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Implementation Tips Advice for Custom Software Development

Businesses can get exactly the functionality they require with custom software maintenance applications. Custom software can be a great way to increase speed and enforce structure while still keeping your business’ unique processes.

Software Development Tools

Our software development team has created, modified, and maintained thousands of custom applications over the past 20 years. Many of the applications that we created in our early years were developed using Microsoft Access. We still do a lot of Access maintenance. We have primarily moved to rapid software development tools such as Django, Python with PostgreSQL, or Microsoft SQL Server for new projects. If you are the department head or business owner, then you don’t likely care about the software tools. You should be focusing on finding the best solution for your needs that is easy to manage. The plan for routine maintenance of custom software is often overlooked.

Maintaining custom software

Custom software must be maintained with custom software upgrades, just like all software. You are the primary driver of the maintenance schedule, unlike with off-the-shelf software. An update may be required for certain events:

  • New operating system environments released (like Windows 10).
  • Upgrade of an associated software application
  • Processes and procedures that are changing in the business

Are you a candidate?

  • This application is running on an older computer or server that was specifically built for it.
  • Only one person is permitted to touch the programming code, or the whole system could crash.
  • Because you don’t know the impact on your custom software, your business cannot upgrade its business systems or business processes.
  • Expensive custom software can pose a risk
  • It’s easy to think that you are stretching your IT budget. Reducing the time for custom software updates can increase risk and add cost.
  • Clients who keep their software updated regularly don’t need to start over every few years.
  • Your company might not be able to take advantage of technology’s advances, which could lead to your business losing out on security, efficiency, and profitability.
  • It’s possible to be “forced” into updating or replacing your software at an inconvenient time.
  • There is a risk that no one will be able or willing to support your application.

Include updates in your custom software development plan

You should budget money for software maintenance and backups if you are going to create custom software. Although you may not be able to predict which database or operating system updates will require software patches, it is possible to expect some software maintenance.

Backup and Recovery of Custom Software

Software companies that create custom software must have backup and recovery procedures for the source code and production system. You should regularly back up the production system (executable version) of any software you use in your office. It is important to consider where and how the source code is stored. You won’t have the ability to modify the software program without the source code. Your software development company and you should agree on how many copies of the source codes to keep and where and when to store the backups. This code should be accessible in case of an emergency. Keep a log of all software updates. This documentation will help you quickly bring in another software development team if necessary.

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