Reasons to Choose Responsive Software
Software suppliers will tell you that every business is basically the same in order to convince you that their package will suit your particular requirements. They will then expect you to adjust your business processes to suit their software. And the reason their software is so complex is that it aims to meet, not only the needs of your business but also, the differing needs of a multitude of other businesses at the same time!
At Responsive Software we have a different approach. Our competent professional programmers work directly with you in your business to develop only the software you need to meet your specific requirements. The software we create belongs to you and is designed to provide trouble-free and licence-free running for your business for many years to come. It also gives you an excellent basis on which to develop your information systems as your business grows.
Although the initial cost of a customized system may be greater than that for an off-the-shelf package, the total cost of ownership (TCO) is significantly less when considered over a period of just a few years and with our easy payment options is more affordable than you might think. And with customized software you end up owning both the software and the source code upon which your business depends. With packaged software all you'll ever get is a licence to use something that belongs to someone else!
Responsive Software provides a professional consultancy service for businesses that develop their own software. Because our aim is to be truly professional we endeavour to act in the best interests of our clients while at the same time adhering to the highest ethical standards.
Consequently when we develop customized software for your business we acknowledge that it does not belong to us and renounce all ownership rights to it in your favour. We also treat all information we receive with the utmost confidentiality and renounce the possibility of gaining a commercial advantage from our privileged position as your software professional.
15 Years Experience
Responsive Software have been developing business applications for 15 years and have experience in a diverse number of areas including insurance systems, accounting systems, actuarial & financial calculations, electronics manufacturing, furniture manufacturing, food distribution, fish processing, telecommunications, networking, client/server, internet technologies, POS systems, pharmaceutical dispensing, teaching and education administration.
During this time we've come to appreciate many of the issues that are important to a business when making an investment in software development. In particular we've come to the conclusion that many businesses' experience with computer software on the whole is somewhat less than satisfactory. (For more details you may wish to read our lengthy essay on the architecture of a business application.)
Proven Track Record
All the software Responsive Software have written during the past 15 years has gone into operation and is successfully fulfilling the purpose for which it was intended. For more information please take a look at our track record or some of the comments from our clients. You are welcome to make direct contact with the individuals quoted if you are genuinely interested and would like further information.
We have built and tested a generic business application that we make available to our clients as a starting point for customized software. We call this our Framework. It includes a general ledger function, a cashbook function, a document and image repository, a point-of-sale function that operates both on-line and off-line and an HTTP server function for web site development. It also includes all the logic necessary for client/server communications and database management.
This Framework is a fundamental component in a number of applications used by our clients as part of their mission-critical business operations. It provides them with a sound basis on which to further develop their systems as they are subject to larger numbers of users, more and more data and an increasing level of complexity.
All Windows Versions
Business applications based on our Framework will install and run on all versions of Windows including 95, 98, ME, NT, 2K, XP, Vista and 7. These can be present in any combination on the client computers.
No Licence Fees
Business applications based on our Framework can be deployed free of any on-going licence fees including the database server.
Installable from the Web
Business applications based on our Framework are provided in a single executable installation file that can be installed directly from a web site. This file is usually less than 10MB in size.
Business applications based on our Framework are built and deployed as a single executable that can be run in various modes including client, server and POS modes as determined by command-line switches. This file is usually less than 3MB in size.
No other files need be present for the application to work apart from those required by the database server on the computer where the database is located. This means the application can be run as a client on any Windows computer simply by copying the file, creating a shortcut and adding the appropriate command-line switches.
Responsive Software have a great deal of experience estimating how long a software development job will take. This means that in most cases we can estimate the cost with a reasonable degree of accuracy. In situations where a client has a precise idea or description of their requirements we can usually give a fixed-price quote.
Total Quality Control
We have the procedures in place to give us total control over the quality of the software we deliver. This includes a policy of zero-tolerance for software defects or "bugs" in our code. If even a minor defect appears in our software we eliminate it permanently by finding the logical error and fixing it. We do not "code around" or ignore it.
Because many of our clients' business operations are critically dependent on the systems we develop we place the utmost priority on ensuring they will continue operating smoothly without interruption. This is particularly important when making changes or enhancements to systems that are already in use.
Our approach includes the use of appropriate development tools. We believe many of the scripting and "managed" environments currently in vogue take a piecemeal approach to software delivery that does not lend itself to the total quality control of a software system.
We also expect our programmers to understand and test every line of code they write by stepping through each one with an interactive debugger to ensure that it behaves in the manner they intend. (Too often in the software industry programmers are permitted to write code they don't fully understand but that appears to work based on the assumption that defects will be picked up by the testers. We repudiate this approach and believe that a programmer who writes a piece of code is the person in the best position to both understand and test it.)
And because our programmers have a comprehensive understanding of both business and technology they are able to directly and effectively meet the needs of a business without the usual battery of technicians, analysts, testers and administrators that are normally associated with serious software development projects.
Professionally Written Code
All our code is professionally written to a high standard. We adhere to a clearly defined coding standard that is applied consistently throughout our work. We also place a high priority on writing code that can be easily understood by subsequent programmers who are given the job of modifying the code and include appropriate comments where necessary.
We take an incremental approach to software development. This means we build you a business application with as few or as many features as you like. You only pay for what you get (provided of course you are satisfied with it!) New features and enhancements can be added later as required either by us or any other software developer of your choice.
Of course we would be delighted if you came back to us for changes or improvements to your software. There is nothing we enjoy more than being asked to add enhancements to a system we have developed. However you are under no obligation to do so.
You may wish to engage us only to carry out the initial development for your project and "start the ball rolling" so to speak. Once you are confident the architecture is sound and the project is a "goer" you can then hand over the source code to your own team of programmers. Or once you see how it's done you may even decide to have a go at it yourself!