In today’s sophisticated landscape of mobile and desktop users, custom software development projects are either enterprise or cloud based. An enterprise custom software development solution is hosted on the premises of your organization. A cloud-based solution is hosted at a centralized third-party data center. Either option is available to you depending on what best fits your business’ needs.
Custom software development provides a solution specifically created for your business or organization. It contrasts with software packages that are developed for the mass market. Since the custom software solution is developed for you as a single customer, it can accommodate your unique requirements, preferences, and expectations. These requirements, preferences, and expectations form your unique vision. We can also call it “original software” since your vision defines the first one-of-a-kind combination that results in a brand new original software solution that is specially positioned to provide a competitive edge to your business over your competition. You can serve your clients with services and value above and beyond that which is developed for the mass market.
Modern custom software development delivers the software on the types of devices that your customers already have. This allows your clients to access your business’ services on the devices of their choice and, accordingly, prevents you from being closed out of part of the market. These devices include any kind of smart phone, tablet, or desktop computer. Consequently, your custom software solution must be deployable on hardware from many brands (e.g. PC’s, web browsers, Macs, iPhones, Android phones, Windows devices, etc.). Increasingly common are also wearable computing devices as well as augmented reality (AR) devices. Your business may target these types of devices as well.
A custom software solution requires not only the end-user applications on multiple hardware devices as mentioned above, but the solution also requires the back-end components. The back-end components are the server-side software modules that handle security, business rules, identity, user control, and the distribution and validation of your data. The backend also has a database that stores all the data.
When we put all of this together, a modern custom software development project comprises many pieces: the database, the server-side modules, and an end-user application on every device your clients may use. We call this a full-stack, or end-to-end, software solution. All of the components in the stack are collectively called the software ensemble. The ensemble is delivered to you upon completion of the project.
Developing a full-stack custom software project can be challenging even for the best software teams. Below we discuss different approaches.
Traditional Custom Software Development
The traditional software development paradigm develops the full stack of either a cloud-based solution or an enterprise solution in a parceled manner. Different engineers on the development team, each specializing in their part of the solution, develop each of the solution’s components separately. In many cases the engineering team is distributed globally and may even be sourced from different companies. In other words, each component of the stack is developed by different developers independently from one another.
A consequence of this independent component-based development model is that each component of the stack also has its own code base. If the solution’s ensemble has six components, there will be six different—and fully independent—code bases.
The downside to traditional software development is the complexity of the project. This complexity yields high cost and high risk. It is an unwieldy task to manage a full stack of components, each of which is as an independent development effort, such that they form a single unified solution. There is nothing, other than strenuous human effort, that can maintain the unified integrity of the different code bases. Consequently, the integrity of the overall solution suffers. Since each component of the stack is an independent development project, it is easy for the different teams to lose sight of the entire solution. In the end, there is an ensemble of different software components that doesn’t truly fit together as intended. This incongruity makes the original vision difficult to achieve. Costs compound and timelines overrun trying to reach that vision. Stakeholders are then often forced to balance their intended vision against reality and make concessions. In the end, they settle for a less than perfect software solution.
Another approach to full-stack custom software development is to use a large platform-based product and attempt to tailor it to your specific requirements. In contrast to traditional software development, a platform-based solution attempts to simplify the complexity of the development project by leveraging existing components and services within the platform. The number of code bases can be reduced to one in many cases.
A platform’s components and services have been developed for the mass market. The platform does provide each component of the stack. However, the extent to which each component can achieve your vision varies depending of the flexibility of its design. Thus, the degree of customization is limited to the capability of the platform’s components. There will be circumstances where you cannot achieve the desired result because a component within the platform either partially implements your desired functionality or does not support it at all. In these circumstances, there is no option to work outside the platform, so you’re forced to settle for less.
Once you’re committed to a platform, your investment is completely dependent on the provider and the features that provider offers. Your solution comprises a large platform that is generic and a small piece that is customized to the best extent possible for your business. Your ensemble is completely dependent on the large platform.
There are many well-known platform-based solutions out there and they all have a common impact – they force their users to adapt to similar workflows and practices. This negates the advantage of a custom software solution to a large extent. This can be extremely undesirable if you’re trying to differentiate your business from the competition. It is difficult to bend platform-based solutions to do something original for you.
Architectonic Custom Software Development
The architectonic development paradigm takes a new approach to the complex task of building complete end-to-end enterprise and cloud solutions. It combines the best of traditional software development and the advantages of platform development. You get the full flexibility of traditional development, plus the concept of a single code base from platform development. You get what you want from a single source with less cost, less risk, and faster delivery times.
The advantage of the architectonic model is that it abandons the traditional approach of building each component separately and independently. The architectonic programming paradigm turns the traditional component-based programming methodology upside down. In fact, it is the inverse of the component-based programming model. Rather than building each component of the stack individually from the bottom up, the solution is built collectively as a whole from the top down.
The architectonic programming model uses an architectonic programming language. An architectonic programming language is designed around the whole stack. This contrasts dramatically with traditional programming languages that focus on a single component within the stack. With the traditional method, the developer uses a programming language to build a single component. As we said before, a stack with six components will have six individual code bases. The architectonic developer programs the whole ensemble (i.e. the whole stack) as a single entity. The architectonic compiler then emits the individual components of the stack with digital perfection from that source.
The architectonic compiler builds each component of the stack by emitting it in the native code for the targeted environment. For example, if your solution has a database component in the stack, this component will be emitted in SQL. If your solution has a iPhone app, this app will be emitted in Apple’s Objective-C. The architectonic compiler automates the build of each component of the stack by building it from the single architectonic source.
At Symphore, we have developed Objecta™. Objecta is our patented1, object-oriented architectonic programming language and compiler. We use Objecta to build your complete full-stack enterprise or cloud-based software solution. This lowers your acquisition cost, delivers your solution with quick timelines, and make change requests very simple.
Symphore invented architectonic technology since we see this as the future of software development. As the capability and sophistication of software ever grows, it will become more and more difficult to develop large solutions using the traditional method until it is not humanly possible. Already, this approach is extremely challenging and expensive even for the best of teams At Symphore, we recognize the need for a new approach and have created a way to solve this problem by introducing architectonic technology.
Symphore’s architectonic method builds your solution by analyzing your vision and requirements from the top down, looking at the entire stack as a whole. After all, that is exactly how you see your solution. You see it as a single deliverable, not as a collection of different pieces. Objecta is designed to build your solution as you see it.
At Symphore, we use Objecta and the Objecta language to define your solution as a single entity. We create a single code base that defines your entire solution. This code base is the architectonic source. We then use Objecta to compile and build the entire solution stack from that source. Objecta automatically emits each component in the stack extracting what it needs from that source for that particular component. The database is built from the same source as the server modules. The end-user applications are built from the same source as the server modules. And so on. The result is a perfectly engineered set of components that will work seamlessly together from the start. In the end, your solution is a complete vertically-implemented set of your requirements.
Each component is built in the native code for that component’s target device. In the end, you have a solution where the entire ensemble has been built using the best environment for each component. You are not dependent on a third-party platform.
Our architectonic programming paradigm lets us deliver your vision right the first time.
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1US Pat. No. 9,720,652