by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
GCN : February 2014
CASE STUDY SOFTWARE MANAGEMENT The U.S. Postal Service put a new face on an old sys- tem to make life easier for workers seeking access to business and productivity applications. The organization s upgraded and updated access control sys- tem, modeled on online app stores, replaces client/server vin- tage technology. The new technol- ogy gives users a more streamlined way to identify the apps they need and request access to them. Cur- rently, more than 300 apps are available through the access appli- cation. USPS expects to have 400 to 500 apps available over time. The system has been in pro- duction for about 22 months, but work continues. The latest itera- tion of the software is in beta-test mode. And in early 2014, the sys- tem will get a new server backend. That technology refresh will bring the access control system into USPS-wide technology standards, namely Oracle database technol- ogy and IBM WebSphere integra- tion middleware. The move aims to prepare the system for more widespread use within USPS. "The user communi- ty ... is growing as more and more people find out about it," said Greg Wallace, manager, Desktop Com- puting, at USPS. LEGACY LIMITATIONS USPS legacy, role-based access control system has "been around for a long time," Wallace said. While the system got the job done, users found it cumbersome to use. The business justification for the upgrade project, he said, was to make it less time consuming and frustrating for users to get access to apps. The legacy system, eAccess, had a couple of strikes against it. For starters, the user interface con- sisted of a blank line on a screen, Wallace noted. Users would enter the first few letters of the app they wanted, and the system s look-up capability would provide sugges- tions. But the names of apps the system presented included no de- tails on the nature of the app. Users who were uncertain whether the suggested app was the right one would need to re- search the app in another system, the Enterprise Information Re- pository (EIR). After reading a de- scription of the app, users would confirm the choice and then go back to eAccess to submit an ac- cess request. Then, an approval process would kick in. The system would put users access requests in a queue, which would go through a validation process, Wallace explained. A person requesting an application one day typically would have access the next. But because the system s notification capability could lag the actual time of availability by a few hours, a user might not know when to ex- pect access. The awkward, multistep pro- cess had another wrinkle: Each leg of the journey from eAccess to EIR and back again required manual sign on and authentication. APP STORE RENEWAL Against that backdrop, the USPS team working to renew the access control system aimed to create an iPhone/App Store-like experi- ence for users, Wallace said. To get there, developers adopted an agile software development approach. Agile methods emphasize fre- quent software iterations and user feedback during development. Robert Bradsher III, lead devel- oper at USPS, said agile proved an appropriate fit for a software project where the objective was to "get it out quickly, get customer feedback and make adjustments on the fly." Wallace noted that the project s sprints were small enough and tar- geted enough to validate individ- A new software access system modeled on app stores makes life easier for postal workers seeking business and productivity tools USPS app store makeover enables easy access BY JOHN MOORE GCN FEBRUARY 2014 • GCN.COM 31