Custom Software Development
No matter what business you are operating, it is likely that you will need a computer. In addition to the computer, you will also need software. When you are choosing the right software for your business, you will be faced with two options, and this is the option to use custom software or off the shelf software. For many people, the answer is fairly simple. They will simply purchase off the shelf software for the sake of saving both money and time. However, depending on the industry you're in, this may not be the best option. Many business owners fail to take into consideration the problems they can experience by using off the shelf software.
While the initial price may be low, you may find yourself constantly paying for upgrades. In addition to this, you have no control over the source code of the software. While purchasing off the shelf software may help you solve specific problems, you may sometimes find that it is not compatible with your goals. It should also be noted that some industries require you to produce a high quality product. If you choose to buy off the shelf software, it is important to make sure it is powerful enough to perfectly produce the project you are using it for. It should be designed specifically for the project you are using it for. It should not only be "partially" useful for the project you wish to create, unless this is desirable. Depending on your project, it may not be. Before you purchase the software, it is also important to look at the support that is offered by the vendors.
Do they give you the support you need? Will they be there 24 hours a day, 7 days per week? Do they have an established reputation? Remember, if you buy software off the shelf, you will not have full control over the vendors, and you will be dependent on their ability to provide you with quality service. In some instances, purchasing software off the shelf may be a good idea. However, it is important for business owners to know when they should buy software off the shelf and when they should have it custom built. When you buy software off shelf, you will typically be given the option of either buying commercial software or reused code. If you want to use a software program that you buy off the shelf, you will need to integrate it first.
The term integration in this article is used to refer to the process that you must go through to use a software that you did not originally create. If you are installing a word processing tool or operating system, this can be a short and easy process. However, if you are working with a complex software program, the integration process could take months or even years. When you are deciding whether or not you should buy software off the shelf or custom built it, you should look at the scope, criticality, micro factors, and meta factors. The scope can simply be defined as the size of the project. If the project is exceptionally small, this is a sign that you may only need to buy off the shelf. The criticality deals with the risk that the software may potentially have on the project.
In other words, what are the chances that the software may cause the project to fail? If it does, how costly may this be? Criticality is a factor that you will want to pay close attention to when you are in the process of trying to decide whether you should custom build software or buy it off the shelf. The micro factors deal with the success of the integration, and meta factors deal with the highest levels of success. It is critically important to make sure you get a software program that doesn't fail. In our world of today, the success of a business is largely dependent on the tools that are used. You can't afford to use software that is not reliable If it fails, this can damage your chances for success. Another factor that you will want to pay attention to is attribute sizing.
Attribute sizing is important when it comes to measuring the size of the project, but it is primarily used for the purpose of integrating code. If you are dealing with off the shelf software, you will probably have to measure it with what is called a size metric. You will probably need to look at the amount of data tables or functions. It is also important for business owners to look at development schedules. If the software is not very mature, upgrade may need to be made quite often. The process of going through these upgrades may cause lags. Of course, the project risk is an important issue that you will want to pay attention to. If the software product is mature and highly stable, the risk of using it will be quite low. If the software is not mature or stable, there could be a lot of risks involved with using it. It is up to the business owner to carefully weight these risks.
Perhaps one of the most important things that the developer will want to pay close attention to is the cost. If the product is not very mature, it may not cost a lot, but the costs could be high over the long term. If you are working with custom built software, you will need to look at the cost of development. Again, if the software is not mature, it will not be very stable, and developers will need time to deal with these issues. Once the software has been purchased or built, the developer must look at the costs involved with maintaining it. If the software product is mature, it should not be too costly to maintain or update the software to newer versions. To make the decision of whether or not you should custom build software or buy it off shelf, it is first important to look at the project itself.