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    Phase 3: Custom Application Development
    James Nagy
    / Categories: Development

    Phase 3: Custom Application Development

    Let’s finish up our look into how custom applications are built. You can find the first two sections here and here. We’ll finish up this series with the last few steps: Alpha Release, Beta Release, Production Release, and Iterate.

    8. Alpha Release:

    Phew, you find yourself ready for some outside / real world experience. You are moving forward, let's get some time behind the application see how it handles. An alpha release means that all major features and functions are in place, although there may be some minor things that are stubbed out and not functional yet. It has been thoroughly tested internally and now needs to see the light of day in some real world examples. Iterations here can help fix reported issues and continue to add minor features and functionality until you are ready for Beta. This is a small / limited control group of people / customers.

    9. Beta Release:

    You are all in at this point. All features are developed, all functions are reported to work, so let's take this thing for a spin and see what it can do. This should be something that could be quickly turned into a production version once the feedback has come in. This is a larger / somewhat uncontrolled group of people / customers. You want to keep it manageable, but you want to allow enough usage in a variety of environments to ensure that everything is ready for production. Don't be afraid to fix bugs at this stage, but do try to refrain from introducing any new features or functionality, no matter how good an idea it may be at this stage. You goal is to release what you have into production, so don't be seduced into trying to take on something more.

    10. Production Release:

    We've polished the chrome, it is now time to let the world have it. You made it, version 1.0 of your awesome idea. Do you remember that day of Inspiration way back when? Well, rejoice, you have taken your idea from concept to product and this is not an easy path. Once your product is released your job turns to monitoring and maintenance. Gather feedback and learn all there is about how people are using your product.

    11. Iterate

    Measure success, measure usage, measure desired features, heck measure everything and put together a list of features for the next release. Squish major bugs in the current release as quickly as possible to keep it usable, but plan for new features and functions upcoming releases. Major release numbers are for major new pieces of functionality. Minor release numbers are for small new features and functionality. Dot releases are for bug and stability releases.

    Now that you’ve learned the entire process you can determine whether or not you will need help working through this progression. Find out how J&S Tech Designs can engage with your organization and take an idea or concept and get a product to market. J&S can help with all stages of the process from beginning to end.

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    James Nagy

    James NagyJames Nagy

    Need a consultant today, how can I help? As Co-Founder and Managing Partner of J&S Tech Designs, I have three decades of experience and expertise to share with you and help your business, product, or idea thrive. If you like this article, please sign up for our newsletter!

    Other posts by James Nagy
    Contact author Full biography

    Full biography

    James Nagy is managing partner and co-founder of J&S Tech Designs - a business consulting organization that specializes in providing software and website design, development, and management expertise to organizations. He is also Managing Director and one of four co-founders of Sprocket Websites, Inc. and Chief Executive Office and one of four co-founding members of Clinical Collaboration Software, LLC.

    James has over twenty-five years of experience in the information technology field, spending twenty years in software development, sixteen years in executive management and the last six years as a serial entrepreneur launching and running several successful technology organizations.

    Throughout his career, he has led companies, divisions, departments and teams to successful outcomes. He has executed process reengineering within organizations that were struggling to produce. He has provided strategic vision and organization planning in situations that needed direction. He has built complex systems in several unique marketplaces that required thorough knowledge and expertise to be successful. It is his passion for excellence and desire for success that has enabled him to meet the challenges presented and continue to exceed expectations.

    James’ passion for delivering innovative solutions and creative strategies enabled him to develop strong business foundations for long-term success. He is an active member of the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, the North of the River Chamber of Commerce and the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce where he served on several teams, advisory committees, and legislative groups. He is a founding member of the Chicago Area DotNetNuke Users Group that has held several large, successful Website design and development events. James has donated time, money and expertise to many volunteer, fundraising and charitable organizations like KidsMatter of Naperville, The Naperville Film Festival, Summer Place Theatre, TEDxNaperville, Neuqua Valley High School Senior Spectacular and many others.

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