coding deals |
• data conversion tools from £200!
• new features - £70/hour!
• half-hour billing
• 5-year warranty: bugs fixed free for five years! *
• remote monitoring available
• the Dataease niche
• Website development
Custom software can give you an edge over your competition. Anyone can buy Excel and crunch some numbers with it. You can assume whatever magic you do with Excel, your competition does too. But if you have software that does things off-the-shelf software just can't do - you've got an advantage your competitors will find difficult to match.
We prefer unix-based platforms (FreeBSD or Linux) - however, we can also create Windows-compatible programs.
Call us to discuss the opportunities you have to streamline your business, and develop new and improved services for your customers.
Our Quality Assurance process
In order to deliver high-quality software to our customers, we always follow the same process when developing a new system:
- Consult carefully with the customer, and develop a written specification and costing, including timeframes (this may take several iterations to complete)
- Obtain sign-off on the specification and costing
- Utilise a development/test/production model
- Utilise standard libraries and code whenever possible
- Involve the customer in the development process, allowing access to working prototypes, and continually soliciting feedback, as early and as often as possible
- Document, both in PDF format, and in the code itself
Webapps are purpose-built browser-based applications that solve a particular business problem (eg. managing a property development portfolio). Webapps can be integrated with corporate databases and intranets, and also with external online services.
- Replace your legacy line-of-business apps with a state-of-the-art web application
- Build new intranet applications for your employees
- Build new extranet applications for your customers
Sample use-cases for private web applications include vertical-market software, line-of-business apps, CRM systems, business intelligence tools, data federation projects, and more.
There are many benefits to web applications, when compared to traditional legacy applications, including:
- Power and performance - the same technology runs millions of websites, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- No special client software needed - accessible from any web browser.
- No special server software needed - runs on any server with Apache, MySQL and PHP installed.
- Cross-platform - accessible with any device that runs a web browser (including mobile phones).
- Remotely accessible - easily and securely allow employees to access the system remotely.
- Intranet/extranet/web-ready - because it's built with the same technologies used for intranets, extranets and the web, a web application is suitable for integration with an existing intranet, extranet or website, out-of-the-box.
- Easily extensible - you will have full access to the entire sourcecode of your web application. This will allow you to add, remove, and change features simply by calling your developers. Compare with Excel - if you find a bug in Excel, and there are plenty, you must wait for Microsoft to fix it (which may never happen).
- Compatibility - integrate with the latest technologies, including XML, VOIP, SMS, and AJAX. Leverage the vast library of software already written for the web.
- No lock-in - because you'll be using industry-standard technologies, and be in possession of the complete sourcecode, you will have the freedom to pick and choose your developers, rather than being locked into a single supplier, or a limited number of suppliers. You will no longer be bound by the requirements of your legacy applications (eg. a specific platform such as Windows, or specific software such as Excel).
- Secure foundations - as web applications are built with open-source, industry-standard technologies, support for these technologies, and thus your application, will be available for a long time to come.
Note: web applications can run on the public internet - but they don't have to. You can run your own private webapp inside your company, hosted on infrastructure in your office, with access given only to employees. This is the configuration we recommend for the applications we develop.
We also recommend that web applications are used with unix servers (eg. Linux, FreeBSD).
Automated software agents (bots)
If you or your staff are constantly repeating the same series of tasks, the probability is good that at least some of that series of tasks can be automated. The benefits of automation are numerous:
- the risk of human error is almost eliminated
- turnaround-time can be reduced from days or weeks to hours or minutes
- does not require staff time
- security is enhanced
- complex tasks can be scheduled to run overnight, to reduce their impact on network performance, and make use of unutilised capacity
- extra services, such as internet connectivity and encryption, can be integrated
- an audit trail can be automatically created, and statistics and performance measurements automatically collected
Middleware is software that connects two incompatible systems. It is especially useful for adding features to legacy software. To give a few examples, middleware might let you email a statement of account to all your customers each month - it exports the data from your existing system. Or, it might let you accept data from key customers electronically - it imports the data to your existing system. Or, you could add tracking, audit, or reporting capabilities. Some more examples:
- to "mine", analyse, or "drill down" into a given set of data to get extra information
- to monitor a given dataitem for certain conditions
- to convert, recode or transpose a dataset into another format
- to collate data from a variety of data sources
- to transmit or receive information between computers via the internet
Middleware allows your systems to integrate with back-end CRM systems, control panels, web-based services and more. Using middleware, your systems can seamlessly provide features to your users that are actually provided by a third party.
We can build or work with almost any SQL-compatible database, such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, or Microsoft SQL Server. We also have considerable skill with Access and Dataease. We can add functionality to your existing applications, by connecting directly to the databases they use; for example, we can add a web-based interface to software which does not support web-based interfaces. We can also add reports, statistics, dashboards and so on, to your existing applications. We are able to extract, transform and migrate data between all the above platforms (eg. Access-to-MySQL conversions).
We can help you build new, or maintain your existing software. We are also able to maintain and/or migrate legacy code, written in languages such as ASP Classic, VBA or VBScript. Yes - we can convert that ancient Excel spreadsheet into a modern application, with no loss of data or functionality!
Custom coding is available at our standard hourly rates.
Rates, fees and charges
For larger projects, we usually create a design specification, and then cost each item. This provides us with a solid development plan, and you with a fixed price. Modifications to the specification, once agreed, are charged at the hourly rate (see below).
For small projects and ad-hoc work, we charge an hourly rate, as follows:
- Our rate is £70/hour.
- Our minimum charge is 1 hour.
- We bill in half-hour intervals - this means, for example, that you won't need to pay for a full hour if you only use 15 minutes.
- If you request that work should be commenced on the same day you order the work, an Emergency Coding Fee may be charged.
Discounts may be available for larger projects.
* We would offer a lifetime warranty (bugs fixed for free, forever) BUT we can't guarantee our development tools will work forever (in particular, the compiler we use to make executable binaries). There will come a time when it won't be possible to install Windows XP on any computer anywhere, because they no longer support 20th-Century media or instruction sets. This is not something we can control, but rather is the nature of technology. We do our best to insure against this by writing portable, modular code that is easy for humans to read, in languages that are themselves portable and modular, and have a long and distinguished pedigree, but ultimately even these precautions will be insufficient. Consequently, a five-year warranty is the maximum we are able to offer.