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Dogfooding at Ericom

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Brian Madden recently tweeted:

Attention Vendors: Which of you eat your own dog food? Which of you actually use (FOR REAL) your own products?

We at Ericom use our own products all the time. I personally use PowerTerm WebConnect every day. For example, rather than have Microsoft Office installed on my home computer, I access Office that is installed on our Terminal Servers (I greatly prefer published “real” Outlook over Outlook Web Access; especially with Blaze – it’s like running it locally). Besides Office, we all access our CRM as a published application, and other productivity applications as well.

Another common use-case for us is to use PowerTerm WebConnect with Blaze to access our personal workstations remotely. Our developers especially use this functionality for working from home or on the road. We also commonly do this when visiting our other offices overseas. Several employees (not developers) use thin clients to access virtual desktops all the time.

A dilemma that we do contend with is when to upgrade our production systems to new versions of our own software. On the one hand, dogfooding is a great way to test and improve the product, so we want to deploy new versions while they are still in development. On the other hand, we rely on these production systems for running our business, so we cannot afford to install versions that aren’t ready yet. Generally we install new versions as soon as QA confirms that they are stable enough (we usually install on VMs so we can revert back in case of problems).

Want to see the entry page for our production PowerTerm WebConnect? It’s here.

Profile:
Dan Shappir is responsible for all aspects of product design, software development and maintenance of the Ericom's product lines. Mr. Shappir joined Ericom in 2001 and brings over 15 years experience in computer programming, and in the design and architecture of software products. Mr. Shappir holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science (with honors) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel and an M.Sc. in Computer Science (with honors) from Tel Aviv University, Israel. | Ericom Software
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