Support

Information Design hosts a joint Quality and Support (Q&S) team. In fact, its members do both testing and supporting at the same time. Testing a product means digging deeply into a software's implementation details and thus building up knowledge about the product that qualifies for supporting it. The team maintains the test case docu] mentation and extends it with relevant support issues. Internally, the Q&S team re] presents the customer side to the developers throughout the lifecycle of a product.

Models

For its installations, Information Design offers a modular concept of maintenance and support services. The components can be assembled and tailored to the customer's needs:

  • Developer Support
    Extended warranty, bug fixing,
    work] arounds, installation
    ... with response times by failure class
    ... for bugs in the product
  • Product Support
    Hotline, incident analysis, active system inspection, administration, configuration management
    ... with response times
    ... for non-bug issues
  • Standby Support
    Subset of product support to ensure operation of the system
    ... outside office hours
  • Database Support
    Installation, administration, operation, major and minor patches, monitoring (tablespaces, …)
  • System Support
    Like Database Support, for the Operating System and OS near components
    ... with response times
    (all of the above)

Operation

In its own interest, Information Design supports the smooth operation of its products by means of documentation, support services and through the product itself:

  • Documentation
    Thought-through support manuals with a Support Wiki that is open to client-side additions
  • Training
    One-time training of the operations team, regular refreshers if required
  • Incident Analysis
    Supported by standardized checks and tools as well as by the product's own consistent logging/queuing. If required, Information Design comple] ments the analysis by its Product Support
  • Monitoring
    In-product Watchdog modules and automatic incident notifications by e-mail, ITO interface and others, SNMP integration optional
  • Resource Cleanup
    Automatic and configurable cleanup of resources by the products themselves: logs, queues, database, caches

Tools

Information Design's support aims to be proactive wherever possible. Its goal is to iden] tify and solve problems before others are able to notice impacts on the application. Two measures are applied to achieve this:

  • We use Nagios for monitoring system infrastructure, e.g. Nagios alerts low availability of resources.
  • We perform periodic checks which include plausibility and integrity of data.

Internally we track issues using Jira. Our customized workflow guarantees that none of our customer support requests remain unanswered.