Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Methodology: the FURPS+ System for Classifying Requirements

An interesting post by Peter Eeles, Senior IT Architect, IBM on Capturing Architectural Requirements. The article suggests a systematic approach to capturing architectural requirements to ensure that these elusive, and yet extremely important, system specifications are not overlooked.
See full article here.

Requirement 1: Free & Open source solutions

To the best extent possible, the system should be based on layers of open source solutions such as PHP, MySQL, Apache. Open source application development frameworks or libraries such as JQuery (javascript), CakePHP, that streamline and simplify both code development and updates should also be used. Web standards (HTML5, CSS3, JQuery) should also be considered. Easy maintenance of the application is an important criteria.

What you need to know about the NPT

The Nodes Portal Toolkit (NPT) is envisioned as a suite of informatics tools designed to help GBIF Participants to deploy, maintain and extend biodiversity data portals (at the national, regional or thematic levels). The GBIF Participant Node Managers Committee recommended in October 2009 to fully engage the nodes community in the development cycle of the NPT, especially to leverage the technical capacity available across the GBIF network.
Following this recommendation a technical advisory group with representatives from the Nodes Community was convened, and a workshop of this group held in Montreal, Canada, in December 2009 . This group provided specific guidance on 1) the overall scope for the NPT, 2) structure and components, and 3) development approach.
This group also recommended hiring an expert from the community to coordinate the NPT development (especially to serve as a liaison between the NPT end users, developers, strategic partners, the GBIF Secretariat, and the Nodes Committee, among others). The call for this position was issued in August 2010 , and a NPT Project Coordinator selected and appointed in October 2010 .
The NPT Project Coordinator setup an NPT Advisory Group workshop, which was held in Madrid in March 2011. It is an attempt to scope and capture the requirements of the NPT. The meeting was held in an interactive way and this document was drafted collaboratively by all participants to this meeting.
The Advisory Group is composed of the following persons: Cees Hof (GBIF-NL), David Remsen (GBIF-S), Douglas Hyde (NatureServe Canada), Francisco Pando (GBIF-ES), Frank Oguya (GBIF-KE), Guy Baillargeon (GBIF-CA), Maria Auxiliadora Mora (GBIF-CR), Mélianie Raymond (GBIF-S), Mihail-Constantin Carausu (GBIF-DK), Nabil Youdjou (GBIF-AQ), Nicolas Noé (GBIF-BE), Peter Desmet (Canadensys), Steve Wilkinson (GBIF-UK), Tim Robertson (GBIF-S), Wouter Addink (ETi). The NPT Project Coordinator (Bruno Danis, GBIF-AQ) and the GBIF Senior Programme Officer for Nodes (Juan Bello, GBIF-S) also attended the workshop.

A few words on the NPT Advisory Group workshop

The first NPT-AG workshop was hosted by Francisco Pando, GBIF-ES, at the Real Jardin Botanico, Madrid, SPAIN, 4-6 March 2011.
The workshop was intended to be as participative as possible, with constant feedback from participants, and using collaborative reporting and brainstorming tools, such as Google Documents, Mindmaps, Mockups. This approach helped delineating the needs for the NPT and identify priorities, resulting in a set of realistic functionalities for the NPT.
The meeting ended with a final sprint, during which the NPT-AG drafted a first version of the NPT scoping and functionalities document. This document will soon be circulated via the NPT Google Code site.

New NPT blog is up

This blog is devoted to stream information about the development of the GBIF Nodes Portal Toolkit (NPT). It will keep you informed about various aspect sof this development, as a complimentary channel to the NPT Google Code site which is already up and running and offers a more structured access to information pertaining to the NPT.
Stay tuned for more...