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XP in ERP and DataWarehousing projects

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  • SherlockSridhar
    Hi, I was stumped by a question from one of the members in the audience when I was introducing them to XP Practices. He stated that he works on projects
    Message 1 of 10 , Oct 26, 2005
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      Hi,

      I was stumped by a question from one of the members in the audience when
      I was introducing them to XP Practices. He stated that he works on
      projects (primarily ERP and Datawarehousing) were test automation is
      almost impossible and there are very few instances of code changes. Most
      changes involve configuring properties and other such things and do not
      require CI.

      I told him that from his description, the project would be better
      executed using traditional methods as the project characteristics do not
      seem to lend themselves to XP practices.

      Was I right or wrong?

      Regards
      Sridhar

      --
      http://www.fastmail.fm - Choose from over 50 domains or use your own
    • Ron Jeffries
      ... Is test automation the only XP practice? Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com There is no award for being XP . There is an award for doing the right
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 27, 2005
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        On Thursday, October 27, 2005, at 1:58:36 AM, SherlockSridhar wrote:

        > I was stumped by a question from one of the members in the audience when
        > I was introducing them to XP Practices. He stated that he works on
        > projects (primarily ERP and Datawarehousing) were test automation is
        > almost impossible and there are very few instances of code changes. Most
        > changes involve configuring properties and other such things and do not
        > require CI.

        > I told him that from his description, the project would be better
        > executed using traditional methods as the project characteristics do not
        > seem to lend themselves to XP practices.

        Is test automation the only XP practice?

        Ron Jeffries
        www.XProgramming.com
        There is no award for "being XP". There is an award for doing the right
        combination of practices: success.
      • Luiz Esmiralha
        Hi Sridhar, In my experience with SAP implementations, the customization level was so high that they usually ended up forking SAP codebase (with the help of
        Message 3 of 10 , Oct 27, 2005
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          Hi Sridhar,

          In my experience with SAP implementations, the customization level was
          so high that they usually ended up forking SAP codebase (with the help
          of zee germans) and also there were tons of ABAP code to be written.

          Maybe the audience member was not experienced with medium-to-large
          sized ERP implementations?

          Luiz

          2005/10/27, SherlockSridhar <sherlocksridhar@...>:
          > Hi,
          >
          > I was stumped by a question from one of the members in the audience when
          > I was introducing them to XP Practices. He stated that he works on
          > projects (primarily ERP and Datawarehousing) were test automation is
          > almost impossible and there are very few instances of code changes. Most
          > changes involve configuring properties and other such things and do not
          > require CI.
          >
          > I told him that from his description, the project would be better
          > executed using traditional methods as the project characteristics do not
          > seem to lend themselves to XP practices.
          >
          > Was I right or wrong?
          >
          > Regards
          > Sridhar
          >
          > --
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        • SherlockSridhar
          On Thu, 27 Oct 2005 06:00:55 -0400, Ron Jeffries ... No, but this was his strongest point of concern. He could relate to Release and Iteration Planning
          Message 4 of 10 , Oct 27, 2005
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            On Thu, 27 Oct 2005 06:00:55 -0400, "Ron Jeffries"
            <ronjeffries@...> said:

            >
            > Is test automation the only XP practice?

            No, but this was his strongest point of concern. He could relate to
            Release and Iteration Planning concepts, Simple design and pair
            programming. Refactoring was not much applicable, but TDD [Test
            Automation] and CI seem to be difficult to practice.
            Regards
            Sridhar
            sherlocksridhar@...
            Sherlocksridhar.blogspot.com
            -----------------------------
            "A lot of preconceptions can be avoided by simply trying them out" - Bruce Eckel

            --
            http://www.fastmail.fm - IMAP accessible web-mail
          • Ron Jeffries
            ... I m just wondering why you d suggest that all of XP was inapplicable because a few practices were not applicable. Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com You are
            Message 5 of 10 , Oct 27, 2005
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              On Thursday, October 27, 2005, at 10:51:20 AM, SherlockSridhar wrote:

              >> Is test automation the only XP practice?

              > No, but this was his strongest point of concern. He could relate to
              > Release and Iteration Planning concepts, Simple design and pair
              > programming. Refactoring was not much applicable, but TDD [Test
              > Automation] and CI seem to be difficult to practice.

