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1.6 Porting Process from a Business Perspective

The porting process is not just about porting the software application; the resulting ported application needs the necessary business and support structures to make it a successful business initiative. Although porting efforts are taking place, the stakeholders need to prepare other organizations that will provide support for the application. Organizations such as customer support and software distribution will require documentation and training on the application running on the Linux environment.

Getting the necessary Linux training for personnel in customer support and software distribution should be high on the priority list of objectives. As with any new product, new releases tend to generate the most questions from users and system administrators alike. Expect to answer system administration questions about Linux, too. Our experience shows that newly ported applications on a new operating environment generate questions about system administration and the use of the new operating system in three out of five support line calls.

As system administration and installation questions begin to subside, more technical questions about the application will arise. Support organizations need access to live test machines to duplicate customer problems. These machines may differ from development or porting machines depending on the application and technical problems that will require instances of the application to be running for debugging purposes.

From an overall project perspective, the need to train support personnel and the availability of physical resources to support the ported application will come at later stages of the porting project. As the technical aspects of the porting project near completion, the business aspects of the project pick up.

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