Skip to main content

New AAVSO IT Strategy

7 posts / 0 new
Last post
mgw
mgw's picture
New AAVSO IT Strategy

I thought members would be interested to know about our new IT strategy. As previously announced, the Council approved hiring additional programming skills to address some of the techinical challenges we face.  Instead, AAVSO has made a strategic decision to outsource most of its IT work to a contractor – ClearView.  They will both manage our operational environment and support application development and testing.  This decision will provide us access to the breadth of technical skills needed in this modern computing era which requires such a diverse set of talents and knowledge.  It will also enable us to better address the security and technical issues which have been a concern over the past several years.  And it will allow our staff to focus more on astronomy and less on IT.

FYI, ClearView is the company AAS uses for their IT support.  ClearView has also supported our operations but have not previously been involved in our application development or software architecture design.  They bring Django, Drupal and Python skills.  Over the next few weeks/months they will assess our software systems and jointly we will develop future plans.

One of their immediate tasks is to help us complete work on the new web site and get it released. And they will migrate our software from Python 2 to Python 3. 

This is a great step forward. 

Gordon Myers, AAVSO President

TRE
TRE's picture
ClearView

Sounds like a great idea.

Just Curious.

Is this the one that caters to small architect and engineering firms?

Ray

mgw
mgw's picture
ClearView

I think its a different company.  We're with the consulting arm of ClearView headquartered in Maryland.  Here's their web site. https://cviewllc.com/

David Benn
David Benn's picture
Support application development and testing

Hi Gordon

This sounds good.

I imagine that those of us developing applications will at some point interface with ClearView, e.g. in relation to web services (REST APIs), OAuth etc. Is that correct?

Also, are you in a position to be able to say something about the scope of  "...application development and testing..." support that ClearView will provide. I suspect from your description that the initial focus will be on core web applications. Is the intention to ultimately extend that to all major apps? (LCGv2, VStar, Zapper, SunEntry, VPHOT, ...)?

David

mgw
mgw's picture
Application Development Approach

David, excellent questions. 

On your first question, yes, we will create a way volunteers developing our astronomy apps (LCGv2, VStar, Zapper, VPhot etc.) can get the information they need regarding web services.

On the second question, Clearview's main job will be developing and maintaining a stable environment to make the AAVSO better equipped for the future. ClearView will focus on the core web applications.  With respect to the major astronomy apps, the boundary between our volunteer developers and ClearView will be defined over the next few months.  We want ClearView to help guide the overall application architecture, and to develop a system level testing approach including acceptance testing for new applications and regression testing of the entire system. ClearView’s role in development will vary across different applications based on the skills needed to develop the application, the level of volunteer commitment, the amount of ongoing software change, and financial resources.  In the end we want a stable, secure, well tested and well documented software environment.

Your questions also point out the need for us to develop a plan for major updates to our application software (e.g. modifications to support the GAIA catalog, Sloan filters, etc.)  As part of the strategic planning effort currently underway we will develop a prioritized list of desired application software enhancements.  We will reach out to you and others supporting our different applications to help us develop the plan.

We appreciate your – and our other developers – efforts developing software that is so crucial to our members and the success of the organization.

Thanks.

Gordon

David Benn
David Benn's picture
Application Development Approach

Thanks Gordon. I look forward to interacting with Clearview staff.

David

mgw
mgw's picture
Programming information on web applications

One addition to my earlier response - if you are a developer and need detailed information about web application interfaces, contact Bert Pablo, our staff programmer, at hpablo@aavso.org.  He is our lead technical interface with ClearView and will be sure you have the information you need.

Gordon

Log in to post comments
AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 aavso@aavso.org 617-354-0484