Custom Application Development Services
Assessing your options for custom application development?
From desktop apps to web apps to mobile apps, we can help you weigh the pros and cons of each to find the solution that is right for you.
Creating the Right Custom App at the Right Price
Entrance brings together consulting expertise in custom application development, data management, integration, and software advisory services to provide complete end-to-end digital solutions for your biggest business challenges.
Value-Add of Professional Custom Application Development Services
A line of business (LoB) application is one that a business unit relies on to provide critical functionality; without it, they would have difficulty doing their jobs. Why are new line of business apps constantly being built, and why do some companies make big investments in custom LoB apps?
Custom Mobile Applications Development Services
From the initial envision and plan process through to the ultimate build, stabilize and deploy phases, Entrance has a proven track record of delivering software projects using our standards-based approach. Entrance employs dedicated project managers utilizing agile scrum methodology combined with the Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) to deliver projects in a disciplined manner.
Custom Web Application Development Services
Over the years, numerous clients have engaged Entrance to build their customer portal presence on the web. Many leading edge firms have found that customer portals increase customer loyalty (creating “stickiness”) and provide a differentiator from their competition that enables them to win and retain more new customers.
Today, people expect easy access to the data they need to do their job and the ability to quickly interact with vendors on their terms in a self-service environment. Customer portals deliver on all of these points and keep you on the leading edge in your industry.
Custom Desktop Software Development Services
From the initial envision and plan process through to the ultimate build, stabilize and deploy phases, Entrance has a proven track record of delivering custom application development projects using our standards-based approach. Entrance employs dedicated project managers utilizing agile scrum methodology combined with the Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) to deliver projects in a disciplined manner.
Custom Application Development for Engineering & Manufacturing
Many clients come to Entrance with an existing spreadsheet or legacy application that has been built to take a variety of customer needs as inputs, perform some calculations and generate a configuration of products that meet the needs. These applications are common in the manufacturing or engineering industries. Entrance has experience building and modernizing these “configurator” applications to expand their capabilities and provide intuitive graphical user interfaces.
Offline Apps with Data Synchronization
Everyone is going mobile. How do you answer the question “Is there an app for that?” for your business? Entrance has expertise in building Windows and web-based applications which enable the software to work without being connected to the Internet but still synchronize data with a central server when connectivity is available. Offline support is crucial for implementing usable mobile business applications.
Additional Options for Custom Application Development
Line of Business Applications
In unique verticals where commercial off-the-shelf applications are not widely available or do not meet the needs of a new market entrant, Entrance provides custom line-of-business applications to drive efficiency in back office workflows. Frequently these applications also integrate with a customer portal as well.
Applications hosted in the cloud such as SharePoint can provide an extremely high degree of reliability and scalability without the high IT costs that are usually associated with those requirements. It’s generally seen as a good custom app development process to move apps into the cloud when possible, as these benefits are very noticeable if you have a development team that can work with cloud frameworks like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The best custom app development companies generally regard the cloud as the first choice for hosting new projects. They are generally easier to develop and maintain than traditional hosting. The difficulty in using them generally comes from the sheer number of services that cloud frameworks provide. Hiring a custom app development company that understands whether you need a small bit of functionality that can be hosted in AWS Lambda, a longer running process that requires something like Elastic MapReduce, a full application that can be hosted in Elastic Beanstalk, or a VM-like environment like EC2 is vital. Picking too light a solution will render your custom app unusable, whereas the heavier ones can cost orders of magnitude more if misused for app developments that need a different mix of the resources provided.
Entrance has a long history of custom application development in the windows environments to fill a wide variety of business needs. Whether you want to automate part of your business, modernize an out of date process, manage your day to day line of business concerns, or solve complex engineering problems, Entrance consultants have experience with app development solving a problem similar to yours.
While Windows apps have fallen out of favor at most app development companies, in favor of web, mobile, or cross platform apps, they still provide the best user experience for users on windows machines who are willing to go through an installation process. Windows Apps are still a very good choice for custom applications that have high computational or graphical requirements.
Another reason an app development company may want a custom Windows app as opposed to a web-based solution is that allow a dev team to not have to worry about a substantial number of cross cutting concerns that web apps have to contend with. Windows apps that rely on local storage rather than communication with a server don’t have to worry about asynchronous communication and usually don’t have to worry about user authentication or authorization.
