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Zoom Zoom

Sometimes the smallest things give us the biggest pleasures. This was apparent earlier this week when a technology for identifying problems in software code was released to Aestiva's Power Office Dev Team.

The technology is called Zoom. It is built directly into the latest releases of Aestiva Array, the engine behind Power Office.

Later this year Zoom will be adopted by Aestiva's production and support departments.

Zoom is essentially a debugging tool. It is the first of its kind in the world. Unlike conventional debugging tools which place applications at risk, Zoom was designed to have no negative affects on a live application. The user of Zoom can't hurt the live application, even accidentally!

Suppose a Power Office program is running in an environment with hundreds or thousands of users. Now suppose the system experiences a problem difficult to identify. The sooner the problem can be solved, the better.

With Zoom one can diagnose the problem on the live site. The cautions one typically needs to take are no longer needed. Systems no longer need to be copied. Test environments no longer need to be put together. Problems can potentially be solved much faster.

Using Zoom is a multi-step process. First you run the faulty program. Zoom displays a summary report of the time, measured with microsecond precision, and the main programming tasks performed. Then you select a code segment and run the faulty code again. Once again Zoom outlines the tasks performed, only this time, it zooms in on the segment selected. Once again a summary report is issued. The process of zooming in can be repeated until the problem is isolated. Zoom is able to operate in highly loaded environments since it never performs too many measurements at once.

Zoom's end-user interface is still in development but the core technology has been completed and delivered. Soon, Aestiva's support and production teams will have a new tool to identify and solve some of the more difficult issues that can come up. This may appear like a small thing, but it gives us big pleasure.

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