Dragging Software Development into the 21st Century

Companies spend billions of dollars every year on developing their own software applications or purchasing complex enterprise software applications. This includes not only the cost of software, but the hardware infrastructure required to support the software as well. Rather than spending this money on software development, a company should put it to better use to improve the core business of the company. That is, the company should be focusing on what it is that they are really in business for rather then being distracted by software development.

Current software development practices for enterprise applications often result in products that are too expensive to develop, acquire, implement, integrate and then maintain. The typical software development cycle starts with a base product that is developed and subsequently sold, if external, or delivered, if internal, to a client. If the base product is lacking in functionality, then additional modifications must be made to the base product, adding to the cost of development. Once modifications have been completed, the implementation and integration phase starts. This phase has high costs associated with it; usually surrounding customization in order to get the software to interface with existing legacy systems. Finally, annual maintenance and service fess are charged, which usually do not include future upgrades. Clients are frequently less than happy with the results. The software development entity is often unaware that the client is not happy until the next development cycle is well under way, at which point it is too late and too expensive to address the problems. This results in an endless cycle where the software developed for a client continuously lags behind the client’s actual needs. Financial and human resources, which could be used too much greater effect elsewhere, are absorbed into a cycle that could be avoided altogether.

One of the highest costs involved in software development is the cost of developers. Over the past few decades computers have automated most industries. Ironically, the one industry that has not benefited from automation is the software development industry. Writing software is still a manual process involving monotonous and repetitive tasks. Techniques, such as code reuse and code generation have been developed over the years to reduce the workload. However, developers are inherently resistant to change and to anything they perceive as being able to “replace” them. Either they do not trust someone else’s code, or they think they could write better code themselves. For whatever reason, developers wind up reinventing the wheel project after project and billing for that work. Since developers are reluctant to utilize tools and techniques in their own development, they become their own worst enemy. The computer is the greatest tool ever invented and developers, the ones that make this great tool work, are reluctant to take maximum advantage of it.

If there is an industry that should be automated it is the software industry. All business applications perform the same basic functions and they interact with a database the same way, doing inserts, updates, queries, deletes, etc. They interact with the user through a user interface allowing the user to input and retrieve data. The internal plumbing that ties everything together is the same. What makes an application unique is the business rules, logic, and workflows (how the user moves through the application). Ideally there would be a tool that would “create” these common features and help “manage” the unique parts.

A tool is needed that would allow a developer to focus on the “what” or the rules and workflows instead of the “how” or the plumbing. A tool is needed that would take care of the monotonous and repetitive tasks. These laborious tasks are precisely where a computer excels. This tool has been created and it is ready for those who can accept giving up total development control and let the computer do what it was invented to do: expedite commerce. For more information on how your business can benefit from custom software development visit www.cerkitek.com.

Expose of Standard Software Development Processes

The standardized structure imposed by the software development market leaders are the development systems or processes strictly implemented in order to create a uniform development system anywhere in the world.

To understand software development systems fully a person would require a large amount of knowledge in the field of software engineering. However, if you are contemplating the leap into the unknown that is software development, it always helps to know some of the basics, even if you will not be heavily involved in the actual development. With this knowledge you will have in your armory the means to assess the stability and standards of the software being developed.

Today, there are three development systems that need consideration. Firstly is the Waterfall Process, secondly the Iterative Process and thirdly the Formal Method. The best known and most widely recognised among software developers is the Waterfall Process.

The waterfall model called as such because the manner in which the software development is executed can be likened to that of a waterfall: the eight (8) basic activity processes or steps are done from top to bottom like a falling waterfall. These eight (8) basic processes or steps are: (1) Requirement Analysis, (2) Specification, (3) Software Architecture, (4) Implementation (Coding), (5) Testing, (6) Documentation, (7) Software Training and Support, and (8) Maintenance.

