Effective software solutions are based on well-conceived data and process design, one that is based in a deep, detailed understanding of the underlying activity and information needs that it must support. Acquiring this knowledge is what we refer to as “Discovery.” As developers, “we don’t know what we don’t know.” We have found that this type of work often leads to discovery by the stakeholders themselves of critical aspects of the project that are not contemplated at the outset.
Lanex, based on our extensive experience utilizing both Open Source and “custom” platforms, is able to utilize our experience to recommend, design, and implement a software solution that is appropriate for its customers’ needs and associated budgets.
Depending on the type of project we are tasked with, Discovery and Design topics may be structured differently. For example, selection of a Content Management System for a customer’s website, would naturally involve different topics than building a Product Configurator.
The Discovery phase will be accomplished principally through a series of meetings with “subject matter experts” and decision-makers identified at the outset, with documentation of the results performed off-line. Lanex will typically structure the design process to be accomplished both interactively and as off-line activity, with the design being approved by the stakeholders. This understanding needs to be captured in the form of documentation; the nature and extent of the documentation required becomes clearer as the project’s scope and requirements are more thoroughly understood. The types and extent of documentation will be selected based on the minimum needed for the project to be successful, as well as the project budget.
Notwithstanding the above, Lanex believes that any or all of the following forms of documentation and/or activities may be employed during a Systems Analysis and Architecture project or phase:
Samples of these artifacts can be provided on request.
Developing solid documentation prior to the start of the project will help ensure the success of the overall application, much in the way a prospective homeowner would rather purchase a house built from a blueprint than one constructed on-the-fly. Having a blueprint, and a plan, allows resources to be used in a cohesive, targeted fashion, and minimizes the potential for costly changes during development.
Contact Lanex today to discuss your Systems Analysis and Architecture needs.
A browser is a software application that allows users to look at and interact with information on the World Wide Web, such as web pages, images, videos and other content. Hyperlinks enable users to navigate their browsers to other resources. Common browsers include Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox.
“Cache” refers to a place to store something temporarily. Files that have been automatically requested when looking at a Web page can be stored on the hard disk in a “cache” subdirectory, so that when returning to the Web page, the browser can pull it from the cache rather than the original server, saving time.
A cookie is a small piece of data that a Web site puts in the user’s web browser so that it can record something about their activity on that site and potentially use that information at a later visit. There are several types of cookies including tracking cookies and authentication cookies.
E-commerce involves the buying and selling of goods and services on the Internet. The word “e-tailing” is used for online retail selling. E-commerce may be B2B (business-to-business), B2C (business-to-consumer) or other types like mobile commerce (called “m-commerce”).
An extranet is a private network that securely shares part of a business’s information or operations with suppliers, vendors, partners, customers, or other businesses. An extranet can be viewed as part of a company’s intranet that is extended to users outside the company.
The Internet Protocol (IP) is the protocol by which data is sent from one computer to another on the Internet. Each host computer on the Internet has at least one IP address (example: 126.96.36.199) that uniquely identifies it from all other computers on the Internet.
URL means Uniform Resource Locator, which is often the web address for a file or Web page that can be accessed on the Internet. The URL contains the entire name used to access the file: a domain name that identifies a specific computer and a path name, which is a description that points to the location of a specific file.
A Web filter is a program that can screen an incoming Web page to determine whether some or all of it should not be displayed to the user, blocking out pages from Web sites that are likely to include objectionable content. A Web filter can screen out some malware and is often installed as part of a proxy server and firewall.
Abbreviation of ‘bring your own device’: the practice of allowing the employees of an organization to use their own computers, smartphones, or other devices for work purposes. Source: oxforddictionaries.com.
Fluid design is when the website is programmed to dynamically adjust its content to the actual device’s screen size. It is auto-adjusting (fluid) so it fits the screen size properly. Therefore, it always presents a visually-appealing layout with optimal navigation.
The combination of responsive and fluid design; therefore, it is the ultimate, mobile-enabled website that will fit any mobile device and accommodate all screen sizes with the proper layout and usability.
Mobile commerce (m-commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless technology, often using handheld devices like cellular telephones. As content delivery over wireless devices becomes faster and more secure, some believe that m-commerce will eventually surpass e-commerce for digital commerce transactions.
A smartphone having a screen which is intermediate in size between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer.
Responsive design is a type of design where the website displays content differently depending on the device that is viewing it. It works across a wide range of devices, from mobile phones to tablets to computer monitors. Layouts are tailored to the type of screen viewing it (whether phone, tablet, monitor, etc.), which results in easy reading and navigation.
A meta tag is a tag / coding statement in the HTML that describes some aspect of the contents of a webpage. Search engines use the information in meta tags to index the page so that, ideally, a person searching for that specific type of information will find the webpage in the search engine results.
A spider (sometimes known as a “bot” or “crawler”) is a program that visits Web sites and reads their content in order to create entries for search engines, who use the information to index the Web pages for future search results.
Page titles are visible in the tab at the top of a Web page in the browser. They are important to search engine optimization, and usually the page title text is also used as the first line of a Google’s search result entry. A page title, or “title tag,” should explain what the topic of a particular page is, and ideally there should be unique titles for each page on a Web site.
A stop word is a commonly used word (such as “the,” “is” and “which”) that a search engine has been programmed to ignore, both when indexing entries for searching and when retrieving them as the result of a search. Stop words are therefore irrelevant for searching purposes.
A breadcrumb trail shows a web visitor where the current page they are on is in relation to the Web site’s hierarchy. The term breadcrumb trail comes from the story of Hansel and Gretel, who left a trail of breadcrumbs as they walked through the forest so they could trace their way back home.
Content Management Systems are web software designed to allow the client to edit and change copy within their website. Typically a content management system also functions as a repository for documents and media to be inserted onto the website. Many CMS can have additional functionality installed, referred to as an “extension” or “plugin”. Common CMS include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
A site map is an outline of a web site’s content that allows the users to navigate through the site to find information and pages. Similar to a table of contents, a site map lists items/pages on the site and then links directly to that section of the Web site. Site maps are typically organized in a hierarchy, like an outline.
Usability is the measure of a product’s potential to accomplish its intended purpose. For example, a couple factors used for determining product usability may be ease-of-use and visual consistency. In usability testing, test subjects are asked to perform certain tasks in order to measure the product’s ease-of-use as well as the user’s motivations and perceptions during the process.
User Experience Design is a user-centered design practice that pays close attention to accessibility, site navigation and layout for optimum usability and user satisfaction while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing design.
WordPress is an Open Source (free) content management system (CMS) and blog/website building tool. WordPress is a template system and uses plugins, see “Plugins” entry below.
The media library in WordPress is a collection of every file uploaded to your WordPress site, organized by upload date. It can consist of images, videos, documents and more and is accessible only to registered administrators in the WordPress Admin.
Plugins are small applications created by outside developers and used by WordPress to perform selected functionality.
The WP admin or WordPress Admin, is the administrative user interface part of a WordPress website which allows the client to add and edit content, upload media, and manage users & settings.Close Close
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