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Building with third party code

This first installation of my three-part series "Building with third party code" will introduce special considerations to employ at the start of a project when there is the possibility of utilizing third party software.

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Building with third party code

To successfully integrate third-party software in your project there are two critically important steps to follow; the first step is proper planning, the second step is making the right selection.

This first installation of my three-part series "Building with third party code" will introduce special considerations to employ at the start of a project when there is the possibility of utilizing third party software. In Part B (forthcoming), I will present key evaluation criteria for making the right selection. To complete the series, in Part C (also forthcoming), I will introduce a methodology for measuring and assessing your software options.

Part A.  Special Considerations

  1. Know your project's functional, process and workflow requirements.  Before you begin researching third party software make sure you have a thorough understanding of the problem you're solving. Knowing your application's requirements, as you analyze the available software options, will ensure you won't find yourself part way inside a project with software that can not fully satisfy a requirement.
     
  2. Plan adequate time in your project schedule to research the set of third party options. Even though you are not writing the code yourself, you should anticipate that utilizing someone else's code requires an amount of developer time which should be reflected in your project's schedule.  There should be enough time planned so that each option's API's are fully understood. Where load and performance requirements are critical, you should also plan on adding additional proto-type development and testing time.
     
  3. Add to your schedule time to qualify each software option on its compatibility in the target software environment (i.e., operating system, run-time versions, etc...). In addition, you should also qualify each software option's ease of use (right out of the box); technical support, licensing, documentation; sample code, demo examples, quality of code, longevity and history as a software provider, etc. (more on the selection criteria coming in Part B).
     
  4. Establish communication with the software publisher. Most third-party software publishers are eager to understand their customers. The interaction between you and the publisher will provide you with a good measure of their level of support as well as their ability to meet your application's future needs.  A good software publisher will also recognize that your success in deploying their component means their own success, and will provide support adequate to help ensure your own success.

By David E. Quigley
Executive Director
Component Vendor Consortium
E-mail: daveq@components.org
 

  Since 1985, AccuSoft’s has set the benchmark for quality and performance in imaging toolkits, and has positioned the company as the undisputed market leader. ImageGear Professional Edition™ supports over 700 imaging functions, native PDF support, full multi-threading, and Internet integration.

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David E. Quigley

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