Thursday, October 21, 2010

Web Integrator Application Hand-off Checklist

One scenario in developing applications, is the application is built and then handed off to a Web Integrator to implement the CSS. The other is templates are created and these are integrated by the web developer. This checklist is primary for the first scenario, but is probably applicable to the second. Here is a list of checks you should make before handing off for integration:

  • Demo data: Can the web integrator easily add demo data to the application. This should be done via a script.
  • Translation: If your application is multi-lingual, ensure all strings are in a locale file and the Web Integrator knows how to edit these. Spend some time teaching the Web Integrator on how it works.
  • Test translations: Before an application is translated, run the application in the secondary language to make sure that all "strings" for that language are missing. Check especially for emails static pages and built-in error messages, labels and attributes.
  • Language Switcher: Ensure a language switcher exists and is working.
  • Emails: If your application sends emails, ensure the developer can send and preview these easily. This can be done with the a script to send emails and a preview option via http. Rather than your application send emails, use a email service provider.
  • Minimize custom helpers: Helpers can be a roadblock for a Web Integrator not familiar with Rails. If you do use helpers, have the helper render a partial which can be easily customized.
  • Test accounts: Most applications are not standalone these days. If your application connects with external services such as Twitter and Youtube, ensure test accounts have been setup and can easily be used. You want to encourage the Web Integrator to use these integrations as much as possible. It's a great way to catch bugs!
  • Overlay option: Seen a web site without an overlay these days? Allow your Web Integrator to render a page without the entire layout easily. Passing a parameter along the URI is great way to do this.

Any thing I have missed? Please let me know in the comments.

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