Our company has recently developed a diagram editor called Artezio Diagram Designer. Here is a short story to describe how the project has been created and what difficulties the developers have faced.
The work on the project started in June 2010. Several directions were set for the team:
It was the first Silverlight project, and we experienced a number of difficulties with this technology version such as a detailed study of work with the isolated storage, replication of data between storages, impossibility of unit test implementation for UI part as well as solving the payment problem of Microsoft cloud service.
Nevertheless, the team successfully overcame the problems, and in 2012 iVizart was introduced – a cloud graphics editor to create diagrams. The product allowed creating equipment, employee and warehouse production placement diagrams based on data from apps that iVizart integrated with. Besides, the tool enabled several users to create diagrams in collaboration with each other.
In 2011, we faced another problem: Microsoft abandoned Silverlight, and we decided to rewrite the app for WinRT platform from scratch (later on the product was customized for Windows 8/8.1).
After upgrade to Windows 8, the team encountered the problems with the platform itself (reliability, flexibility, limitations and productivity) and the migration of a browser-based solution into a desktop one for mobile devices. For this reason we had to exclude a number of important functions that had been implemented in iVizart. And it helped to cut the development costs.
A virtual burndown chart was used to make the development process more predictive. At that time there was no corresponding plug-in for Jira, and for this purpose we used MS Excel with the further publication in Atlassian Confluence. Besides, the continuous integration system based on Hudson/Jenkins was implemented for all the product platforms. SVN was adopted as a version control system.
However, we faced not only technology problems during the development. The team used Scrum methodology with its morning stand-up meetings and as the developers were located in different time zones, it was necessary to schedule the meetings properly.
But in spite of all the difficulties that we met, we think that we have made a good and marketable product that has already found its first buyers. You can download Artezio Diagram Designer here: http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/f668aa17-e921-4f5b-8377-b574bf557b57.
P.S. Congratulations to each and every member of the project team!
Special thanks to Sergei Burmistrov and Konstantin Vydumchik, Alexander Kovtik and Pavel Pavlov, Olga Tarasova and the company management for all their time, efforts and hard work in the product development.