Built to Manage
Intelligent feedback and control loops enable development teams to continuously analyze business-software performance and modify the Web services quickly, efficiently, and even automatically. These loops are programmatic mechanisms that push runtime instrumentation data back into the development process. Just as developers test applications to ensure runtime correctness, intelligent feedback provides ongoing testing and analysis of application performance and behavior.
This kind of testing must be planned and executed with business analysis in mind. Hosted testing environments are needed to monitor services under high-stress simulations. It is important for developers to understand the dependencies between the software development lifecycle (plan-design-develop-test) and the IT service management lifecycle (deploy-deliver-manage-operate). Figure 1 shows where the development and service-management process models overlap.
Consider this detailed example: Suppose a business creates a Web site to sell long-distance phone services. To help customers understand the pricing benefits of the services, the company's developers create an online rate-plan calculator. They design the Web service application to gather pricing data from multiple long-distance carriers, compare this data to current rate plans, and then display for the customer a lower-cost rate plan for a setup fee. In this Web service-based business, revenue and profitability are direct factors of the company's ability to rapidly design, develop, deploy, manage, extend, and enhance its online application. If customers cannot quickly and easily obtain a rate quote, then sales are hindered and customer satisfaction falls.
This example is intuitive to customers, business planners, and software developers. But what is harder to see is the impact of the software-development loops that affect this business. Analysis information collected while the application is running might identify performance bottlenecks, design changes that could improve scalability, or issues that directly effect a service-level agreement. This runtime-analysis data must flow back to both the business planner and the software developer for the business to operate smoothly.