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ADVIZOR Helps Improve Quality for Motorola

Published
  • May 01 2005, 1:00am EDT

REVIEWER: Lauri M. Bryant, software performance engineer for Motorola Mobile Devices Business.BACKGROUND: Motorola, Inc. is a global leader in wireless, broadband and automotive communications technologies and embedded electronic products. The Mobile Devices Business designs, manufactures, sells and services wireless subscriber and server equipment including wireless handheld devices for cellular and iDEN integrated digital-enhanced networks, advanced messaging devices, personal two-way radios and a broad range of mobile data services, servers and software solutions.

PLATFORMS: Dell Latitude and Mini Towers running Windows XP Professional.

PROBLEM SOLVED: The software configuration management team is responsible for the performance of the software build environment. The inability for release builders to compile software on a timely basis has an impact on product schedules. Utilizing ADVIZOR Analyst Pro, we've been able to identify performance instability and troubleshoot lengthy build durations. Monitoring the ClearCase change management environment is a complex combination of factors which includes the operation of the physical devices that make up the infrastructure, configuration of ClearCase and how the engineers execute the builds. Using ADVIZOR Analyst Pro, we can monitor the stability of each region and quickly report current build time durations. Unique visuals such as Multiscape and Time Table reveal patterns of behavior over time, allowing us to identify escalating trends in poor performance. The Parabox supports our troubleshooting efforts by providing the overall distribution of metrics such as build durations, elements used, shared objects used and the number of simultaneous builds.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Maintaining a high level of performance within our ClearCase regions is often a balancing act. The standard set of analysis reports we've created allows us to recognize decreasing performance that is related to load and take proactive action before the engineers are impacted. When load on the environment is related to the number of engineers in the region or the volume of builds they execute, we can relocate teams to another region. Applying the data hierarchy feature to the underlying data set has allowed us to quickly identify performance for groups of users and make decisions based on their current behavior and anticipated needs. Project updates and reporting are greatly simplified by the ability to export analysis findings as PowerPoint slides and .html files. The "tab" metaphor for creating views that are related but contain different visuals of the data or presenting secondary linked metrics is convenient for the designer and easy for the users to understand navigation.

STRENGTHS: The main strength of the product is the ability to design, use and share interactive analysis views that are based on large and complex data sources. With the variety of visuals supplied, you can design views that are simplistic reports all the way to detailed analysis and troubleshooting tools.

WEAKNESSES: The export presentation option supports "sharing" of information and can be used as a reporting mechanism; however, there should be more output configuration options.

SELECTION CRITERIA: They aren't many software packages that can handle analysis "out of the box" yet not require a skilled programmer. We've had static Web reports but needed the ability to create robust analysis dashboards that access several databases from different vendors.

DELIVERABLES: ADVIZOR Analyst Pro was used to design and redeploy the monitoring and reporting of our primary performance metrics to project managers. The views that were created are now used as the communication mechanism and format for our weekly meetings and regional assessments with the ClearCase administrators. The project managers use Analyst Pro to perform their own analysis and reporting. As the software performance engineer, I utilize it for my daily analysis activities and export findings into larger presentations for regional assessments. We're also determining how we can best utilize this technology on a global scale.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Support for the product is outstanding. The development team is also very open to suggestions and comments.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation could be enhanced for the average user. As a designer, I seldom need to use the documentation.

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