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Tad McClellan - Professional Profile


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GeneralGlobal Development-Part II Pin
Tad McClellan2-Sep-08 10:31
professionalTad McClellan2-Sep-08 10:31 
GeneralGlobal Development - Part I Pin
Tad McClellan2-Sep-08 9:59
professionalTad McClellan2-Sep-08 9:59 
Global development is a paradigm change for many people. First thing you have to realize is that time is continuous. There are no "off hours". That can make things challenging for financial applications that require off-hour processing to run jobs since there really is not such thing as off hour processing. Weekends are of little help since you have to realize that the Muslim world does not have the same weekend that the west does. The best way around this is to architect applications in such a way that they do not require jobs to work properly. If that cannot be avoided then the application should not require down time when the job is running. I've seen companies make people in India work nights to accommodate their systems down time then wonder why the turn over is high.

Another pitfall of global applications is to make an application that scales in one location. Putting 12 IIS servers on a clustered SQL back-end in the US does not help with 300+ ms latency to the other side of the world. Putting the same site in the Europe simple makes the probably equally bad for people in the US as it is for people in Asia. The best solution is to have multiple datacenters around the world with a global site selector which redirects the user to the web site closest to them. In order to do this one must architect the database to allow for transactional replication. Replication is very useful but you have to know what your doing with it. Replication collisions must be prevented. Also many sites allow for users to upload files to the web site so using DFS/R or some other folder synchronization technology is needed so the file exists on all webservers when its uploaded to one.

No application should be allowed to call itself a global application that doesn't reflect the users culture settings in dates and numbers. This concept is called localization. Even if you don't know an application will become global, you should create an application that uses localization. A much challenging topic though is translation. Not everyone knows English, especially in Asia where the people most likely using a data entry site will not know English. Microsoft has functionality to present a site in multiple languages but I find this solution far from the solvency we need. One issue is that if you present a site in German, you are likely to get German input. Will the people who are processing the input be able to read German? If you use spell checkers on your site, will they deal with foreign language? A better way is to run the site through a translator made to run with HTML. These are pricey and sometimes the translation is a bit quirky but any site serious about being culture compliant should think about this as a better alternative.

modified on Tuesday, September 2, 2008 4:31 PM

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