Custom Software Development: Definition and Process
If a company has requirements for software that the standard software cannot meet, custom software development is an option worth considering.
- Off-the-shelf software caters to people that have similar requirements. However, sometimes you need an application that can meet the unique needs of your business.
- Making an application designed with your company’s requirements in mind can increase productivity.
- Customized software resources can be costly and require significant internal technical input and assistance.
This article is intended for entrepreneurs and business managers looking into developing custom software that will meet and meet their organization’s specific requirements.
If companies require applications with specific features and functions. They look to software developers to design and develop customized solutions. Custom software can meet users’ particular needs more fully than standard off-the-shelf applications.
Although having custom software designed to meet your needs seems appealing, the idea of custom software development isn’t suitable for all. The process is costly and time-consuming, and difficult to communicate the full scope of functionality you require.
We’ll compare custom software vs off-the-shelf options and help you decide whether custom software development is right for your company.
What is custom software development?
Custom software development is the process of designing, developing the software, deploying it, and maintaining it specifically for a number of functions, users, or organizations. Contrary to commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS) development, custom software development targets the most narrow of specifications. COTS is a broad set of specifications, allowing the software to be packaged, commercially promoted, and sold.
Microsoft Office and Sitebuilder.com, for instance, are both commercially packaged software products and services. They satisfy the requirements of office productivity as well as website development.
On the other hand, custom software is developed to meet particular needs, like:
- A field service maintenance plan for the manufacturer
- An online banking application was created to meet the particular needs of the bank as well as its customers.
Development of software for custom purposes is generally done by teams of in-house developers and outsourced by a third party. The same methods and processes are applicable to customized Software Development like other kinds that are developed by software. A custom-designed project will go through the usual processes of gathering requirements the creation of code, testing, and deployment. It would follow the same methodology, for example, agile, DevOps, or Rapid Application Development just like any other software development project.
Custom software development encompasses customizing applications, application modernization, and management of applications. Application customization is the process of altering COTS software to meet specific needs. Modernization of applications plays an essential part in ensuring the viability of a custom application developed by a company to keep pace with changing market and user demands. Application management helps software be more efficient through supporting tasks such as installing updates, performance, availability optimization, and also service desk tasks.
What is the difference between Custom Software and Off-The-Shelf Software?
Software packages are available for almost all computing, business efficiency, and communication task you can think of.
The majority of these packages include the following benefits.
- User-friendly: Off-the-shelf applications cater to large audiences and have generally similar requirements. For instance, Microsoft Word is an extremely popular word processing program that comes with functions, features, and options for customization that businesses of all sizes and types are able to use.
- It’s easy to buy or download software: off the shelf is available pre-packaged and bought in a shop, but it’s typically downloaded from the manufacturer sites or via a cloud-based subscription.
- Wide range of availability: You’ll be able to purchase an off-the-shelf software program for every platform your company employs, such as Windows PC as well as Macs as well as Linuxes.
- Customizability: Most commercial software like Microsoft Office applications offer a certain degree of customization to allow the program to be more effective for your team.
Despite the abundance of software off the shelf, certain organizations require certain capabilities that standard software cannot offer. When this happens, companies could opt for customized software development. Here’s what customized software offers:
- Specially designed features and functions: If a developer develops an application that is custom-designed it is developed specifically for commissioning organizations’ use. For instance, If a software developer developed an application specifically for JPMorgan Chase, only the bank or one of its departments would be able to use the software. A customized application could look at the bank’s database of customers and integrate with market information, and pre-set goals on customer accounts to provide recommendations for JPMorgan’s investment advisors.
- An exclusive solution for your company: The developer could design the software so that it can be compatible with the commissioning company’s branding, infrastructure, and requirements, and only that organization could have access to the software.
Pros and cons of custom software development
Pros of custom software development
Because each company has its own set of processes, custom software is the ideal answer for them. It’s made to cater to the specific needs of individuals or groups of individuals. It also boosts productivity because you receive what you want, providing a competitive edge.
Nobody wants an app that can be easily hacked. Thus security is at the heart of any product and business. By allowing you to incorporate as many security features as you like, custom software can help you reduce security concerns. You don’t have to rely on any off-the-shelf product’s limited security features.