In many software development systems, these 8 steps are interchanged and not all are done within the Waterfall Model. Some argue that this model is the most stable and suited model available, despite it’s age! This is due to the ease of determining problems or bugs within the system, even as early as the specification requirements analysis and before any programming or coding begins. Through experience, a programmer will normally find it much harder to insert a fix into code that has already been written and finished, than it is to code that fix as part of the solution in the first place.

Top Five Software Developments

A company’s website is the main point of contact with its customers and so needs to act as a source of information, a social gathering point, a shop and publicity machine all in one. Most companies have a host of software programs running behind the scenes making everything appear to run smoothly and seamlessly from accounts to document storage. Computers have revolutionized business for companies and the software development companies that produce systems to keep work on track are central to this process.

1. Accounts Software
Accounts always used to be the bane of a small company’s life, making sure the pounds and pennies all added up and that bills, invoices and company accounts were kept on top of, is for most people a complete nightmare. The use of such systems as QuickBooks has made the basic management of company accounts so much easier to control.

2. Blogging
Blogging allows business to keep in touch with their fans, customers and clients, tell them about new developments, product lines and industry activities that are of interest. The easiest way to start blogging for those who don’t already talk to their customers is by using WordPress. This free, simple system will have you writing about your business within minutes and keeping the world in touch with your progress.

3. Virtual Conference
With home working, mobile offices and multiple sites it can be difficult at times for everyone to get together for meetings or training sessions. Here software developers have come to the rescue with virtual offices, online classrooms and remote conferencing. There are a number of products on the market that allow you to talk directly to staff, colleagues or students, perform demonstrations via a ViOP, illustrate lectures with a simple whiteboard and all join up in one big virtual room.

4. Document Sharing
It is common for companies to use standard documents and templates for business and it is important that all staff have the ability to access information at any one time. Software developers at Google have come up with a useful documents tool that allows personnel to work from the same documents and access group information simultaneously.

5. Sales Co-ordination
CRM, Customer Relationship Management tools are an essential software solution even for one-man band organizations. Everyone benefits from keeping tabs on their client base, sales and salesforce activities. There are a few software developers who have created excellent systems for monitoring and controlling sales without it seeming such a hit and miss affair.

If you require a specific form of business management system, many software developers are able to create programs specific to your organization. There are also plenty of bespoke developers that use cloud based systems that mean you do not need lots of room and additional staff to maintain them.

Software Development Projects And What Are The Best Methods

What are the best methods for software development projects

The crucial component is when choosing the correct software development life cycle process that is required to create the project, as all other processes are comprised from this process. The software development projects including the spiral method may often be used instead of the waterfall method.

This way any problem may be corrected early and ensuring the testing process has more chance of success. The artifact from the development process can then be analyzed.

The testing process is an imperative part of software development that needs to be planned prior to coding. The testing process is created during the application designing and coding phase.

The project management remains essential to the success of the project. The project manager is constantly aware of these expectations. Rapid Development RAD is one system.

There has also been a notable change to the software process recently, this has been the emergence of the terminology: agile. The agile software methods and the introduction of agility to the development team, determines a change to the well established processes.

Communicating is crucial to success. Including the developing software development plan combining strategy. The architecture and any design or coding requirements. It is of great importance for the development team to know exactly what needs to be created.

As the majority of the software development is a hectic process, termed code and fix, as the software sometimes is created without a correct plan or only short term emphasis. This can work with a small project but as the system grows it is very difficult to add new elements to the system. In addition to this bugs can become a big problem and can be difficult to fix.

The entire software development plan and processing of any system will require the main components of communication, management, planning, testing and implementation. These steps can create ease.

Once a system is developed, it would be beneficial to provide troubleshooting and support to ensure the end user can actually use the software and also any bugs within the system may actually be made known through this process and ensuring to correct architecture for the development.

It is also important to ensure the design is also acceptable as the application must be easy to use, easy to understand and simplicity will contribute greatly to the success of this project and all future projects as there is structure.