Thinking about Enterprise Platform Constraints

time to read 3 min | 414 words

I mentioned that I hate aimless bitching before, and I have been doing that for a while about Microsoft CRM. I would still like to lob the GoF, the PoEA and the AntiPatterns books at the team responsible for the CRM, but the new goggles are wonderful, it barely hurt at all. *

Just to be clear, and for Scott's peace of mind, I don't have any intention to build Rhino CRM. That is beyond the scope of my interest. That doesn't mean that I can't amuse myself by thinking out loud the ideal architecture for such as system as far as I am concerned.

I have been accused that the hypothetical Rhino CRM would offer a slick interface to create new customer, just have the end user write an anonymous delegate to do so. It was funny at the time, but I am actually considering doing just that.

At any rate, before I can think up an architecture, I need to understand what the constraints it needs to meet. Of the top of my head, I can see the following:

  • Extensible in an easy manner - note that this holds for business analysts and for developers, both are groups that are likely to do work on the system. Ideally we can have some sort of a common interface that would make both people happy.
    • New entities
    • User Interface:
      • Forms
      • UI elements
      • Editing existing forms
    • Replacing core services
  • Upgradable - We want to allow the users to move from version 2.0 to 3.0 without having to re-write everything. This means that we need to make clear what we allow the user to do to the system if they want to have a successful upgrade.
  • Auditable - I don't suppose that I have to explain why, right?
  • Performant - well, it should. Considering the other contestant, that could be a major selling point.
  • Scalable - I want to be able to scale wide, so the CRM can scale as I add more servers.
  • IT friendly - not sure what this means, Windows Authentication? Monitoring support?

The two major hurdles are going to be the first combined with the second.

What other considerations and constraints do I need to consider?

* I still hate it that I have to develop a full blown framework just to get a half way decent programming experience. Well, at least it has boobs in it. Some of the team members caught on to that, and hilarity ensued.