09 March 2023

Whether you are a business or an individual, you would have used software at some point in time; in fact, you are using a type of software right now to read this blog on your computer or smart device! There are many different types of software available in the market out there for both corporate use and individual use, but there are two main types under which they are categorised:

  • Off-the-shelf software – This is ready-to-use software which can be easily purchased and used immediately. Using such software may incur a payment by way of a subscription in order to be able to use it, but these types generally cater to the masses as a one-size-fits-all kind of solution.

  • Custom-built software – This is a type of software that is designed and built to serve a specific and very unique purpose and targets specific users as well. While this may not incur any subscription payments to use it, there is a cost involved in getting the software designed and developed by a custom software development company.

For more information regarding the differences between custom software and off-the-shelf software, read the following article on Business News Daily, Custom Software Development: Definition and Tips- businessnewsdaily.com.

Custom software development solutions explained!

Custom software development refers to the process of designing, creating, deploying, and maintaining software applications that are specifically tailored to meet the unique needs and requirements of a particular organisation or individual. This type of software is developed from scratch, using a variety of programming languages, tools, and frameworks, to provide a bespoke solution that is tailored to the specific business processes, workflows, and objectives of the client.

This process involves working closely with the client to understand their requirements, preferences, and goals, and then creating a software solution that meets their exact specifications. This can involve a range of activities, including requirement gathering, design, coding, testing, deployment, and ongoing maintenance and support.

Custom software development for Sydney and Melbourne businesses is often used by organisations that have unique or complex business processes that cannot be fully addressed by off-the-shelf software solutions. It can help companies to optimise their operations, improve efficiency, reduce costs, and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

The process employed by a professional custom software development company like Sanmark Solutions will include the following critical steps.

  1. Requirement Gathering

    This is the process of collecting and documenting the specific needs and requirements of a client or organisation for custom software development. The objective of requirement gathering is to identify the essential features, functionalities, and characteristics that the software must possess to meet the client’s goals, improve their operations, or solve their business problems.

    This process usually involves several steps, including:

    • Stakeholder identification: Identify the key stakeholders who will be using the software or who will be affected by its implementation.
    • Requirement elicitation: Getting information from the stakeholders about their needs, goals, and preferences.
    • Requirement analysis: Analyse the information gathered from stakeholders to identify patterns, similarities, and differences.
    • Requirement specification: Document the requirements in a clear and unambiguous manner using various techniques such as use cases, user stories, and functional and non-functional requirements. • Requirement validation: Verify that the documented requirements are complete, consistent, and accurate.

    Requirement gathering is an important phase in custom software development for Melbourne & Sydney businesses, as it lays the foundation for the entire software development lifecycle. The success of the software development project depends on how well the requirements are understood, documented, and validated.

  2. Design

    This is another important phase in the software development lifecycle, following requirement gathering. It involves translating the requirements collected in the previous phase into a detailed plan or blueprint for the software development team to follow.

    The primary objective of the design phase is to create a comprehensive and detailed specification for the software that defines its architecture, components, modules, and interfaces, and how they will interact with each other to achieve the desired functionality. It will include certain sub-phases, such as:

    • System architecture design: This involves defining the overall structure of the software system, including its components, modules, and the relationships between them.
    • Database design: This involves designing the database schema and data model that will be used to store and manage the application data.
    • User interface design: This involves designing the user interface elements and layouts that users will interact with to use the software.
    • Algorithm design: This involves designing the algorithms and procedures that will be used to implement the desired functionality.
    • Security design: This involves designing the security protocols and mechanisms that will be used to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the application and its data.

    The output of this phase is a detailed design specification document that describes the software system’s architecture, components, and interfaces, and how they will work together to meet the client’s requirements. This specification document serves as a roadmap for the development team, providing them with clear guidance on how to implement the software system.

  3. Coding

    Coding, also known as implementation, is the process of writing the actual code for the software system based on the design specification created in the previous phase of custom software development. This is the phase where the software development team transforms the design specification into a functional software system.

    During the coding phase for custom software development solutions, developers use programming languages such as Java to write the code that will implement the various components and modules of the software system. The coding phase typically involves several sub-tasks, including writing the actual code, testing, debugging, integrating it for the various components and debugging the code. In effect, this is where the software system is brought to life. It is important that the code is well-written, tested, and documented to ensure that the software system meets the client’s requirements and is easy to maintain and update in the future.

  4. Testing

    Testing is a critical phase that follows coding. It involves the evaluation of the software system to ensure that it meets the requirements and specifications outlined in the design and requirement-gathering phases. The objective of testing is to identify defects and errors in the software system and ensure that it functions as intended.

    The testing phase typically involves several steps, including:

    • Test planning: This involves developing a test plan that outlines the testing strategies, methods, and tools that will be used to test the software system.
    • Test case development: This involves creating test cases that specify the steps to be taken to test each component and feature of the software system.
    • Test execution: This involves running the tests and recording the results to determine whether the software system meets the requirements and specifications.
    • Defect reporting: This involves identifying and reporting any defects or errors that are found during testing.
    • Defect resolution: This involves fixing the defects and errors found during testing and re-testing to ensure that they have been properly addressed.

    This phase is crucial in ensuring the quality of the software system. It helps to identify defects and errors early in the software development process, reducing the cost and effort required to fix them later.

  5. Deployment

    Deployment refers to the process of installing, configuring, and making the software system operational in the target environment. The deployment phase follows the testing phase, and its primary objective is to make the software system available for use by the end users.

    The deployment phase typically involves several steps, including:

    • Release planning.
    • Configuration management.
    • Installation.
    • Data migration.
    • System testing.
    • User training.

