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Technology & Methodologies

Technology & Company Philosophies
As the name suggests, Strait Solutions focuses on providing solutions that are straight to the point. A well-designed solution should be simple yet effective and not require the user to look in a manual to see what to do next.

At Strait Solutions, the relationship with our clients is paramount. The most common cause of failure in software development projects is a lack of communication. To counteract this, all work is performed in a manner that involves the client wherever possible. Deliverables are identified and communicated along with a clear timeframe of exactly when they will be delivered. The small size of Strait Solutions makes this process much easier in comparison with working with larger development houses where due to the number of different people working on a project, communication problems can easily be exacerbated.

At Strait Solutions we do not blindly use the latest and greatest technologies. New technologies present new risks in their use, which are often not easily quantified. We prefer to use tried and tested technologies wherever possible.

Our typical toolsets include:
  • Microsoft ASP.Net / "Traditional" ASP
  • Microsoft VB.Net, Visual Basic v6,
  • Microsoft SQL-Server 2005,2000,v7,v6.5
  • ADO.Net / ADO
  • HTML / Javascript / DHTML / XML / CSS
  • COM / COM+
  • Microsoft Win 2003/2000 Server / IIS v5/6
  • Macromedia Fireworks/Flash/Dreamweaver MX

    Good design is an essential part of any project and is a lot more than just graphics. Design encapsulates the navigation and usability of a website, even the layout of form based elements. Strait Solutions recommends incorporating the time of a professional designer in most applications that it builds.

    Maintainability and documentation of software is something that Strait Solutions strongly believes in. All businesses change over time and thus business software should be developed to encompass these changes. This typically means building systems more generic in nature and using industry standard coding techniques and standards.

  • Methodologies
    Strait Solutions operates a ‘get it right first time’ policy. A lot of development companies jump into coding applications at a very early stage and then end up making costly changes as the full requirements of the software are discovered. At Strait Solutions we do the thinking first, reduce project risks to an acceptable minimum, and then start development.

    We are happy to work using any of a number of software development models ranging from the traditional 'waterfall' type approaches (where work is done on a fixed-price quote basis) to more agile methodologies such as XP (usually on a time and materials basis). The right methodology for a given project is dependent on a number of factors including:
  • Size of the project.
  • Degree of complexity.
  • Size and flexibility of the customer's budget.
  • Degree of involvement with the end users.
  • Desired quality of the end product.

    For most projects we recommend the use of a modified waterfall type approach. The typical phases in such a web development project are:

    Analysis Phase
  • Requirements Analysis.
  • Business Rule Analysis.
  • Technical Architecture.
  • Software Design.
  • High-level Functional Specification.
  • Database Design.
  • Graphical Design Concepts: Three graphical design concepts are typically presented, one of which is developed further into the final solution.
  • Risk Analysis: Identification of any project uncertainties and risks, along with what could be done to mitigate the risks.
  • Project Planning.
  • Budget Determination.
    Deliverables: Summary report detailing all of the above including an accurate cost and project timeline. It is important at this stage to do only what is required in order to avoid 'paralysis by analysis'.

    Prototyping Phase
  • Prototyping of any development / technical aspects that may grossly affect the successful outcome of the project.
  • Low-level functional specification.
  • Mock-up of the website pages, implementing the chosen graphical design.
    Deliverables: Risk quantification, low-level functional specification and non-functional mock-up of the application.

    Development Phase
  • Coding.
  • Unit, function and system testing.
    Deliverables: Beta release of application.

    Testing Phase
  • System testing.
  • Bug fixing.
    Deliverables: Approval of website to go live.

    Implementation Phase
  • Set-up of production environment.
  • Production testing using selected clients.
  • Go live.

    Warranty Period Phase
  • System error / performance monitoring.
  • Site activity monitoring.
  • Bug Fixing.
  • Site promotion and marketing.
    Deliverables: Monthly site performance report.

    Support Phase
  • System error / performance monitoring.
  • Site activity monitoring.
  • Bug Fixing.
  • Site promotion and marketing.
    Deliverables: Monthly site performance report / Suggestions for site enhancement.

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