Industry Talk: Best Practice - Moving from the Desktop to the Cloud

5 Apr 2019 2:10 PM - 3:00 PM
Presenter/Speaker: Greg Wood, Best Practice Software
Location: G.1.15

Best Practice Software is an Australian company that started out producing practice management software for GPs. It added similar products aimed at allied health professionals and specialists through acquisition of two companies based here in Hamilton. In the position of now having a range of legacy products in diverse technologies, the company faces the challenge of consolidating its products into a single software-as-a-service offering called Titanium. Titanium has been designed to be a service-oriented architecture, deployed to Azure, with a progressive web application front end. This has been a significant departure from the architectural patterns used by the company in the past to develop locally hosted client/server applications. The presentation will walk through the architecture at a high level and discuss some of the changes and challenges faced in developing it. We will also discuss the continuous deployment pipeline and specific development disciplines needed to ensure quality is baked into the product as it is staged from development into production. Beyond technology, the shift from the relatively separate desktop applications developed initially by each of our constituent companies to a single large web application has introduced process and organisational challenges. One challenge has been adapting development methodologies to coordinate across multiple distributed Agile development teams. Another has been how to replace three well-established legacy products with a new “start-up” cloud product. This presentation will outline some of the unique challenges around merging and replacing existing products with an entirely new technology stack.

At present, Greg Wood is the New Zealand Delivery Manager for Best Practice Software. He works with development teams that joined the company as part of its local acquisitions in 2015 and 2016, coaching them in Agile development methods. A BCMS graduate from University of Waikato, Greg has been fortunate to work in most areas of software development before finding a home in front-end web development. While he still works on the odd side project, he has since mostly given up being hands-on and moved into leading teams and helping them adapt their development methods to new technologies. For the past five years, he has been involved in a number of projects taking a well-established installed software project, and managing the transition to a cloud-hosted web application. Every project is different, but the same kinds of technical and process challenges tend to crop up every time.

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