Integration is simple
Custom software is created to be easily integrated with your company’s existing software and tools. Software developers can assist you in designing software that integrates seamlessly, resulting in easier adoption and increased corporate efficiency.
Control and freedom of usage
The custom program gives organizations complete control over the software, allowing them to update and use it. You own the unique software and have complete control over updating and using it.
Cons of custom software development
Hight cost of Development
The cost for developing custom software is comparatively high for companies, while market forces reduce the price of the off-the-shelf software options. Maintenance and support add to the costs of developing custom software. But, the expense of creating custom software is worth the cost after it’s been installed.
It takes a long time to construct
A complete custom software program for businesses takes time to develop because business requirements may not be as obvious as people think. The majority of the time is spent researching and analyzing to make sure that you are clear on all requirements and then determine the ones that aren’t clear or clear.
The risk of working with the wrong developer
The possibility of working with a bad firm or individual is a problem that affects all industries, not just software development. Making the wrong choice could cost you time and cash. Because you will find many custom software development companies on the market, you could be tempted to choose those that offer poor quality or unprofessional professional services for software development. Therefore, it is recommended not to be rushed when you are hiring an expert developer. Do more your research to avoid loss later.
Before you begin your journey to develop custom software, consider the following pros and cons to know what your business needs.
Read more: Top 10 Benefits of Customized Software Development
What is the process for developing Software?
There are a variety of software development models, such as the Spiral Model, Waterfall model, and the Agile Software Model. Of all the models, Agile is by far the most well-known one. Each software development model follows an individual approach to guarantee the delivery to the client, and the method used may differ. However, there are specific steps that each model has.
Here are some steps to aid software development companies in achieving their goals:
Initial requirements gathering
It is the first stage in which you will consult with a company that can develop software to develop your project. At the beginning of the phase of gathering requirements, a development company will hold numerous meetings with clients to collect all the project’s specifications.
It’s a time when designers and developers can understand the requirements for the project, goals that need that can be achieved using an application, what people using the software are, and how they would like the software to function. Gathering all of this information will help the software development company to get an idea of whether it will be a suitable match for the project.
Planning and analysis of requirements
After collecting the required requirements, The development company then begins analyzing them to create an effective base of software applications. That’s why the analysis of requirements and planning is the primary phase of the development process. It is vital to investigate with care to enable the development firm to meet all client requirements. At this point, the client’s needs are translated into a strategic plan to ensure that the two goals match.
Before proceeding to the next step, the client’s requirements need to be recorded and confirmed by both parties. The client’s requirements are documented in the Software Requirement Specification (SRS) document, used to guide the planned and created product. The requirement planning process also ensures there are no miscommunications.
Design for both technical and visual
Once the development company has a clear understanding of the requirements for its project, it is time to figure out the best way to accomplish it. Every software solution requires a particular approach, so defining an architecture for the system is essential to each project. Each software module’s design and internal structure are described within the SRS document. The parameters to be considered in this stage include the modularity of design and risks evaluation.
Exterior design can also be developed during this stage. The deliverables for this stage include wireframes, technical database design, architecture, high-fidelity screens including marvel prototypes and user stories, and schemas for databases.
Development and Implementation
This stage could be the longest as the product itself is being created. The programmers begin programming the software according to guidelines in the Software Requirement Specification document and technical and visual design. The coding is a breeze if the steps before the development phase have been done with a keen eye for the smallest detail.
Each development team handles the development process differently based on the model of development for software. The majority of companies today use the Agile approach that involves regular meetings, also known as daily Scrum meetings, where each team member reports on the progress they have made and discusses issues with their work.
Testing is typically conducted when the product is finished and is ready for release to discover and fix any imperfections and defects. In testing, testers conduct various types of non-functional and functional tests. In the test phase, the critical features that are tested include:
- Core application features.
- Installation on localized machines.
- Compatibility on different devices.
- Text input.
If a flaw occurs, it’s corrected and rechecked. The testing process continues until the software complies with the quality standards. The software should be checked with the help of both developers and the clients’ team.
