Although this usually fills the IT department's hearts with dread, it is possible to develop PC-oriented applications very quickly, which interface with other systems within the enterprise, and provide good integrity and ease of use. We do not normally offer services in this area as an independent offering. However, in the course of projects of other kinds, we regularly find situations where the rapid development of a PC-based application is the easiest way to solve a problem:
- The situation may need an almost immediate solution.
- The business may need an interim solution in order to exploit an opportunity, while it undertakes a more far-reaching renewal of its systems.
- The requirement may be ill-defined. In this case, it may be best to develop an initial working pilot system at low cost, in order to clarify the real needs and issues. This prototype may then be developed into the final system, or simply allow the business to define a clear specification.
These applications generally interface with the primary ERP or other business systems. We have developed a number of applications which have uploaded information to the ERP systems, while providing good safeguards on data integrity.
Business acceptance is often very high, because the applications are developed through iterative prototyping. This gives the business people involved more effective influence over design details. It also creates a high level of understanding of the design, and the rationale behind it, before the application is deployed. However, we only advocate this type of development when the application has a defined and limited lifespan.