Computer Application Software development is increasing at a remarkable rate. According to Evans Data Corporation there were 26.4 million software developers in the world in 2019 with numbers steadily rising year on year. It is said that developers can develop 15 to 20 useful lines of code per day so this equates to approximately 500 million lines of code being developed per day.
Looking at Windows Operating System. Microsoft’s renowned software package. It has taken many years to develop.It is reportedly 50 million lines of code long.
This means that around the world the equivalent of 10 software packages of equivalent size to Microsoft Windows are being developed every day.
Where is this leading us to and what is the future of software applications?
Large Enterprise systems on mainframe computers used to dominate the computer world, but now there is web-based development; and small specialist software applications.
Computer software applications are now wide and varied.
Large Enterprise Software Systems
Large Enterprise systems still dominate and have many benefits. If an estimate or a quote is done on an enterprise system, and the quote is accepted, the enterprise system can then link to stock requisition, which in turn links to stock control.
This also links to invoicing, and accounting.
So, the enterprise system will show you all of the material in stock.
This could be, the sizes that are in stock, its cost, its warehouse location and so on.
Information all required and at the fingertips of the staff who could be in multiple offices connected by the Internet. Many functions are handled within the one enterprise computer system greatly increasing efficiencies and reducing costs.
Small Specialist Software Systems
However small specialist computer applications also have their place.
If a user is estimating using a small specialist package such as Exact Rebar, a rebar software package for reinforcing steel, or Exact Roofing for estimating roofing as another example.
These specialist packages would contain a completely different set of data.
The data would be complementary, but quite different. For example, reinforcing steel typically comes in standard lengths. If the longest standard length of reinforcing steel is too short for the beam or footing where the reinforcing steel is being placed, then a second length of reinforcing steel is required.
The second piece of reinforcing steel is overlapped with the first piece for a specified distance to create a bonded join between the two pieces of steel.
The length of this overlap depends on many external factors including, for example, the concrete strength, and the location of the reinforcing steel in the beam or footing.
Similarly taking the example of metal roofing.
A particular metal roof profile may require specialist fixings; which would differ depending on whether the roofing was being placed on timber or metal purlins.
However, this could be completely different again if near the sea as stainless-steel fixings are then generally required.
Why One Solution Does Not Fit All
Loading all this specialist information such as reinforcing lap conditions, and roof fixings criteria into an enterprise computer system becomes unwieldy, as it is highly specialist information that has no relevance to the company’s accounting function.
This is when you could consider having a rebar detailing software package; which will save you time and money.
When you take all these factors into consideration it is fair enough to assume that an enterprise application is the answer for the accounting, stock control and invoicing.
Whereas the small specialist packages are the answer for quoting and estimating.
The Solution to the Enterprise Systems versus Small Specialist Software Packages
The solution is to have and use both.
Use the specialist software package for estimating and quoting.
But, as soon as the customer confirms the order, information from the specialist software package is exported to the enterprise system, which then takes over.
The key to the solution is “integration”.
The specialist application has a simple export utility that creates an export file, so no issues with double entry. The export file is in turn imported into the enterprise management system which then takes over the stock control, delivery, and invoicing.
Then the user gets the best of both worlds.