Acca 15(software source&selection)


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Software sources
Invitation to tender
Evaluating supplier proposals
The advantage and disadvantage of bespoke and off-the-shelf software
Software contracts and licences

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Acca 15(software source&selection)

  1. 1. 1 1 Software Source and Selection Lecture 15 Abdisalam Issa-Salwe Thames Valley University Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 2 Topic list  Software sources  Invitation to tender  Evaluating supplier proposals  The advantage and disadvantage of bespoke and off-the-shelf software  Software contracts and licences
  2. 2. 2 Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 3 Invitation to tender (ITT)  Invitation to tender (ITT): A document that invites to bid for the supply of specified software or hardware or both.  Covering letter  Instructions  Detailed software requirements  Details of development model/methodology  Request for details of the proposed software contract Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 4 Invitation to tender (ITT) (cont…)  Example, tenders should include:  An outline proposal and project management plan for the study. This must include details of the following:  Objectives  Deliverables, including a brief description (or reference to an example) of the final report. This will need to be accessible to wide audience, including non-technical readers, and readily publishable in electronic media.  Milestones  Principal work packages
  3. 3. 3 Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 5 Evaluating supplier proposals  Factors to consider:  Organisational needs  Speed  Documentation  Capability  Controls  Modification  Demonstration  Training provided  Support, maintained and updates  Conditions included in the software contract  Supplier size, reputation and customer base Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 6 Evaluating supplier proposals (cont…)  The proposal should be a comprehensive document that provides the vendor with the outline, purpose, scope, description, minimum requirements, etc for the system.
  4. 4. 4 Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 7 Purchasing hardware and software  Software sources  Standard off-the-shelf package: simplest option.  Amended standard package: some customised is undertaken so the software meets the organisations requirements  Standard package plus additions: additional software that integrates with the standard package  Bespoke package: programmers write an application suitable for an organisation Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 8 Choosing an application package  Off-the-shelf package:  User requirements  Processing times  Documentations  Compatibility  Controls  User interfaces  Modifications  Support, maintenance and update  Cost
  5. 5. 5 Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 9 Developing a bespoke package  Feasibility and analysis  Design and program specification  Coding  testing Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 10 Software  Computer programs that govern/determine/control the operation of the computer  Computer instructions or data
  6. 6. 6 Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 11 Software (cont…) Software is often divided into two categories.  Systems software includes the operating system and all the utilities that enable the computer to function.  Applications software includes programs that do real work for users. For example, word processors, spreadsheets, and database management systems fall under the category of applications software. Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 12 Software (cont…)  Operating systems: provide interface between machine and user  Utilities: designed to perform a task related activity  Programming tools: designed to help programmer to create computer instructions  Off-the-shelf applications: software produced by software house in a form of ready to use  Bespoke applications: tailor made to met the needs of an organisation
  7. 7. 7 Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 13 Software Development Life Cycle (cont…) Systems Implementation Product: Operational System Systems Investigation Product: Feasibility Study Systems Analysis Product: Functional Requirements Systems Design Product: System Specifications Systems Maintenance Product: Improved System Understand the Business Problem or Opportunity Develop an Information System Solution Implement the Information System Solution Traditional Approach Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 14 Advantages of Packaged Software  The software tends to be relatively cheap as the cost of development can be spread over a large number of users.  The software can be very sophisticated (eg Excel of Word) as the revenues from a very large numbers of users means that a lot of resources can be applied to it's development.
  8. 8. 8 Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 15 Drawbacks of Packaged Software  The software can be highly complex and will usually include large sections that you will never use (the average Word user is reputed to only use about 10% of the available facilities).  It tends to be a compromise. By it's nature it is designed for many different types of users, each of whom will have different requirements.  As the software tends to be large and complicated it may take a long time to learn properly (some of the most asked for additions to later versions of Word were ones that already existed in the previous version - it was just that the users did not know that they existed because the application was so big).  You may have to alter the way that you work in order to fit in with the way that the software has been designed Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 16 Advantages of Bespoke Software  If you do not have the source code you are dangerously exposed and are wholly dependent upon the developers continuing existence and good will. To avoid this problem make sure you choose a developer who provides you with the source code.  If the software is not developed to professional Best Practice standards it may be unstable, unreliable and full of bugs (but then again so is some packaged software!). Selecting a developer who works to Best Practice should counteract this.  The investment required will usually be much higher than with packaged software. This is usually the biggest reason for not going down the custom route - you need to undertake a business justification excercise and compare the costs against the expected benefits and commercial advantages.  An unacceptable proportion of developers are either incompetent, unprofessional or are 'cowboys' and it can be difficult to sort out the good guys from the bad (the most reliable method is to take up references and talk to some of their recent clients).
  9. 9. 9 Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 17 Software licences  It is very important that all software to be used in accordance with licence conditions associated with the software package.  Software refers to the computer programs listed in the chapter Object of the Contract, both in the present form and in all other machine-readable forms; this also includes all updates and security copies made by the licensee. Abdisalam Issa-Salwe, Thames Valley University 18 The software is protected by copyright.