In the last year, the term "ASP," or "Application Service Provider," has hit buzzword status. A variety of companies have announced that they are now Application Service Providersmeaning that instead of selling software, they sell access to servers running that software.
The challenges inherent in developing software in an ASP environment are different from developing software for sale:
- The primary "customer" of the software is in-house: in an ASP, the people who deploy and maintain the system are internal; the people who access the system are external.
- The software is not the businessit supports the business.
- Behind the scenes chaos is acceptable as long as the people who use the service perceive it as reliable and steady.
- It is the quality of the service that matters. The quality of the software supportsbut is not synonymous withthe quality of the service.
This talk focuses on software quality in an ASP environment, how the quality factors for software in an ASP environment differ from software quality at a more traditional software vendor, and how to achieve that quality.
Elisabeth Hendrickson is the Director of Quality Engineering at Aveo Inc., an Application Service Provider. Aveo Inc. offers Attune, a pre-emptive technical support service whose mission is to help companies communicate the right information to the right customer at the right time. Prior to joining Aveo, Elisabeth was the founder of Quality Tree Consulting, a software quality assurance consulting firm. As a consultant, Elisabeth provided services to Application Service Providers as well as more traditional independent software vendors.