    This is an important phase in ensuring that the software system is available for use by the end users. It involves a coordinated effort by the software development team, IT staff, and end-users to ensure that the software system is installed, configured, and tested correctly in the target environment. The success of the deployment phase is measured by how well the software system meets the client’s requirements and expectations and how well it is accepted and used by the end users.

  6. Ongoing maintenance and support

    This refers to the activities that are performed after the software system has been deployed and is being used by the end users. The primary objective of ongoing maintenance and support is to ensure that the software system continues to function correctly, remains secure, and meets the evolving needs of the end users. It typically involves several activities, including

    • Bug fixing: Identifying and fixing any bugs or defects that are found in the software system.
    • Upgrades and updates: Making updates and upgrades to the software system to improve its performance, security, and functionality.
    • User support: Providing user support to address any issues or problems that end-users encounter while using the software system.
    • Backup and recovery: Performing regular backups of the software system’s data and implementing a disaster recovery plan to ensure that the data can be recovered in the event of a system failure or data loss.
    • Security maintenance: Implementing security updates and patches to protect the software system from security threats.

    The long-term success of the software system is established with this phase in the development process. It involves a continuous effort to improve and enhance the software system, ensuring that it remains relevant and meets the needs of the end users.

    Custom software development solutions are often used by organisations that have unique or complex business processes that cannot be fully addressed by off-the-shelf software solutions. It can help companies to optimise their operations, improve efficiency, reduce costs, and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. More information can be gathered through the following article What is custom software development?IBM.

What are the benefits of custom software development in Melbourne & Sydney, as opposed to buying off-the-shelf software?

Custom-Software-Development-Tipshttps://www.freepik.com/free-photo/standard-quality-control-collage-concept_30589262.htm Custom software development has several benefits compared to off-the-shelf software, including:

  • Customisation: It can be tailored to meet the specific needs and requirements of the business or organisation. This means that the software can be designed to work with existing systems and processes, improving efficiency and productivity.
  • Scalability: This type of software solution can be designed to scale as the business grows and evolves. This means that the software can adapt to changing needs and requirements, avoiding the need for costly replacements or upgrades.
  • Integration: It can be integrated with other systems and applications, improving data exchange and collaboration between different departments or functions.
  • Competitive advantage: These solutions can provide a competitive advantage by allowing the business to differentiate itself from competitors. Custom software can provide unique features and functionality that are not available in off-the-shelf software, helping to improve customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Security: They are generally designed with security in mind, providing better protection against security threats and vulnerabilities.
  • Cost-effectiveness: It can be cost-effective in the long run. While the initial development costs may be higher than off-the-shelf software, the cost of maintenance, support, and licensing fees may be lower over time. In addition, the high cost of upgrading equipment to suit software specifications can be avoided since the solution is built around existing equipment and programmes.

What are some tips to keep in mind when choosing custom software development?

Here are some custom software development tips that can help ensure a successful project:

  • Clearly define requirements: Make sure that the requirements for the software are clearly defined, documented, and agreed upon by all stakeholders before starting development.
  • Involve end-users: Involve end-users in the software development process, soliciting their feedback and input on features and functionality.
  • Use an Agile methodology: Using an Agile methodology ensures that the software development process is flexible, adaptable, and iterative, allowing for changes and adjustments along the way.
  • Plan for scalability: Plan for scalability by designing the software system to accommodate future growth and expansion.
  • Test early and often: Test the software system early and often, using automated testing tools and techniques to identify and fix defects and bugs quickly.
  • Ensure security: Ensure that the software system is designed with security in mind, incorporating security features and controls to protect against threats and vulnerabilities.
  • User training: Provide user training to ensure that end-users understand how to use the software system effectively and efficiently.
  • Ongoing maintenance and support: Plan for ongoing maintenance and support by developing a comprehensive maintenance plan and allocating resources for ongoing support and upgrades.
  • Effective collaboration: Collaborate effectively with all stakeholders, including developers, end-users, and management, to ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards a common goal.
  • Use experienced developers: Use an experienced custom software development company that has a track record of successfully delivering such software projects on time and within budget.

How do you choose a good company for custom software development for Sydney & Melbourne businesses?

Choosing a good company for custom software development can be a challenging task because there are numerous companies out there offering their services. When looking for someone to handle your project, it can be quite a hassle to find a software development company that has the required experience and expertise.

Here are some factors to consider when selecting a custom software development company for your project:

  • Expertise and experience: Look for a company that has expertise and experience in the specific technology and industry domain relevant to your project. Check their portfolio and case studies to see if they have worked on similar projects before.
  • Reputation: Look for a company with a good reputation in the industry. Check their online reviews, client testimonials, and ratings.
  • Team members: Check the company’s team members’ qualifications, experience, and certifications. Make sure that the team has a diverse skill set and experience in different stages of the software development lifecycle.
  • Communication and collaboration: Choose a company that communicates clearly and collaborates effectively throughout the software development process. Look for a company that values transparency and provides regular updates and progress reports.
  • Project management: Look for a company that has a well-defined project management process and methodology. Check if they follow an Agile methodology, which is flexible, adaptable, and iterative.
  • Security: Ensure that the company has a strong focus on security and follows best practices in cybersecurity to protect your data and information.
  • Pricing: Look for a custom software development company that provides transparent pricing and aligns with your budget. Be cautious of companies that provide significantly lower prices than the market average, as this may indicate lower quality or hidden costs.

If you are looking for a reputed and well-experienced company for custom software development for Melbourne or Sydney-based businesses, then look no further than Sanmark Solutions! We have an extensive talent pool of developers, scrum masters, project managers, business analysts and so much more, with the right experience and industry knowledge related to diverse sectors of business. Get in touch today with one of our friendly representatives, and let us know what your requirements are! Feature image credit goes to: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/team-process-creation_1291659.htm