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FDD Implementations

There have been several implementations of FDD over the years that I know of and probably quite a few that I don't know of. Several readers of the JMCU book (see footnote) have contacted me regarding FDD and how they've setup a little features database and got some of the aspects of the FDD reporting implemented.

The First FDD Implementation.

The notion of "development unit" milestones (where in this case the development unit is the feature) is not new and is something I've used for many years. But, the first implementation "ala FDD" was coded by Herman Veluwenkamp to my requirements in early 1998. That implementation was incrementally enhanced through 1998 and 1999 by Herman from my requirements but also from feedback by several other people. I may have missed a name or two but the people most likely to have had some influence on it are Cecilia Kiew and Stephen Palmer. Herman also made many incremental enhancements to that system himself.

This implementation was a server-side application running on Netscape SuiteSpot, using LiveConnect to talk to an Oracle 8 database all running on a Sun Solaris server. It used server-side javascript and delivered everything as HTML and client-side javascript to a Netscape browser.

This first implementation did everything you see in the JMCU book except for the graphical progress reports - the parking lot chart. The figures were taken from the Netscape system and used to manually update the parking lot charts each week.

Here are some screen shots from the first FDD implementation. Remember all screens are HTML sent to a browser.

The image below is the Development View of some features. Developers tend to use this view more than project managers or development managers, who mostly use the plan view, summary report and trend report. The development view shows the feature, the chief programmer and class owners without any dates or milestones.

Development View

Click on the image to see the Development View full content in a separate window.

Unfortunately, I don't have a "real" example of plan view from this system. The image below is an attempt to recreate it (the Nebulon implementation later in this topic has a plan view example that looks almost identical to the real thing in this first FDD implementation). The plan view shows the feature, the chief programmer and class owner initials plus the milestones and dates for them. It is also colour-coded using the same colour legend as the graphical progress summary - commonly called the parking lot chart. In this example, Implementation (MD) is the Subject Area and Authorisation is one of the Business Activities within it.

Plan View

Click on the image to see the Plan View full content in a separate window.

The progress summary report is the one that I as a project manager or a development manager am looking for each week after the release meeting. It rolls-up progress by business activity and then subject area and then architecture category - for example problem domain or user interface or data management and so on.

Progress Summary

Click on the image to see the Progress Summary Report full content in a separate window.

The Trend Report is the other report I am looking for after each weeks release meeting. There is much that can be gleaned from the figures and they track different aspects of the project. There will be an article published specifically on this subject.

Trend Report

Click on the image to see the Trend Report full content in a separate window.

The Current Nebulon Implementation

The system we use internally at Nebulon and on all our client solution development projects uses a different architecture and toolset and provides significantly more function than the original FDD system shown above. The Nebulon FDD implementation (rather innovatively called PTS - Project Tracking System !) is a server-side application developed using Java Servlets and Java Server Pages to deliver to a client browser. The development of this was led by Paul Szego.

Login

Click on the image to see the Project Login full content in a separate window.

The image below is plan view from the Nebulon system. This is almost identical to how it looked in the first FDD implementation. Notice the use of italics in the features. This is to keep in mind the feature naming template: <action> <result> <object>. When the feature is written out, the <result> part is italicised.

Plan View

Click on the image to see the Plan View full content in a separate window.

The Nebulon system has many functional enhancements from the first FDD implementation and automates many other aspects of FDD and projects. One example of this is the automated production of the graphical progress summary - the parking lot chart. This is automatically generated by the server-side Java code using Java2D and sent down to the browser as HTML and GIFs.

Parking Lots

Click on the image to see the Parking Lot full content in a separate window.

The Sausage Interactive Implementation

Here's the FDD implementation developed by our friends at Sausage Interactive - the website developers at Sausage. After our training, they adapted FDD to building websites and then automated it with this tool.

The image below is their current projects view.

Current Projects

Click on the image to see the Current Projects full content in a separate window.

The image below is their Subject Areas view.

Subject Areas

Click on the image to see the Subject Areas full content in a separate window.

The image below is their Feature Sets view.

Feature Sets

Click on the image to see the Feature Sets full content in a separate window.

The image below is their Features view.

Features

Click on the image to see the Features full content in a separate window.

No doubt they'll be many more implementations to come, and of course, the Nebulon implementation is continually enhanced - following FDD of course!

Jeff De Luca


 
     
Related Information
 - The Latest FDD Processes [go]

 - Visit the FDD Community website [go]