What is the difference between a desktop application, website application and a mobile site application?
A Desktop application is designed for a business to use internally, either on one computer or a number of computers within the network. This desktop application cannot be accessed via the internet.
A website application is designed to be hosted on the web giving maximum flexibility for growth. This is a direction many operations are going due to the need for workplace flexibility, global trading and greater need to keep the business functionality going 24/7. No matter where you are in the world, if you have access to the internet, you can log in and access the application and all of the data it contains.
A mobile application is a website (or a version of your website) specifically designed to be accessed on a mobile phone. Due to screen size constraints, there is usually less content /features available on a website designed for viewing on a mobile so just the important facts are featured.
A mobile application component is also very useful for businesses who are mobile or have staff moving around but need to be able to access the system for maximum productivity i.e. sales staff can input orders when they are with customers out in the field etc., rather than having to call the orders in or wait until the end of the day to input the orders on their pc.
A customized system might include all of the above or only one or two of these elements based on the specific requirements of your business.
I want to be able to update our company database via my smart phone, do we need a seperate site for that?
If you want to be able to update your database on your handset, your business system would need a website application to host the database and a mobile application that allows you to access areas of the database from your handset. These are now becoming standard business tools for streamlining business practices.
Why do I sometimes view websites on my mobile and they look all jumbled up and very different to when I view them on my computer?
You may have tried to view a website on your phone, but had to zoom in and scroll across and down to view the information. This is because the site was not designed to be viewed on the mobile. Your mobile tries to display all of the content on the website, but with reduced screen size, the layout gets scattered. Most people have a mobile now, so it's essential that you think about the different ways people are likely to access your site and build a solution to suit each of them.
Which database engine should I choose?
It really depends on your needs and how many users are going to be accessing the database. If there will be 1-10 (max) people using the database, MS access is a suitable alternative, however for a system to suit more users than this, you need to use SQL server.
What is cheaper to develop in, MS Access or ASP.net?
The cost of developing a system for MS is less at the moment because it is an aging technology and there are a large number of programmers who create databases in this format. However it is not as flexible or as powerful as developing your system in ASP.net. It really depends what your needs are and what budget you have to work with as to the best alternative for you.
How long is it likely to take you to design my database?
It all depends on the scale of the system you require. Some have basic requirements and may take as little as 20 hours, others that are integrated with a large degree of complexity may take several months. If you have a detailed outline of what you are wanting, then the estimation on time and money is easier to calculate. We can also stagger the stages so that you can begin using the database and as we design the additional components, they get integrated into your system.
What if I have an emergency and need immediate assistance?
I am available 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday Australian Eastern standard time. I am usually able to get onto something quickly if the need arises. If I am in the middle of something and you need me to prioritize your needs, I offer a Priority service. I am also happy to assist beyond my standard office hours however I charge a higher hourly rate for this service.
Once I have my database designed, can I add extra reports or features down the track?
I develop databases and websites to be open-ended so that they can be added to as the need arises provided that the development suite is still accessible. Most clients start with a base set of requirements and then as they have new ideas and needs, more features are added. I always enjoy extending the power of an existing system to help my clients.
What skills should I look for in a MS Access/ASP.net Developer?
Extensive experience within the database design area over a long period of time is an important factor. Check out the businesses they have worked with to see if they have done work in a similar industry to yours (so they have some awareness of how the business works) and read their testimonials to get an idea of what their clients have said about them. (see what my clients have said here
Check out some examples of their work to get an idea of what their style is like and if its consistent line with your business style. (see my folio here
My business is growing and I need a system to manage it better, should I buy an off-the-shelf application or have a system built specifically for my needs?
They both have pros and cons.
A customized system takes into consideration what your specific business requirements are and is built according to those exact needs. Then as the business evolves, grows and changes the system can be refined so that it is always meeting your needs. Unlike an off-the-shelf service which you don’t own, a customised system is one that you own as part of your business structure; however this benefit comes with a larger initial investment of time and money.
Off-the-shelf services are generally based around a monthly/annual subscription to an online portal. Some are more specialised to industries or functions than others, however usually they are designed to cater to the needs of a large variety of businesses so they adopt a one size fits all philosophy. They may include additional features than can be added at an additional cost but are generally ready to go when you are i.e. there is no designing time. This is a good option when the features offered match the needs of your business and if you can’t afford time and financial investment to develop a tailored solution. Just be wary that if they shut down operations you could be left hanging.
Am I better to go with a bigger organisation or a single programmer like Jasmatuph Creations?
Although a big organisation might seem appealing because they have a big office with lots of staff and an impressive website and sales tools, at the end of the day if you run a small to medium-sized operation and need a small to medium sized system, you may just be paying for services you don’t need. Rather than dealing directly with the programmer like you do at Jasmatuph Creations, you would be assigned a project manager who would be the middle person between you and the programmer. For large database designs with many programmers all working on the project, a project manager is important, but for small to medium sized operations, dealing with the programmer directly is more cost and time effective.
What are some key benefits of having a database?
Better accountability of staff.
Keep track of customers and sales to assist with further evaluation.
Greater opportunities for growth when you have a bird’s eye view of the business
Save time by having your system online wherever you or your staff are (access remotely).
Ability to back up information trails.