WWWalker's Portals

See also Portal Details | Commercial Portals | Cookie-Cutter Portals (Low Budget) | Mobile Portals | Novell Open Source Patent Sale | Developers retain right to IP in government solutions | Finance Management

Commercial vs Open Source Software

Ecommerce Integration | Leveraging Open Source Software

We have experience integrating ecommerce into Websites for small business (our target market):

Scope: we do not do high end custom designed glamorous ecommerce sites only simple functional small business ecommerce sites. Those higher end complex sites are too expensive and risky for most small businesses but they often aspire to them.

Commercial Portals

We build commercial systems using opensource or inhouse software.

Simple Portals

Small business and community groups require simple, easy to maintain Web portals using open source tools with a diverse range of plugins.

Government Portals

Since 2013, we have built mobile portals that use open data from Government Web services. These include Translink and DNRM Groundwater in Queensland.

In September 2012, SBR XBRL Web services were launched using open source tools and APIs. The learning curve was steep but the payoff is tight integration between business bookkeeping and government sites for reporting for tax, payroll etc using Auskey security. This the end of a long saga in finance management to sort dodgy transactions and customers and reduce fraudulent transactions that cost our business hefty amounts and set us back for years.

Comparison of Real Projects

You can see from the hard evidence in Portal Details, that using open source tools to develop custom Web portals is much more viable than using commercial tools to maintain Windows open source portals even though Windows open source portals are free to download. The crunch is the ongoing support for commercial tools is much higher and less lucrative than open source tools due to open source tools (not application software) having a much LOWER overhead and much better support infrastructure!

Project Management

Our project management system documents all designs by linking modules and data dictionary entries and generating documentation which did not exist. This has proven very useful for handling other developers or customers and helps us to control a project from our end despite the customer not doing the documentation. We just do documentation on our own tools and setup our own offsite testbed so we are independent of sysops. It is a great freedom not to have to rely on another manager for vital information and stop delays.

Basically, we engineer our products ourselves to save the cost blowouts of modifying and created by using other people's software and hardware infrastructure which looks cheaper but in the end is quite costly unless you wrote and set it up yourself. Hence we have our own test beds and don't rely on other people's infrastructure.

We are not a middle sized application company or a hosting company with technical support laid on. We are developers who build economic, humble systems that WORK! We have perfected a project management system that controls people who try to leverage us for something we are not capable of doing due to our small size! We will handover to another developer to complete the work if required.

On a deeper note, we avoid poor project management and the pain it inflicts on us. If the system is designed on the wrong premise (e.g. clean data), then redesign will be costly but effective. Network support and poor quality infrastructure (CPU, RAM, hard drive and bandwidth) can drown the best programming skills.

From 2015 onwards, we now apply supply chain management to developing software.

Request for Pricing

Send in a request for pricing.


Leveraging Open Source Software

The trend the past 2-4 years (2005-2009) is for people to use open-source portal software and get a developer like us to modify it or set it up.

Needless to say, this has eroded considerably how much we can make out of developing or installing a portal. As ever, the customer drives down the price as products become commoditized by cheaper Indian developers getting all our work as outsourcing in India flourishes at the expense of Australian developers because customers do not discern the financial damage they are inflicting on local industry because they go offshore to save money. We now build software primarily for our own business and only sell services not products as customers do not value our skill and we use our own software more wisely and less wastefully.

This slump in price and income from software development being squandered by poor customers has driven us into developing mobile and mapping applications and publishing including book editing, indexing, Website tagging and Web-based indexing tools.

The tradeoff is that if we use open source software we can save time and money by adding changes for free to a central pool and adding commercial software using loose-coupling so intellectual property is not lost. We remain agile and skirt disaster by not getting involved too much in open source or letting other developers devour our work and wreck our business.

We prefer original custom work on Linux on x86 any day but realizing people want open source portals now so are adapting to that demand in 2010!

Complexity

At one point in 2005, we found that Microsoft and Apple Mac based servers or languages or cloning custom sites are not viable options for small developers like ourselves. They require expensive support by trained Microsoft or Apple engineers which our customer base will not pay for so we are lumbered with the huge costs of support for little guys trying to enter big guy territory - it does not compute! The same happens with CodeCharge which produces very complex obtuse designs which are hard to maintain unless costs blowout or deadlines are blown.

Intellectual Property and Copyright of Software

Because customers kept squandering intellectual property by giving our work to other developers and downgrading our efforts, we do more inhouse software development and only sell a service now. We do very little outwardly facing sites now and have instead written software for our own business which is safer and less risky to our business. We licence or directly integrate only small parts of our software into the customer's software now as they have proven to be so untrustworthy with source code on their sites.

We own the software we develop inhouse and the customer licenses if off us or the customer may own it already and want updates and we licence it back off the customer for reuse in our projects to make a decent living from out intelligence not just be a casual worker or employee and be locked into the boss's agenda which is usually not that bright. One does not have exclusive use of it or we would not be able to reuse our core software modules and the customer would sit on the technology and not realize its full worth like happens so many times in government departments or large companies that buy their competitors and shut them down to maintain an exploitive monopoly control over new technology investments.


Created: 25 Jan 2006 13:35
Last Updated: 19 June 2015 11:29


WWWalker Web Development Introduction

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