HID Global

HID Global provides products, services and solutions related to the creation, management, and use of secure identities.
They provide secure entry systems with automated lock systems.

HID-Global required to manage a "Service Pack" software to be provided to their customers.

Within a short time of just 3 months successfully managed Service Pack development. Understood existing hardware and software, identified problems and bugs which persisted for more than 4 years, persuaded groups of Linux and Windows software developers to communicate, agreed pragmatic compromise solutions which resulted in bug fixes for bugs. Bug fixes tested and ready for deployment as Service Pack.

Mindmap of Service Pack for HID Global

Challenge

  • To understand the HID's product range and to understand the specific product that was required to be worked on in detail while also providing leadership to the Software Development Group.
  • This Service Pack was to have two main components:
    1. The first part was an up to date Linux Kernel for the specific processor platform and Linux Root File System which were to be flashed into the embedded device.
    2. The second part was an updated Windows DLL that needs to be installed on Windows machines which would be used to manage the embedded devices.
  • To install the Embedded (first) part of the Service Pack on the device it was necessary to have at least an old Windows DLL so that communication with the target Embedded device could be established.
  • The Windows DLL was written using Visual Studio in C++. This DLL needed several bug fixes which were pending for the last four years (since 2006).
  • This bug fixing work was outsourced to developers in India.
  • The bugs are difficult to understand and fix as they relate to how a Windows DLL interacts with a Linux system and this difficulty is the main reason why the bugs were pending since 2006.
  • Windows programmers need to interact closely with Linux programmers while understanding each others challenges and limitations. *
  • Time difference due to geographic locations was an additional difficulty. Linux developers were in USA and Windows developers in India.
  • Design directions and guidance was needed to be provided so that bug fixes are ready in time for creating the Service Pack for delivery to customers.
  • Windows is a predominantly multi threaded environment whereas Linux running on the embedded device is multiple process based environment and the DLL was required to address both within reasonable limits.
  • Install the release candidate for the Service Pack along with the DLL as provided by the third party developers in India and test the entire system.

Action Taken

  • HID's product range was studied and understood.
  • The Linux developers in Denver, USA were persuaded to agree to pragmatic solutions required to complete product in time.
  • The third party developers in India were guided with design directions and they were managed so that bug fixes are ready in time for creating Service Pack for delivery to customers.
  • The release candidate for the Service Pack was installed along with DLL provided by Indian third party developers and system tested.

Result

  • The most difficult bugs which had been pending since 2006 were fixed.
  • Bug fixes were ready in time for creating Service Pack for delivery to customers.
  • Release candidate for the Service Pack along with the DLL was successfully tested.