Tuesday, August 22, 2006

And writing software, too...

raditionally summer is a slow time in business. Kids are out of school so families vacation. Meetings are difficult to schedule so things get delayed. People stretch weekends into long weekends to accomodate camping trips and visits to relatives and the like.

But this has been a busy season around here. Cindy and I haven't taken any vacation yet; I've been in the office most of the time (with some work travel thrown in), and we've had an exciting summer. Digipede has signed new customers, has a ton of prospects, and we have several burgeoning partnerships.

But, most exciting: we're getting ready to release the Digipede Network 1.3 next month. The development for this release has gone very well (mostly due to Rob, his adoption of some agile development techniques, and his devotion to automated builds and tests). We're on schedule for a September release.

The feature set for v1.3 is exciting. First of all, we will release our Microsoft Compute Cluster Server integration piece (just in time for CCS to start shipping). For us, this is a big deal. As Microsoft enters the HPC world, we're trying to make sure that world is accessible to everyone who's doing .NET development and needs more speed or scalability. We'll have both integration with the scheduler and improved integration with 64-bit versions of Windows. We've already got proofs of concept running internally and at Microsoft, and I can't wait to see these in the field.

We're also adding a bunch of functionality that developers will love--especially software vendors that are grid-enabling their applications using the Digipede Network. We've opened up the API even more, giving more control behind the scenes. We're also allowing different scheduling algorithms (even for pools on the same Network).

Lastly, we're adding functionality in the Digipede Workbench that will make it easier for users to see everything that's happening on the Digipede Network--from within Workbench.

Besides the CCS improvements, I think my favorite thing about this release is that many of the features did not originate here at Digipede Headquarters. We've got several features that came directly from suggestions from users, and we've got several that came from discussions with partners. One thing that 16 years of software development has taught me: as much as developers think we know about software, it is the users who are the real experts.

Our users (and partners) have spoken, and we're listening.

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