coding deals |
• data conversion tools from £200!
• new features - £60/hour!
• half-hour billing
• 5-year warranty: bugs fixed free for five years! *
• remote monitoring available
• the Dataease niche
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're able to develop custom software to handle your specific needs. Our software can be grouped into the following categories, which are discussed in more detail below:
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
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
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
Is your business dependent on a labyrinthine Access database/Excel spreadsheet made by an ex-employee in the 90's? Or worse - a DOS-based application from the 80's? We can replace this with a state-of-the-art xAMP application, and deliver many benefits to you, some of which we list below:
- Power and performance - xAMP 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 (the A, M, and P in xAMP).
- Multi-device support - 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, an xAMP application is ready for integration with an intranet, extranet or website, out-of-the-box.
- Easily extensible - you will have full access to the entire sourcecode of your xAMP 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 xAMP platform.
- 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.
- Secure foundations - as xAMP 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: just to be clear, although we just mentioned "web" and "internet" many times, we're not proposing putting a supercharged version of your carefully-guarded spreadsheets on the internet. It's just that the web and xAMP applications are essentially the same - the big difference is who can access them. We are proposing to supercharge your legacy applications, but this does not require making them public, or putting them on the internet, in any way. We would propose locating your xAMP applications on a server located at your premises, inside your firewall, and accessible by nobody except your own employees.
We recommend that xAMP applications are used with unix servers - either Linux, or FreeBSD. Other flavours of unix (Solaris, AIX etc) should also be fine. The unreliability and lack of features suffered by Windows servers does not make them suitable for line-of-business applications, and we do not recommend that you use one (if you can avoid it). Over time, you will want to develop and expand your system - with unix servers that's usually a matter of downloading and installing the bits you need, but with Windows servers, you'll find it's either not possible, or costs extra, sometimes quite a lot extra.
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 £60/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 work that is to be completed within three (3) working days, an Emergency Coding Fee of £40 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.