              I'm just wondering why you'd suggest that all of XP was inapplicable
              because a few practices were not applicable.

              Ron Jeffries
              www.XProgramming.com
              You are to act in the light of experience as guided by intelligence.
              -- Nero Wolfe
            • Logan, Patrick D
              ... Technically, there are a number of solutions for testing SAP R3, perhaps the most popular ERP system. There is an ABAPUnit framework for SAP s ABAP
              Message 6 of 10 , Oct 27, 2005
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                >> Is test automation the only XP practice?
                >
                > No, but this was his strongest point of concern.

                Technically, there are a number of solutions for testing SAP R3, perhaps
                the most popular ERP system. There is an ABAPUnit framework for SAP's
                ABAP programming language. (I rec'd this by email request from the
                author who is at a German university. Try google or email me.) At OSCON
                2003 (I think -- about 2 years ago) there was a good session on
                interacting with SAP R3 using dynamic languages.

                Finally the recent changes in SAP R3 provide two servers in one
                essentially, the older R3/ABAP system and the newer Netweaver/Java/J2EE
                system. The integration between the two is fairly seamless and so using
                Java tools to test the R3 world is practical.

                Datawarehouses typically use a more or less common implementation of
                SQL. Again there are technical solutions to testing these systems.

                There are two bigger problems with enterprise systems, whether they are
                ERPs or datawarehouses. "Enterprise" systems in my experience are
                supported by organizations much more like the stereotypical mainframe
                priesthood. Try getting close to those systems, or something resembling
                those systems, with your bare hands. Not likely. There are "paths to
                production" and "enterprise release windows" and such. These are the
                things project teams work *around* by creating loosely coupled
                interfaces, mock interfaces for testing, etc.

                Again this kind of limitation is more organizational and cultural than
                technical. There is a mind shift that has to take place in many minds to
                begin changing this situation.

                The other problem is just lack of good data in time to be test driven.
                The root cause tends to be not understanding the system or having that
                understanding spread out among too many people most of whom are not on
                the team, in the department, and maybe not even in the company. Then
                there is a good bit of lead time to get the system configured as it will
                be used in production in order to begin understanding and generating
                test data.

                There are other related problems, again none of them very technical in
                nature. These are the last bastions of agility resistance from a fairly
                pure organizational and cultural set of reasons. Not that the people
                involved don't want to be agile, at least in the ERP case. In the
                datawarehouse case there is a longer road that I have seen. I think
                their fears are real but the challenge is in getting into situations
                where evidence can be built for making changes.

                -Patrick
              • Steven J. Owens
                ... Not to sound too sardonic, but isn t this the group where people quite frequently tell other people if you re not doing all of the practices, you re not
                Message 7 of 10 , Nov 2, 2005
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                  On Thu, Oct 27, 2005 at 12:49:07PM -0400, Ron Jeffries wrote:
                  > On Thursday, October 27, 2005, at 10:51:20 AM, SherlockSridhar wrote:
                  > >> Is test automation the only XP practice?
                  >
                  > > No, but this was his strongest point of concern. He could relate to
                  > > Release and Iteration Planning concepts, Simple design and pair
                  > > programming. Refactoring was not much applicable, but TDD [Test
                  > > Automation] and CI seem to be difficult to practice.
                  >
                  > I'm just wondering why you'd suggest that all of XP was inapplicable
                  > because a few practices were not applicable.

                  Not to sound too sardonic, but isn't this the group where people
                  quite frequently tell other people "if you're not doing all of the
                  practices, you're not doing XP"?

                  Okay, okay, I know it's _really_ more like "if you didn't try XP
                  with all of the XP practices then you can't conclude XP is broken
                  because your project failed", but I couldn't resist the cheap shot
                  :-). More usefully, maybe this topic would make a good case study for
                  applying XP. Come to think of it, maybe it would be a good idea to
                  start collecting case studies of applying XP, particularly to odd
                  situations where people have difficulty imagining how to apply certain
                  practices. Even better, examining failure modes might help people
                  understand where, how and why XP works.

                  --
                  Steven J. Owens
                  puff@...

