the engine called Google. This book would be well worth
the list price of US$24.95, but as with most publications in this
field, you need to buy it soon after it's released, or you're better
off looking for a revised edition to be truly on top of things.

For more information on "Google Hacks," point your browser to
<http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/googlehks/>.

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Russ Singletary is a consultant with the Cadence Group Inc., an
Atlanta, U.S.-based firm, and he is assigned to the Corporate Strategy
unit of a Fortune 100 communications corporation. He holds an MLIS
from the University of South Carolina at Columbia, a BA from Wofford
College, Spartanburg, South Carolina; and has completed additional
university coursework in Quebec, Canada, and Paris, France. He is a
former journalist.

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Related FreePint links:

* Find out more about this book online at the FreePint Bookshelf
  <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf/hacks.htm>
* Read customer comments and buy this book at Amazon.co.uk
  <http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596004478/freepint0c>
  or Amazon.com
  <http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596004478/freepint00>
* "Google Hacks" ISBN 0596004478, published by O'Reilly & Associates,
  written by Tara Calishain and Rael Dornfest.
* Search for and purchase any book from Amazon via the FreePint
  Bookshelf at <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf>
* Read about other Internet Strategy books on the FreePint Bookshelf
  <http://www.freepint.com/bookshelf/strategy.htm>

To propose an information-related book for review, send details
to <bookshelf@freepint.com>.


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  >>>  FreePint Index -- Quick-reference format to all topics  <<<

  The FreePint Index provides handy subject-access to all articles
    and reviews appearing in the FreePint Newsletter 1997-2003:
           <http://www.freepint.com/issues/03indexa.htm>

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                           FEATURE ARTICLE
         <http://www.freepint.com/issues/100703.htm#feature>
                  "The Product Development Cycle"
                        By Stephanie Taylor

The information sector abounds with new technologies and information
professionals are highly experienced in selecting, implementing and
using them. This fast-paced environment, though, can mean time is
short for understanding the other aspects of technology - the
development phases. But an appreciation of the mechanics of these
phases can help to ensure that projects stay on track and
implementations run smoothly.

This is an overview of the process and offers some generally
applicable guidelines for understanding the creation of software. It
is not a comprehensive analysis of the working practices of any one
company, but a starting point for a better understanding of the
development process.


Introduction
============

During my working life, I have been in the position of being a
customer of various software companies. More recently, I have found
myself working closely with the development of products from within a
software company. This has been a fascinating experience, and one that
has made me realise the gap between what people think is going on and
what is actually happening. When I grew impatient as a customer,
thinking little progress was being made, I now know the engineering
department of the relevant company was at their busiest, getting the
product out! I also know how a customer asking for a 'little change'
that will take weeks of work and throw the whole project off course
can be extremely frustrating! If they'd mentioned it earlier,
something could've been done, but at this stage?!

The Product Development Cycle, outlined below, is, I think, the key.
It is the process through which software is created, and understanding
it can help fill in some of the gaps for customers. For software
companies, realising that customers often don't understand what is
happening can be just as important in ensuring good working
relationships.


Planning
========

Overview of Phase
-----------------

Planning is divided into two distinct parts - ideas and decisions.
Ideas are gathered from a variety of sources and weighed against a set
of criteria. This includes existing customers' requirements, new
customers' requirements, current technological developments and what
time and resources are available. Then decisions are made. Each idea
is selected for either inclusion in the next release, inclusion in a
future release or rejected as unsuitable. At the close of this phase,
the next product release has a shape and a purpose.

Customer Input
--------------

Suggestions from existing and prospective customers are central to the
process. Gathered from support calls, user groups, conference and
exhibition feedback, they are a vital source of ideas, as the point of
the process is to make something people want!

Common Misunderstandings
------------------------

Be prepared for a big time lapse from making a suggestion to seeing it
in a product. Be aware that suggestions can be rejected, usually
because they are not technically feasible right now or not useful to
enough customers. Every suggestion is considered, and there will be an
explanation for all ideas not included.


Design
======

Overview of Phase
-----------------

Now the selected ideas are pinned down in a practical way. Depending
on the favoured working practices, this phase can be incredibly
detailed or quite brief. The workload varies depending on how the
tasks are assigned. Sometimes everything in a product is detailed at
the initial stage. Alternatively, this phase can be brief, with the
detailed work shifting to the development phase. There are, of course,
many variations on this division, and this can change from product to
product even within the same company. The process is dictated by what
suits the product best. Whatever the method, the design phase results
in a plan that can be used to produce a detailed blueprint of the
technical specification needed to build the product.

Customer Input
--------------

In addition to the input from Phase 1, perspectives on usability
issues, such as making the interface easy to use for target users and
ensuring the system performs tasks in a logical way for workflow will
be sought from customers.