The following are some of the software testing methods you must use to evaluate the functionality of your custom software:
Functional testing is a kind of testing that tests software application capabilities. When you conduct available tests, it is necessary to test every program’s function. It is essential to determine whether you’re getting the expected results. Functional testing can be performed using both manual and automated tools. The tools utilized for testing functional requirements include Selenium and soapUI. Watir and JUnit.
Functional testing can be of various types. Examples include:
- Unit Testing
- Smoke Testing
- End-to-end Testing
- Integration Testing
- Acceptance Testing
- Regression Testing
- Whitebox Testing
- Testing Interfaces
- Black Box Testing
Non-functional testing involves testing non-functional components of an application, such as security, usability, reliability, and performance. These tests are carried out following functional tests. By using non-functional testing, you can boost your program’s performance to an enormous degree. Non-functional testing is concerned with how well your software performs and other aspects.
Different types of Non-Functional Testing are:
- Testing Performance
- Load Testing
- Failover Testing
- Usability Testing
- Efficiency Testing
- Localization Testing
- Security Testing
- Reliability Testing
- Endurance Testing
Deployment and Maintenance
The software program is released once it has been tested thoroughly. Some people consider the program “done” when it’s published. As you begin to use the software, you could encounter unanticipated issues. Based on the severity of the problem, it can be fixed immediately or later improved.
In the case of software implementation, it is essential to determine if you want cloud-based deployment or on-premise deployment.
Installing software on-premise means the software is hosted on the company’s servers and is protected by the internal firewall. In the past, it was the only option for integrating external applications or software into the company’s codebase. It’s beneficial for organizations that require complete control over the integrations of external software.
However, on the flip side, the deployment of software on the cloud creates an environment of virtual computing. Cloud-based deployment offers organizations the ability to scale and adapt their cloud computing capabilities. Cloud-based platforms such as AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and others are suitable to run cloud-based software deployment.
Maintenance is among the benefits of custom-designed software as a development company will take charge of your project long after the launch. As a component of the maintenance services, the software development company oversees any upgrade and any added features.
What mistakes do you need to avoid when building Custom Software?
While custom software is a great way to cut cost and boost productivity, there are some disadvantages, too. So, prior to investing in developing custom software be aware of typical pitfalls to be avoided.
Making mistakes in the design of features and excessively complicated solutions
When purchasing custom software, everyone hopes of how it will enhance their business. If you are thinking about creating software using the possibilities that you have, you could get off path and end up spending lots of money for features that are not needed. It is crucial to facilitate the interaction between the software and the end-users during the initial stages of development to avoid costly errors. A prototype lets people participate in all phases of the process and it helps communicate their ideas. Making a prototype prior to development helps envision the product in its entirety and help answer questions regarding the features or functions.
The most important decisions should be taken as soon as you can
The decisions made in the early stages of the course of a project could be dangerous. The early decisions could have irreparable and devastating effects over the course of a project. But that doesn’t mean that you do not need to make any decisions. First, you have to gather the requirements for your product and determine the best way in order to reach the desired result. For instance, making decisions about the features and their development closely together will ensure that the necessary features are provided and allow for fewer adjustments.
Insufficiently providing acceptance criteria for every feature
Acceptance criteria are specified conditions that must be met to declare an application development project successful. It specifies the goals, scope and test criteria for the functionalities which the team will work on. Determining the desired outcomes prior to the development process begins can help create a sense of understanding. Acceptance criteria must be understood by developers. Acceptance criteria must provide users with a perspective, and should be clear and concise.
What are the qualities you should look into a Outsourcing Custom Software Development Company?
Making a custom software application isn’t a simple task. Thus, users look for companies who know their clients’ requirements in detail and produce scalable, robust software. However, knowing the criteria isn’t enough. It is important to search for certain characteristics and traits to help you locate an honest partner.
Here are a few of the characteristics you should be looking at when choosing the development team for custom software:
Skills and experience
A Software development company can be considered the most reputable company for development in terms of the applications they’ve created and the level of success companies have achieved. Software development companies that have strong leadership and technical capabilities are likely to have a solid list of initiatives. A company that has a deep knowledge of the most recent technologies and extensive experience working with startups as well as Fortune 500 companies can produce and offer a product that is scalable.
