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G.W. Snedecor

Software life cycle

8min

The world of IT tools is in constant evolution

Alike plant research and biotechnologies, the world of IT tools is endlessly evolving… hardware and software alike evolve with an increase of calculation power and different programming platforms. These evolutions enable the software industry to provide end users with more and more user friendly interfaces, thanks to advanced features and better computing capacities. In addition, software editors serving rapidly changing businesses, like Doriane with vegetal research, need to offer new features expected by the market very often.

Doriane, as an ISO 9001 Quality Certified research software constantly improves the quality of its processes. We keep the standard software RnDExp® consistent with the technological state of the art of industrial customers. Therefore, Doriane engaged itself in the state of the art strategy of Software Life Cycle in order to face two obligations:

  • Make the functional perimeter of RnDExp evolve with evolving customer needs and evolving market expectations;
  • Guarantee the sustainability of RnDExp packages for its customers by using new IT technologies.

 

The life cycle of the RnDExp software

The niche market, addressed by these products dedicated to the R&D of activities related to biology, requires a concentration of the energy to have scalable maintenance and requires that new product developments are done on a number of computing platforms as small as possible.

Since its creation in 1984 and the delivery of the 1st industrial version of RnDExp®, Doriane has totally rewritten the software 3 times.

The lifecycle of the software delivered by Doriane is based on an analysis of costs for the customers along the software’s life. Indeed the total costs of a software include:

  • Cost of creation: invested by the editor on the computing platforms, computers and human resources involved during the project (Analysis, Specifications, Programming, Tests)
  • Cost of exploitation: including 1- the costs of IT systems and auxiliary software required for the software use 2- the costs of the software implementation on customer sites;
  • Costs of maintenance.

In order to always guarantee the software’s efficiency as expected by the customer, the costs of maintenance for the software provider are increasing exponentially with the time of use. Therefore, it appears that after a certain time, it is more effective for the provider (and effectively for the end customer) to remake the software totally, providing evolutions for a lesser price. This is used to determine the software’s “optimal life time”.

After the software’s optimal life time, software providers are not able to deliver evolutions with realistic costs because too much costs are involved into maintenance. Doriane always involves closely its customers in choosing evolutions. Therefore, IT standards show that, to optimize costs, on a functional perimeter which stays the same, all the software should be rewritten when the yearly costs of maintenance reach around 40% of the total cost of creation. The percentage is lower, if functional evolutions and modular solutions are proposed by the software editor. That is the reason why, by following these IT standards, Doriane proposes to give a totally new version of its software every 10 years on average, for the vegetal research industry.

That product strategy ensures that Doriane products include the necessary technology evolutions in the domains of IT (Web interfaces, bigdata, Artificial Intelligence), agronomy (Drones, IOTs, Plant Scoring app) and R&D (traceability, data inter-operability). Moreover, our consulting services bring the necessary tools and support for customers to migrate in good conditions to sustainable, up-to-date and efficient platforms.

Doriane is proposing these standards warranties to its customer through maintenance and license contracts, to guarantee an optimal lifecycle of the customer’s system, as it is used for strategic R&D activities it brings more efficiency.

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About Doriane

The expertise of Doriane brings the three players of R&D the resources to organize, share and valorize their research projects:
RESEARCH DEPARTMENTS: Fast implementation of business processes ; Liberation of researchers creativity
IT DEPARTMENTS: Real-time centralization of multilocation data ; Security and integrity of data
MANAGEMENT: Maximization of research investments ; Research departments monitoring ; Intellectual assets valorization and sustainability

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