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Just Enough Governance for Notes

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Craig Schumann

This book bridges the gap between the Wild, Wild West environment so often seen in Notes shops, and the approval- and documentation-heavy processes you see in other IT areas. Even better, it introduces the topic of governance in such a way that most … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Craig Schumann
Publisher: IT Governance Publishing
1 review about Just Enough Governance for Notes

A great book for every Lotus Notes developer...

  • Nov 21, 2008
Rating:
+5
Just Enough Governance for Lotus Notes by Craig Schumann bridges the gap between the "Wild, Wild West" environment so often seen in Notes shops, and the approval- and documentation-heavy processes you see in other IT areas. Even better, it introduces the topic of governance in such a way that most Notes developers can relate to and accept.

Table of Contents:
Introduction
1. Lotus Notes and the trend towards IT governance
2. Just Enough Governance for Lotus Notes
3. Getting Started
4. Requirements
5. Design
6. Development
7. Test
8. Production
9. Convergence, IT governance and the future of Lotus Notes
Acronyms
ITG Resources

Because Lotus Notes makes so much power available to the power user, it's likely that you've run across Notes applications that have been developed outside of the normal IT structure. In fact, you may have gotten *your* start in Notes development that way. But unfortunately, those power-user applications have a way of becoming mission-critical applications that have no oversight or structure to govern their maintenance and support. That has led to much of the stigma Notes has as not fitting into the normal IT processes. But in Just Enough Governance for Lotus Notes, Craig Schumann lays out a governance process that meets the requirements for IT oversight without destroying the Rapid Application Development (RAD) aspect of the Notes platform.

The book starts out with a history of Notes and how it has found itself in this particular situation. Departments can get powerful applications built without being held up by IT processes. Conversely, these power users normally have no knowledge of external regulations that may affect the information they use, such as Sarbanes-Oxley or HIPAA laws. They are also outside of the normal IT support infrastructure, which means that environment changes could occur that break the application and adversely impact the business. This is *really* not a situation you want to find yourself in. By implementing a form of process control that is adaptable to the Notes environment, these drawbacks can be eliminated. While many formal developers are very familiar with the structure surrounding requirements, design, development, test, and production, you may be in an organization where Notes has grown in a more "grass roots" fashion. The boundaries between a test and production environment may be fuzzy (or non-existent). By following the processes put forth in Just Enough Governance, you can build a solid and controllable Notes environment without handicapping the speed and flexibility associated with Notes development.

There's one aspect of the book that stood out for me, and it's something you may not notice. Schumann works for TeamStudio, a well-known Notes business partner. They have a number of tools that address various parts of the Notes development and governance cycle. In far too many cases, books written by vendors serve primarily as a multi-page sales brochure for their products. As such, it's difficult to separate hype from reality. Not so in this book. Outside of the bio of the author, you'll see the company name mentioned exactly twice. This makes a huge difference in my mind, in that it means that the author has stuck to the subject without sacrificing objectivity.

In today's business environment, the risks and penalties associated with lax process and oversight are expensive. I would highly recommend getting a copy of Just Enough Governance for Lotus Notes to make sure you're not exposing yourself and your company to unnecessary dangers. Along the way, you may just convince your IT leadership that Notes can be governed just like every other platform.

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