For around one decade Humbach Datentechnik designs and sells customized sofware for small and medium companies. The developments are focused on measurement and controlling applications.
The scope of applications is ranging from small tools for the customer sold 'as is' up to fully featured systems including the colplete sourcecode to enable further development by our customer.
Review of some former and actual projects .
The trend of solutions is changing from 'monolithic' applications to modular ones, often with connection to a database server. For the industrial environment it is mostly useful to store any data within a centralized database. To enable future access to this data any proprietary solution is strictly forbidden.
Microsoft SQL server, more than 10 users per installation
Sybase SQL server for smaller applications, 1 to 10 user per installation
Microsoft Access, end user standalone solution
The decision for a certain database is mostly made according to the license models available. The goal is a predictable total cost of ownership. This is influenced by the existing installations as well as the type of distribution of the software.
Due to the use of metadata it is possible to add new kinds of data to the database without the necessity of a new version of the application accessing the database. Measurement data are stored independant of the used system of metrics, so the software can display the stored data using the desired metrics.
For international applications, it is desirable to change the language of the user interface without restarting the software or the computer. Our software is designed in a way, that allows the implementation of all supported languages in a single unified version. The customer can choose the available languages for the user from all implemented languages. This approach makes it easy to secure the consistency of different languages througout the sofware.
The development system (Microsoft Visual Studio (C++), Java or XML or any combination) is choosen according to the projects specifications. The main aspects here are the development time and distribution possibilities as well as security reasons. The different systems provide different levels of informational security for our customer. The state of the project is also an important point: is the project finalized and ready to sell without any changes or is there still some research to do?
Productive systems have to have reasonable short times for testing, support and bug fixes. This is accomplished by remote access via ISDN. So many problems can be solved without the necessity of a lengthy and expensive voyage.