                  "I'm going to make broad, sweeping generalizations and strong,
                  declarative statements, because otherwise I'll be here all night and
                  this document will be four times longer and much less fun to read.
                  Take it all with a grain of salt." - http://darksleep.com/notablog
                • Ron Jeffries
                  ... Mr Beck has suggested that the way to get to XP is to pick your biggest problem, solve it in the XP way, rinse, repeat. So incremental XP is certainly
                  Message 8 of 10 , Nov 2, 2005
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                    On Wednesday, November 2, 2005, at 8:22:36 AM, Steven J. Owens wrote:

                    > Not to sound too sardonic, but isn't this the group where people
                    > quite frequently tell other people "if you're not doing all of the
                    > practices, you're not doing XP"?

                    > Okay, okay, I know it's _really_ more like "if you didn't try XP
                    > with all of the XP practices then you can't conclude XP is broken
                    > because your project failed", but I couldn't resist the cheap shot
                    > :-). More usefully, maybe this topic would make a good case study for
                    > applying XP. Come to think of it, maybe it would be a good idea to
                    > start collecting case studies of applying XP, particularly to odd
                    > situations where people have difficulty imagining how to apply certain
                    > practices. Even better, examining failure modes might help people
                    > understand where, how and why XP works.

                    Mr Beck has suggested that the way to get to XP is to pick your
                    biggest problem, solve it in the XP way, rinse, repeat. So
                    incremental XP is certainly canon.

                    I agree that failure modes seem interesting ... although the ones I
                    see are all sadly the same.

                    Ron Jeffries
                    www.XProgramming.com
                    You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure,
                    what you do not understand. --Leonardo da Vinci
                  • SherlockSridhar
                    But I always believed that some of the practices atleast are so closely interlinked that you have to have suitable alternative practices if you don t do all of
                    Message 9 of 10 , Nov 3, 2005
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                      But I always believed that some of the practices atleast are so closely
                      interlinked that you have to have suitable alternative practices if you
                      don't do all of them together.

                      For example, if I do incremental releases, without refactoring and a lot
                      of automated designs, what would eventually happen to the code? Add a
                      lack of Continuous Integration and I can see the pit to which the
                      project is heading.

                      On the other hand, if I don't do pair programming, but review everyday
                      and ensure that no unreviewed code gets checked in [even if it passes
                      all tests], I am still following the principles of XP.

                      Regards
                      Sridhar


                      On Wed, 2 Nov 2005 16:43:18 -0800, "Ron Jeffries"
                      <ronjeffries@...> said:
                      >
                      > Mr Beck has suggested that the way to get to XP is to pick your
                      > biggest problem, solve it in the XP way, rinse, repeat. So
                      > incremental XP is certainly canon.
                      >
                      > I agree that failure modes seem interesting ... although the ones I
                      > see are all sadly the same.
                      >
                      > Ron Jeffries
                      > www.XProgramming.com
                      > You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure,
                      > what you do not understand. --Leonardo da Vinci
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                      >
                      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                      > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                      >
                      > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      Regards
                      Sridhar
                      sherlocksridhar@...
                      Sherlocksridhar.blogspot.com
                      -----------------------------
                      "A lot of preconceptions can be avoided by simply trying them out" - Bruce Eckel

                      --
                      http://www.fastmail.fm - Or how I learned to stop worrying and
                      love email again
                    • Kent Beck
                      If I want to improve my own performance, I find it more helpful to examine how things work than to study failures. This mindset is shared by a process called
                      Message 10 of 10 , Nov 8, 2005
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                        If I want to improve my own performance, I find it more helpful to examine
                        how things work than to study failures. This mindset is shared by a process
                        called Appreciative Inquiry (check out "The Thin Book of Appreciative
                        Inquiry" for more details). I have had excellent results applying
                        Appreciative Inquiry and XP together, both for my own practice and that of
                        teams.

                        Kent Beck
                        Three Rivers Institute

                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                        > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ron Jeffries
                        > Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2005 4:43 PM
                        > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: Re: [XP] XP in ERP and DataWarehousing projects
                        >
                        >
                        > Mr Beck has suggested that the way to get to XP is to pick your
                        > biggest problem, solve it in the XP way, rinse, repeat. So
                        > incremental XP is certainly canon.
                        >
                        > I agree that failure modes seem interesting ... although the ones I
                        > see are all sadly the same.
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