Communication skills are essential in understanding the client’s needs and expectations. If you are able to communicate effectively and have experience with the software development company can create software that will add the business value it needs. Communication with customers regularly is crucial to maintain a long-lasting relationships with clients. Software development companies that use advanced communication tools, such as Zoom, Skype for Business assists teams in connecting with customers efficiently.
Excellent business acumen
The ability to use programming languages and technical skills isn’t enough. Software development companies also requires strong management skills to take ideas and turn ideas into reality. Reviewing their past projects and their references can give you a better insight into their experiences in the field of custom software development.Pricing structurBefore signing an agreement with any company that develops software be sure that they will give you complete information about the expenses for all stages of software development. It is best to stay clear of hiring a firm which hides the cost.
Before signing an agreement with any company that develops software be sure that they will give you complete information about the expenses for all stages of software development. It is best to stay clear of hiring a firm which hides the cost.
How can Bestarion help you with Custom Software development?
At Bestarion, we provide custom software development outsourcing services. We’ve been designing, developing and deploying enterprise-grade customized software applications for more than 15 years. To provide robust and scalable customized software development solutions to our clients, we remain up to date with the most recent technologies, whether it’s SaaS, IoT, AI, blockchain, cloud, mobile or web. Our development team possesses each of the essential qualities: expertise and technical skills as well as communication and business acumen.
Definition of goals and the requirements
If you’ve decided you’d like to have an individual software program developed Our team will think about and analyze the business needs of your company and determine specific objectives. Our team will conduct extensive study of the best options for your business and also what your competition is doing. Your requirements and goals will be listed within your Software Requirements Specifications (SRS) document.
Select a development methodology
Because software development projects are complex, it is crucial to choose a specific approach to software development. Following the trend and technology-relevance, our software developers nowadays mostly use an agile development methodology to build and manage custom enterprise applications. The agile development methodology allows for continuous improvement to software development.
Documentation is vital in all phases of development and implementation because the document defines your are using and the information you will need in the future. Software documentation can include plans for the project, specifications for requirements High-Level and Low-Level Design tests, test reports tests plans, user documentation , and status reports. Documents like these help to keep track of the progress of a project and ensure the comprehension that the application is functioning. Documentation can also serve as an important reference in the future in which the software must be upgraded however, the original team is not around. Any developer who is new could refer to the documentation and quickly be able to comprehend the basic structure of the program.
Max Kanat-Alexander is a developer for Google and Community, Lead and Release Manager for Bugzilla, has Bugzilla project, has introduced code simplicity to remove unnecessary complications in software development. Utilizing code simplicity in conjunction with other principles of software development, we develop and design reliable and high-quality software for our clients.
Continuous End-to-End Testing
Our Test-Driven Design gives us greater confidence in the quality of our code. Before implementing the software across your entire company process, we ensure that we test it thoroughly. We never release software in the assumption that it is free of issues after just one test. We carry out multi-layer tests at each step of the development and delivery processes.
Working as a team requires an unifying style for the codebase. We utilize the latest and well-known tools to ensure an uniform style throughout the codebase. Examples include Editorconfig, JSCS and ESLint.
Budget and time estimation
We believe that planning a budget and timeline prior to the development phase is among the best methods to build custom software with success. A realistic budget can help save your software project from having to face the pressure of a crisis. Through agile methods the scope of work can be expanded rapidly as the project develops However, a budget that is totally off path can cause problems with performance and quality. We ensure complete transparency with our clients when creating estimates for budgets. We employ sophisticated and automated tools for drafting estimates for software development projects with the highest level of accuracy.
Our team of test engineers scrutinizes the codes carefully to ensure the quality of the code. Code reviews reduce the chance of bugs in software, which, in turn can result in the development of a the development of a successful custom program.
By following these guidelines we have always succeeded in creating a scalable and robust program.
Custom Software Development has numerous advantages. With the increasing number of specialized businesses and complex internal systems, custom software is now essential for all firms. Customization does not necessarily suggest “expensive.” Leveraging the existing software and enhancing it with additional capabilities can give you many benefits for customization, without a huge expense.
If you’re in search of an expert team to design custom software for your company, contact us our experts in custom software development with the capability to develop custom software that incorporates the latest technologies such as IoT, AI, Blockchain, Web and Mobile.