Software Application Assessments

Date Published: 04 February 2015

Software Application Assessments

I just completed a Software Application Assessment for one of our clients, and will be presenting the report to them this week. We identified many parts of the application that were well-designed and were working as they should, as well as a number of areas that had room for improvement. An assessment is a lot like a home inspection report. If you’ve ever bought a house or building, you can appreciate the value of having a thorough inspection before making the purchase, so that you know what you’re getting yourself into. Once it’s done, the inspector will review the findings, covering each area of the house, from roof to plumbing, electrical to appliances. Similarly, with a software assessment, we review key areas of the application, including architecture, performance, maintainability, user experience, use of third party tools, and reach (including localization, globalization, and search engine optimization). Then, we’ll go over the report, which includes specific references to deficiencies found, as well as recommendations regarding the importance and cost of addressing each concern. Whether you’re looking to validate that your approach is a good one, or confirm that the vendor you’re using to outsource your project is on track to deliver something you can rely on for years to come, an assessment can provide you with peace of mind and a roadmap for areas in which your application may need some “home improvement.”

“An assessment is a lot like a home inspection report.”

The assessment I just finished only took a few days. It looked at an ASP.NET application, with an emphasis on analyzing the architecture, maintainability, and performance of the application. We use a number of tools and heuristics to identify problem areas in applications, from static analysis to code profilers. If you’re only interested in assessing one or two aspects of your application, or only a small piece of its overall functionality, we can narrow the scope of the assessment accordingly. In this case, for instance, I only reviewed about a dozen pages in the application, which has over a hundred. Of course, we frequently mentor our clients on how best to build or extend their applications – one thing that sets an assessment apart is the end result. We deliver an actual report of our findings, suitable for sharing with management, which again is very similar to what you get with a building inspection. Sometimes, you need something written with authority to back up a decision you’ve made, or you’d like your management to make, and an application assessment can sometimes provide that (combined with, if necessary, expert testimony from an objective third party). Our clients put a lot of trust in us and our advice, and we take that responsibility very seriously. It’s not unusual for our consultants to discuss their recommendations with product managers or even CXOs of organizations we’re assisting – let me know if you think we might be able to help your team!

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Steve Smith

About Ardalis

Software Architect

Steve is an experienced software architect and trainer, focusing on code quality and Domain-Driven Design with .NET.