Custom Programming

Custom programming is what got us into this. (Click here for more on how and when.) It's our bread and butter. It's what we do best.

Having said that, we need to point out that reinventing the wheel is rarely cost effective and not for everyone. Normally and with very few exceptions, amortizing development costs across many installations holds down the financial impact to individual users of designing, developing, and (especially) debugging reliable software. That means existing general-purpose or industry-specific software should be the better buy (though vendors of the latter often feel they have the clout to demand "whatever the market will bear" for their applications).

Our custom applications are so flexible, we have had customers who have migrated to industry-specific applications, bought from a national vendor, who have then had us create special-purpose mini-applications -- just because they needed something we could provide in our environment that wasn't available from the "big" system!

Having said that, there are exceptions (which redefine the rule):

Sometimes your way is the best or only way. Or, the available systems for your business are grossly expensive (often the case). Or, the time saved by-passing steps or features that you don't want and won't use will save time that is also money. That's where we come in.

Often, since we have our existing libary of data-entry/editing and reporting routines, we can be surprisingly competitive, even when inventing wheels! Contact us to discuss the details.

Your Way

How about a demonstration of symplicity and design elegance?

Right now, try grabbing the lower-right corner of your browser window and dragging up and down, left and right, to resize it. Watch what happens with the page content. It all floats and reforms to match the size and shape of the window! Try it with any of our pages; then try the same thing with other web sites.

No, it ain't rocket science. It's just thoroughly thought-out software design.

We don't create assembly-line applications like spreadsheets and word-processing! We sit down with you, discuss your needs in plain English, and come up with a list of functions that are a reasonable compromise between "minimal" and "all the bells and whistles".

To do this, we tell potential customers to make a three-column list of what they want. The first column gets what must be included to justify the system. The third column is their "wish list", what they don't need but would like to have or may have heard about. Finally, between these two, in the second column, goes, well, functions that you may not need but would like to have. We determine what's required to build a system including all column-one items, usually including most of the column-two stuff, and we come up with ideas of how the column-three features might be added in the future -- or a path for expansion into those areas.

Our customers have a pretty good idea of what they're getting into way before we ever start work.

Developmental Environments

We develop software using programming environments based on the following criteria:

Everything is ongoing!

We continue to work on all our software projects. . . custom and general applications, even "freebie" utilities. We distribute updates to all our applications here.

This means ideas that our customers come up with as they use their systems, and improvements to application components, and even experience we have with other customers. . . key-stroke shortcuts, report formatting or selection criteria, Windows features, and more. . . can all be downloaded with a couple of clicks from this web site. . . all part of a team effort to provide the best product possible.

Note: Today, this means Microsoft's Visual Studio and our own library of database-access and report-printing functions. Most of our customers presently use the Microsoft Jet4 database engine, but our applications are scalable to SQL Server and other large-application environments.

Please click here for more information, including screen shots and reporting examples, about the kinds of software we create.

Click here for more on the library of design elements we bring to our applications.

Here are just some of the original applications we have developed in the past, from the ground up, for a few of our customers: