Run time changeable for dummies: “liveware”

by Marty Staszak, CEO, Voluware, Inc.

Anyone else get frustrated when you have to stop work in progress because some application needs to upgrade itself?

 

Lost all hope that the key feature you want will miraculously show up in some future product release?

 

Wish you could get a software vendor to just add the features you want?

 

If you’re already a Voluware customer, you have already embraced a whole new service delivery model for software and left these concerns in the past.

 

Because I have to explain “run-time changeable software” to everyone, I have come to realize that it is difficult to do without some pain context.

 

Our VALER platform is designed to automate payer-provider transactions using forms and portals. Forms and portals that we don’t have any control over and can change at any time.

 

If we had to do software releases every time a payer changed a form, or updated the demographics in a web portal, then our service would not be loved. In fact, it would not even be feasible.

 

To solve the “change at any time” requirements, we developed a platform that could be upgraded “immediately,” meaning, while it was running. Having solved the “change while it’s running” problem for the forms and portal transactions, we went a step further and extended it to pretty much all VALER business logic.

 

The end result is that many of the cool little feature updates our customers want are not just doable, they can often be implemented within a few days, or sometimes, a few hours, and in a lot of cases, a few minutes, with no service downtime.

 

Can you imagine a software vendor that continuously updated your application according to your specifications on a release cycle measuring in days, with no downtime? Can you imagine if this is the way the relationship worked over the lifetime of your deployment?

 

Unfortunately, a lot of prospective clients have trouble imagining this kind of world as it is so unlike the experience they get with other software products, especially in health care. We have a lot of other software vendors to thank for conditioning the health care industry to expect so little, and to suffer a lot of pain just to get what they want.

 

“Liveware” refers to a software application that can be continuously modified while running. Each VALER instance we deploy is liveware. Liveware applications can be evolved so fast that they allow for new project management practices to come to fruition. We call it “hyper-iteration.” A process that delivers 100 micro-updates to an application on a continuous basis over the course of a year keeps the application continuously stable and dramatically outpaces any other managed release process in terms of new features realized. It also allows us to immediately revert any new features that our customers change their minds about. It also allows us to juggle priorities and continuously change requirements.

 

Feature creep got you down? VALER eats feature creep for breakfast!

 

We like talking about liveware. We love when our customers brag about it.

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