Why QuoteWerks developed add-ons are ok
As we suggested in the article “Why QuoteWerks integration and the ‘best of breed’ approach is ok“, it is perfectly feasible to achieve ‘seamless integration’ with your software systems these days. And this is definitely the case with QuoteWerks sales quotation software.
But what about the many different add-ons that are available for QuoteWerks? And what if your QuoteWerks solution provider is suggesting an add-on be developed to fulfil your businesses requirements?
Modern Software Development Techniques
With modern software development practices, applications are generally written with API (application programming interface) considerations in mind. And this is most definitely the case with QuoteWerks.
The premise of ‘an add-on’ of 7-8, certainly 10, years ago was actually either ‘hacking’ the user interface (using Windows API calls) or communicating directly with the applications database. Neither of these techniques was very ‘pretty’ as a ‘production solution’, had inherent support issues cross platform and if developed poorly could lead to data corruption.
With modern APIs (including QuoteWerks’) integration with an application is working with built-in program interfaces which support the business logic of the application itself. The software’s API offers a communication method for the developer to ‘talk’ to the application and it’s database. It’s like having a manager or guard in place to prevent the 3rd party developer avoid any issues related to external data being pushed and pulled between the applications.
QuoteWerks Software Development Practices
In relation to QuoteWerks itself, the authors Aspire Technologies, consciously provided an API for programmers to build add-on solutions to their solution. They had the foresight to recognise that as feature rich and as flexible they could make their software, that it would never fulfil every businesses requirements.
Where the QuoteWerks configuration options stop, the API takes over (as we say).
Developed well, QuoteWerks add-ons can appear to be part of QuoteWerks itself! (QuoteWerks support desk may say “developed too well” because they have been known to receive support queries from clients thinking that it is QuoteWerks performing a particular action!)
As testament to the stability and reliability of QuoteWerks as a development platform: all the QuoteWerks add-on code which Hilltops IT has developed over the years is backwards compatible to QuoteWerks v4.0 b17 (released January 2006). That means that code we wrote nearly 5 years ago still work on today’s version, and visa versa.
Final Thoughts on QuoteWerks Development
As a end user customer, we feel that you shouldn’t be concerned that an add-on will need re-writing when a new release of QuoteWerks is installed. There are many varied products and utility add-ons which have been developed for QuoteWerks listed on the QuoteWerks site, including our own ConnectIt product suite.
If you’re in any doubt though, ask for references! Any proven QuoteWerks developer should be able to supply referrals on the projects that they have successfully completed.
If your not sure about the technical feasibility of achieving your business requirements, then please contact us on +44 (0)433 357 7360 or 0844 357 7360. One the Hilltops IT / ConnectIt Software Development Team will gladly share their thoughts on how your requirements might be best fulfilled.