The Development Process

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2006-06-12 Print this article Print

Project engineers used the Borland software—particularly CaliberRM, to manage requirements—for both the UHF-R microphone and Shures E-Series headphones as part of their development process.

"The headphone lines are on a rapid cycle," Branch said. "They are targeted for a market that changes very rapidly. And we are able to leverage and get a lot of reuse so that when we update our products, we know what was there previously, and we know how to improve upon it. So Borlands tools have been a benefit in that regard as well."

Matt Klassen, senior product marketing manager at Borland, said Borlands customers continually push the company to improve on the Borland ALM strategy.

"They said we can manage requirements, but we really need to be able to move beyond that," Klassen said of Borlands customers. "Theyre saying they can manage change, but if the information we put into that repository is inaccurate, theyre really more efficiently managing the wrong stuff. And they cant wait until they produce a product to see whether it meets their users needs or not. They need to know that as early as possible."

Klassen said Borlands focus for 2006 is producing end-to-end solutions that fit the needs of specific areas for customers.

"And that brings to reality this Software Delivery Optimization [the transformation of software development to an accelerated and disciplined approach] message in terms of making software development from a managed process," Klassen said.

That focus for Borland is broken into four solution areas: IT management and governance, requirements management, change management, and life-cycle quality management, Klassen said.

Klassen said Borland is working to get Shure to buy into Borland solutions in each of these areas. Purnell said Shure is interested in other aspects of the Borland ALM solution beyond requirements management.

Case File

* Customer Shure

* Organizational snapshot Shure develops microphones and audio components; the company started as a one-man operation in 1925; since then, Shure microphones and audio electronics have been the tools of choice for politicians, musicians, corporations, churches and broadcasters across the world

* Business problem More and more of Shures new-product development is involving more and more software; meanwhile, Shures marketing department and engineers had to get clear-cut information on customer needs and desires for future products, along with what was working and not working so well in existing products

* Technology partner Borland Software, of Cupertino, Calif., and Orasi Software, of Kennesaw, Ga.

* Recommended solution Borlands CaliberRM and StarTeam products; Shure is using Borlands CaliberRM to help capture and manage user requirements for what they want in upcoming products; Borlands StarTeam Enterprise Advantage product is used as a software version control system

* Return on investment Requirements input from music artists including LeAnn Rimes and the Black Eyed Peas enabled Shure to produce its UHF-R wireless microphone—the companys most successful wireless mic yet

* Lessons learned The Borland tools enabled Shure to better develop and manage requirements, thus leading to the reuse of both requirements and software in creating new products

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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