SaaS applications are becoming increasingly widespread because the payment model allows users to pay as they go for small applications that provide direct value. Many app developing companies are switching to this model over the more traditional licensing model because it provides them with a more steady income and their clients with the ability to use the product without a massive initial investment.
If you have a custom app that your users love, it may be a good candidate to convert to a SaaS offering. This is usually relatively simple assuming that your authorization process isn’t overly complicated. Integration with some form of billing and support for multiple tenants will be necessary in order to support customers. If the application isn’t already on the cloud, moving it there would help with scalability and availability.
The benefits of using a custom app development service as opposed to a pure SaaS offering is that custom apps are tailored specifically to your business needs. A general tool will almost always either be more complicated to use than necessary, or not meet all requirements of a specific company. The best app development companies know when to use an off the shelf service, and when the benefits of a custom application are worth the increased up front cost they represent.
Custom applications are often seen as in direct competition with SaaS applications, but the two actually can be quite complementary. A custom app can be extremely useful because it’s tailored to the specific business problem it’s solving, but the costs of app development can be high, especially if you are reinventing basic functionality. Offloading portions of a custom app onto SaaS apps to handle things like user management, payments, or file storage can save time and money while retaining the benefits of a custom app development process.
Why Choose Entrance to help with your custom software development project?
- You get working custom software in a matter of weeks, not months, using a proven Agile development process honed over many software projects
- You can save tens of thousands on licensing, hosting, and maintenance costs by choosing our lightweight, low-cost toolset over a traditional on-premises stack
- You can be confident in our team of custom software development industry veterans who have worked together for over 5 years on average
- You’ll enjoy working with our “Smart + Fun” team; our customer satisfaction scores are 43% higher than the average consultancy!
We love to code. As our team has evolved over the past 12 years, as we’ve changed faces and offices, the one constant has been the presence of a robust software development practice.
When Do You Need Custom Software Development Services?
- Employees are spending time on repetitive tasks
- There are times when you are making decisions, but you don’t have access to all relevant information
- You are writing things down on paper
- You are manually copying and pasting data, or manually generating reports
- Your people wish they had access to key information on their mobile devices, or when off-network
- You are emailing information to your customers on a regular basis (e.g., status reports)
The Entrance Custom Software Development Process
We follow a standard process for custom software development. It’s an adaptation of the Microsoft Solutions Framework that incorporates Scrum into the Build portion of the framework.
Build vs. Buy
Although we’re working all the time to drive down the costs, we have no problem admitting that enterprise-grade custom software development can be a big investment. That is why, before committing to developing something from scratch, we always make sure that our clients have a good handle on what business value the project is intended to deliver. This helps establish the maximum investment that should be made, and prevents you from moving forward with an ill-advised project.
It’s possible that custom software development is not the way to go, so a Build vs. Buy assessment should be conducted. Our clients often get us involved at this stage in the process, as we have experience performing these types of assessments.
Envision & Plan
We usually split our custom software development projects into two parts, of which Envision and Plan (E&P) is the first part.
During the E&P phase, we lay out the high-level features to be developed, the business value that will be delivered, the architectural design, and the plan for the upcoming build phase.
The deliverables for this phase are the Vision and Scope document, which contains the elements described above as well as a prioritized product backlog, which is just a list of work to be performed during the build phase.
Build, Stabilize & Deploy
During this phase, the team turns the Vision and Scope document into working software. We take an agile approach, demonstrating working software to you every two weeks, and allowing you to re-prioritize the remaining scope so that we are always working on the most valuable feature.
It’s up to you if you would like our team to handle things like training and documentation, or if you would like to have your employees handle some of this work. We are more than happy to do this for you, but our clients often take this on to reduce the cost of the project.
All software needs a certain amount of maintenance to address small tweaks that users want, corner-case bugs that were not identified during testing, and upgrades necessary to allow the software to play nicely with other systems.
For this reason, we always work with our clients to estimate the amount of maintenance time that will be needed and put in place a support contract. We offer low-cost retainer packages that allow us to respond quickly to maintenance events and even use the leftover hours for system enhancements.
Custom App Development Portfolio
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