In our last post, we showed the importance of a strong development language & framework for enterprise software development. In this post we’re going to explore how Spieker Point leveraged that development technology into a web application framework (called DECK) which saves time and money for software projects.

But first, a little backstory: There are typically two ways to handle Intellectual Property (IP) ownership on a custom software project: the software development company retains IP, or customer pays a premium rate and holds the IP themselves. We do lots of what we call “Project Rescue” work, many of which come to us because of a tiff between the customer and previous vendor as ownership rights weren’t expressly written into the contract. (Our founder and head cheese, Greg Campbell, has also done a number of expert-witness engagements on this same issue as it goes through the legal system.)

If the development company retains IP rights, then sections of previous code (that the developer owns) can be re-used to quickly add functionality and save cost for the customer. Grails, as our last blog post points out, is the best development technology we’ve found for this time/cost savings.

With a customer retaining IP – can cost savings be found in that situation? And even if the dev company retains IP, what does a formalized ecosystem of base functionality from professional developers look like?

We have created DECK to answer both of these questions.

When commissioning web-application software, there are typically many common pieces in each project. A user will need to log in (an authentication mechanism for their user name and password). The user will take on one or more roles in the software (perhaps a sales person, or an administrator who is able to create new users, or a manager, etc). They’ll need to change their password when they forget it. The application will need to provide assurance around security (from external attacks and for the users).

Over the years, we’ve built the following functionality into DECK:

  • User Interface: many excellent look-and-feel variations out of the box.
  • Authentication: LDAP tie-in to a customers existing infrastructure, Kerberos, OAuth & OAuth 2.0, etc.
  • Role-based Authentication: a user may or may-not be able to see certain data based on their role.
  • Dashboards: a dashboard sub-system is built in, allowing users to view “widgets” and arrange them to their liking (data is viewable based on their role).
  • Analytics: a sub-system where the various algorithms for helping you make decisions based on the data flowing into your company.
  • Business Process: a target for Business Process Modelling (BPM) efforts (typical output from a process modelling effort – Spieker Point does this as do others such as “Management Consultants”).
  • Communication: 4 “bands” built in for communicating between users and the software: email, SMS (text), IVR (Interactive Voice Response), internal to the application.
  • Reporting: a report sub-system which provides a spot for reports to live and be delivered either with the click of a button, or scheduled (periodically or once in the future).
  • Document Repository: a full document repository and versioning sub-system.
  • Multi-tenancy: a customer with many sites can have the sub-sites segregated from each other, but the parent site sees everything.
  • Logging: showing changes that a user has made in the system over a period of time.
  • Online Help: for the users who need it.

What does all of this mean when the software project commences? In about 15 minutes after sending us your logo, we can have a fully functioning base system up and running. You’ll be able to create users and assign them roles, and have them log into the system.

From there, we build out custom functionality based on the problem we’re solving for you.

If you want to retain the IP for the project, that can be done with the custom functionality built on top of DECK. The license for DECK allows for a clean delineation point between the foundation ecosystem, and the software which gives you a competitive advantage over your competition.

Like Lego™, DECK is highly modular, but it’s much more useful for businesses!

To find out more about DECK and what our efficient coding practices can do for you, give us a quick shout.