Monday 24 September 2012

How To Choose Customized Software Development Company

The process of selecting customized software and development company that is able to provide acceptable time frame for software development and implementation can turn into a messy undertaking unless some simple are followed.

At first place, one should bear in mind that custom-made software usually requires a certain period of development and tailoring of the application even if the software developer have released similar products in the past. Organizations may have very similar requirements toward a business software application, nevertheless the use of different software and hardware platforms and third-party applications that form the corporate software environment may result in totally different approaches toward the implementation of a custom software solution. For example, an open-source application can be relatively painlessly customized to inter-operate and be compatible with other open-source solutions, while off the shelf applications rarely allow for change in their programming code for such purposes.

Thus, the implementation process depends on multiple factors that include software developer's professional background as well as the company's experience in dealing with various software and hardware platforms. Furthermore, a very complex process of determining the real needs and requirements toward a custom business software solution should take place before even thinking to start the implementation process. Therefore, one should look for a software development company that is capable to perform such a thorough test and come out with in-depth analysis of the respective customizations to be applied. For example, an applications that is customized to provide reliable service and handle company's book-keeping may for a particular firm, may not be working properly in different business environment where other accounting standards are used. The same applies to any software module which deals with data that may vary from company to company, or across various industries and regions.

The implementation of a custom-made software solutions requires not only proper due diligence and software development but also significant software testing efforts to make sure the applications is running smoothly and produces the desired outcome. Therefore, a customer should look at past software solutions released by the software vendor and conduct research on the customer feedback regarding those software applications. Of course, one should be aware that not all negative comments on the reliability and other aspects of an application’s performance should be taken seriously, and most reviews, both positive and negative must be taken with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless, the feedback from past and present customers is always helpful in the process of choosing a reliable software developer that specializes in the field of customized software solutions.

The cost of a solution is considered an essential factor when the matter in hand is to operate within a certain budget, which is a very common situation. The budget factor can be complex because the very nature of custom-made software solutions is to be more costly than their ready to use counterparts. A mass production solution is always cheaper, the basic axiom of economics says, therefore one should not compare the price of a tailored software applications and the price of a product intended for a broader audience, at first place. It makes sense, however, to compare the pricing of various software vendors before choosing one that provides the best price to quality ratio.

One have to explore as many options as are available in the market, bearing in mind that the cheapest solution available might prove costly in the long term due to additional customizations or other further software tweaks. Thus, a perfect choice would be a customized software development company that has both the experience in dealing with this particular type of software, which in addition provides affordable prices and enjoys good reputation among customers.

Friday 7 September 2012

Why Portal Intranet Workflow Is Widely Used in Today's Business Systems

Web portals, both public and private, the latter often referred to as corporate or intranet portals, are now so sophisticated that workflow management is considered a must-have feature used to organize, manage, and track portal intranet workflow. In fact, public web portals also rely on intranet workflows for organizing the entire operation of a portal, with those actions not visible to website visitors.
In brief, portal intranet workflow should be organized and managed in a fashion allowing certain outcomes to be produced, depending on predefined tasks to be performed. Thus, portal intranet workflow is basically about managing different tasks and the underlying processes that take place within an organization. One should bear in mind that a software system is also a type of organization from software developer's point of view.

Thus, intranet workflow, namely those tasks and processes that are performed within an organization, and whose only visible to outsiders part is their respective outcome, deals with tasks and their statuses. Hence, when the status of a task or a process that comprises multiple tasks changes, the respective task or process is assigned to another individual or group of individuals whose responsibility is to process in further until a certain goal, or status, is achieved.

Web portals and websites rely on workflow management to automate various processes and tasks usually performed in relation to content management and other processes which require high-automation level. For example, a document that is in draft status would be automatically assigned to an editor for further polishing and then scheduled for publication, according to preset rules. On the other hand, all those procedures are inter-dependent, therefore a document would be checked for revision by an editor prior to publication i.e. a document that is not edited cannot be published. Such basic functionality of content management systems is widely used in today's online environment, where automation plays an important role in the overall optimization of processes and procedures used in day-to-day activities.

In addition, portal intranet workflow requires a certain level of interoperability between different software applications because modern-day business systems usually interact with external devices and third-party software, often in real-time. Therefore, reliable portal intranet workflow depends not only on software compatibility and interoperability but also on system's overall ability to communicate with different hardware platforms and devices of various types. For example, the workflow scheme of a web portal may require email messages to be sent to users, or other means of communication to be used, subsequently those messages should be readable by any hardware device that may be used to receive notifications.

In addition, workflow management process applied in public and intranet (corporate) portals should allow for creation of a set of rules, defining steps to be completed within all and every process before it produces the desired outcome. Thus, an administrator can also define user roles and user permissions that provide the framework for completing a task without omitting a step in the process.

In the context of a complex system, portal intranet workflow management is as important as the processes and tasks it is intended to manage. Software vendors, realizing the huge potential of workflow management and under constant pressure by demanding users, now incorporate software tools for workflow management even in free web content management systems. Evidently, licensed software applications feature more powerful tools for managing portal intranet workflow, while the number of affordable solutions in this field has been growing rapidly in the past few years. Thus, reliable and affordable tools for managing portal intranet workflow are now available to both individual and business customers all over the world.