Tool Smells

In the tradition of code smells here’s some Enterprise Tool Smells:

  • Install time is measured in days.
  • Installation involves cryptic steps such as after step 17c, delete these files, then restart the installation script.
  • The install software doesn’t fit on a single DVD, necessitating baby-sitting it so you can dump the next CD/DVD when it’s ready.
  • Tool promises that regular business people can use it and write business rules in a “natural language,” making code monkey’s irrelevant.
  • It has an Enterprise version that installs tons of features, servers, plug-ins, that no one ever uses.
  • It uses lots of wizards.
  • Company recommends hiring consultants to train you in how to use the tool.
  • Despite features like “seamless hot deploy”, any change involves rebooting the server.
  • Restarting the service or tool is measured in minutes not seconds.
  • No one including the sales team can really explain the licensing terms for all the different purchase options.
  • Productivity takes a radical nosedive when tool is introduced, and then mysteriously increases sometime later when employees stop using the tool.
  • Support involves filing trouble tickets or issues that are never resolved though sometimes promised to be in the next release.
  • It’s in the Gartner magic quadrant.