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Center for Software Development

Articles and Tips: article

Jennifer Chu

01 Sep 1995

Taking the Bite Out of Testing


Keeping up with the pace of change and the latest in technology is no easy task. Especially for software developers, the task can be considerably challenging. With the number of computer platforms and options increasing and networks growing more and more sophisticated, developers are devoting more time and money to testing. The cost and time involved for testing can be tremendous, presenting a huge expense in both acquisition and administration of testing resources.

The solution to this problem is the Center for Software Development (CSD) in San Jose. Since CSD was established in 1993, this non-profit organization has been providing a wide range of resources and services to help expand the capabilities of software companies. CSD offers software developers a low-cost and easy-access place to test software. By providing a resource with software, computers, options, and networks, users benefit by minimizing the huge capital investment necessary to get their products to market. CSD also hosts numerous seminars and workshops monthly, providing valuable business and technically oriented information to help company's improve overall business strategy.

Although many users are from small to mid-size companies, large companies have also used the center. Whether a company is large or small, CSD has many resources to offer. CSD helps developers ensure that their software works with other products, explore prototypes, localize products for international markets, or port software to new environments.

Dan Kane, President of Cygnus Engineering, believes CSD has played a major role in contributing to his company's success. One of Cygnus' software products, XVT Graphical Extensions, is a charting and plotting library, which complements a portable GUI software development toolkit made by XVT Software. "Using CSD is an integral part of our business plan," said Kane. "Our software is supported on eleven different platforms. CSD allows us to meet XVT's extensive porting and testing requirements by providing easy and inexpensive access to all the major PC, Mac, and UNIX platforms."

Another CSD member, Paul Ling, Director of Business Development at Extend Corporation in Pleasanton, California, markets a product called WinZones. WinZones, an innovative Windows utility program, allows users to keep track of time across the world-wide time zones. Ling began using CSD in 1994 in preparation for WinZones' launch. Preparation required testing the software for various Windows environments on multiple PC platforms. The cost savings and support made possible from CSD have helped make WinZones a success.

"It's very rewarding to know that CSD is able to benefit the community and to contribute to the success of software companies," said Pamela Parrish, Executive Director of CSD. "We provide the best publicly available resources and services to accommodate the needs of software developers and entrepreneurs."

In addition to the center's hardware and software support, CSD also provides business development resources such as seminars on marketing strategies, obtaining venture capital, and intellectual property rights. "CSD has more resources than I can imagine." said Ling. "They have given me valuable advice regarding PR and marketing issues, as well as, one-on-one advice about seeking venture capital."

Originally established by the joint efforts of Novell and the City of San Jose, the purpose was to promote the growth of software development. The center has received support from numerous companies, such as IBM, Microsoft, AT&T, HP, Sun, SGI, Sony, Adobe, Dell, and Oracle. It offers access to an extensive variety of software, computers, options, and networks, seminars and workshops. For further information contact CSD at 408-494-8378, or

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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