Principles for Software Customization
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David Fenton Associates builds customized Microsoft Access applications for various needs, including complex contact management, expense tracking for commission-based businesses and simple billing systems for membership-based organizations.
DFA designs each of these applications as a set of Microsoft Access forms, tools and data structures custom designed to be used in combination with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.
Because Microsoft Word provides flexible document formatting options that are not available in Microsoft Access without extensive programming and expensive add-in modules. This makes sending out large mailings from the customized application just as easy as it is in Microsoft Word alone.
Since most users already know their way around Microsoft Word, in any case,
Why re-invent the wheel?
Why Microsoft Excel?
Data loaded into an Excel spreadsheet is much more easily manipulated to test various scenarios than would be possible without complex pre-programmed modules in Microsoft Access.
Since most users who would want to test various data scenarios already understand Microsoft Excel,
Why re-invent the wheel?
In this way, a new application can leverage the users' knowledge to gain the greatest increase in productivity at the least cost.
And if you don't know how to use mail merge or you're not a power spreadsheet user, David Fenton Associates can provide you with the training you need to get the most productivity out of all your applications.
Our philosophy is not to sell our customers the most expensive application, but to help them determine the best mix of off-the-shelf software, training and customized programming to solve the problems that caused them to seek a customized solution in the first place.
By abiding by this philosophy, DFA may be foregoing income in the short run, but by serving our clients' real needs, we believe that we will maximize our long-term profit through maximizing theirs.
In short, we won't sell you something you don't need just because we need to pay our bills. We value our clients far too highly to risk losing them for short-term gain.
If you are thinking about embarking on a customized database application project, you might find our Principles for Software Customization a helpful guide for deciding the scale on which you want to customize.
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©1996-2000, David Fenton Associates. Last updated July 5, 2000.