Common Misunderstandings
------------------------

Customer comments are required in some areas of this phase, but direct
suggestions may not be relevant in all areas. Regular updates can help
customers see that progress is happening during the times when direct
input is not needed.


Development
===========

Overview of Phase4
-----------------

Next, the specifications are coded by developers into the product.
Depending on how the work is divided (see Phase 2), the development
might start with a detailed design being created. From this, a
technical specification of the programming to be done is drawn up.
This is a blueprint and is altered as the developer/s work to record
how things function. It is used later, to track changes to the code
when developing future releases. Work is split up depending on the
scale of the product and the specialist skills required. On a large
product, a number of teams may work on different functions.

Customer Input
--------------

Changes may occur in design and functionality when technical reasons
prevent functions working in the way originally envisaged. When
changes affect the way the product will be used by customers, they
will be consulted.

Common Misunderstandings
------------------------

Functionality can alter and timescales can be highly variable. When
creating something new, despite planning, unexpected things frequently
happen. For a happy working relationship, keep talking! Customers
should be aware that this process can be a lengthy one, and companies
should regularly issue reports on progress.


Build
=====

Overview of Phase
-----------------

Now the product is built. The complete system is assembled from the
disparate parts. Although individual functions will have been tested
by developers, the build is the first stage in testing the system as a
whole. A number of builds will be done through the closing stages of
the process. These last phases of the process are a recurring loop
between building, testing and fixes to the system until everything is
working smoothly. After any changes, another build is done to
incorporate the updates and these are then tested as part of the whole
system.

Customer Input
--------------

The initial stages are internal to ensure that a reasonably stable
system is built before release to customers. In the final stages,
during the beta testing phase (see below), test sites will install
and use different builds.

Common Misunderstandings
------------------------

There are a number of ways builds can appear to go 'wrong' from a
customer point of view. It is important to understand what happens
during the process -- that the parts are assembled as a whole -- and
to allow margin for error. What seems a huge problem for a user is
usually a small, easily corrected error where the functions interact
rather than a major system fault.


Testing
=======

Overview of Phase
-----------------

Testing is done in two stages: alpha and beta. Alpha testing is done
in-house and identifies obvious problems with the way functions
interact. These are then fixed, a new system built, and tested again
until corrected. Beta testing follows the same pattern but involves
customers testing the system in a working environment.

Customer Input
--------------

Customers are pivotal to Beta testing. Test sites are chosen in
consultation with existing customers, or with the commissioning client
if the system is bespoke. Selection is based on the way the system is
used, number of staff etc. to give a cross-section of typical
environments. Sites keep a detailed log of problems, discuss them if
required and re-test to check fixes under the same conditions as the
original error.

Common Misunderstandings
------------------------

Testing is frustrating if not properly understood. It deals with a
work in progress, and the software company is fully expecting problems
- that is the point. This is very different from a live system going
wrong. It's important to remember that thorough testing is like a
dress rehearsal, the more things that are picked up, the better the
finished product will be!


Release
=======

Overview of Phase
-----------------

Once the build/test/fix process is complete, the final build
commences. This includes a health check to ensure everything is
present and correct. All the logos, company details etc., are added,
and the product is tagged with the correct version number. The release
is then delivered to customers, along with relevant installation
instructions and user documentation.

Customer Input
--------------

There may be an acceptance testing period for the customer, where
internal requirements are checked and the product is officially
accepted. Depending on whether the product is new, or new to a
customer, training might be needed.

Common Misunderstandings
------------------------

Despite the extensive testing process, some problems internal to a
customer site may still persist. This is due to the variety of
operating systems, network setups etc. that are unique to each site.
It is important to realise that such problems have to be solved in
consultation with customer IT support and the software company. An
outsider can only advise -- changes to internal configurations have to
be done internally. Being clear who is responsible for each stage of
dealing with a problem helps to ensure a swift solution.


Conclusion
==========

As a product is being released, plans for the next release will be in
progress, and Phase 1 will be underway again. The Product Development
Cycle is the rhythm the whole of a company works to. This can seem
inflexible, but it would be possible, without cut-off points, to
endlessly add to a release and never get anything out of the door! For
customers to understand the cycle and for software companies to
understand how customers might perceive the process is an important
step in keeping channels of communications open and creating a more
productive working relationship.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Stephanie Taylor is a project manager with Fretwell-Downing
Informatics, a library solutions technology company. Her previous
experience includes working in academic libraries and electronic
library management, document delivery and inter-library loans.
She can be contacted at <stephanie.taylor@fdisolutions.com>.

> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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FreePint Topics
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