We are bespoke software developers with over 22 years experience of making things work, we have a wide range of Web Development tools that we can rapidly bring to bear on any problem and are confident of delivering on our promises In many cases we have worked with our clients for over 10 years covering East Sussex and surrounding areas
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    Web Development

    Web Development from The Dev Team The websites and web applications that we build are more akin to bespoke software applications than traditional websites. They incorporate complex business logic and processes from stock control and fulfilment to CRM functionality and data manipulation tools.

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    Software Development

    Software Development from The Dev Team Whether it's websites, web applications, PC based software, services or server based software we've got tonnes of development experience going back more than 20 years.

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    Project Management

    Project Management from The Dev Team Project Management is all about having good tools to collaborate and a team able to deliver

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    Dynamic Mapping

    Dynamic Mapping from The Dev Team It's quick, easy and inexpensive (if you know how). One of the biggest advances over the last few years has been the ability for anybody to gather longitude and latitude information and then plot it onto maps. If you're not already doing it then contact us to find out how you can.

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    Search Engine Optimization

    Search Engine Optimization from The Dev Team For most websites, being accessible to Google is probably the most important requirement. The only way that this can be done is to make it carefully thought out and integrated part of your website. If anybody phones up offering to get you to the top of the search engine rankings for a few hundred pounds, don't believe them.

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    Data Visualisation

    Big Data & Data Visualisation

    Big Data & Data Visualisation from The Dev Team The amount of data that we, as humankind, are collecting is increasing exponentially. If you know what to do with the data, as we do, it can also be turned into a vital competitive advantage and business critical information that makes a real difference....

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    E-Commerce from The Dev Team Shopping carts, online shops and taking payments online is one of the more standard implementations in a website but the choice available to you is huge. We can help you implement your online shop whether it's a 3rd party plugin or built from scratch. We've done it all!

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    Collaboration Tools

    Collaboration Tools from The Dev Team The ability to work on the same documents, build specifications together, build projects together, share ideas and collaborate are essential for modern business. Effective collaboration is at the core of every project that we work on and we use a variety to tools and skill-sets to facilitate this.

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    Construction from The Dev Team Denaploy has been deeply involved in may aspects of the construction industry since its inception and has worked with Main Contractors, Sub-contractors, Architects, Surveyors and CDMCs. We understand the pressures of the industry and its sometime arcane vocabulary.

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    Property from The Dev Team There are over 22 million homes in the UK and we move once every six years on average throughout our lifetime. That's a lot of data and we deal with a good proportion of it.

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    Not for Profit & Charities

    Not for Profit & Charities from The Dev Team We do a number of different projects for Charities and Not for Profit organisations. Most of the problems needing to be solved are still the same and it suits our skillset to have a more hands-on approach to the project management.

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    Publishing from The Dev Team We have been working with magazine distributors since the earliest days of the Internet to sell British magazines both locally in the UK and around the world. If you're after a fully integrated stock control and automatic ordering system or something as simple as data feed integration then look no further.

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    Blue Chip

    Blue Chip

    Blue Chip from The Dev Team We've worked with many blue chip companies over the last 20 years and continue to receive work on a regular basis underlying the fact that we are competitively priced and possess a skills that are hard to come by even for companies with thousands of employees.

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    International from The Dev Team The World is getting smaller by the day and the ability to work at a desk thousands of miles away is something we've been doing for years. Why let the logistics of getting from A to B get in the way of getting the software solutions you need when everything from meetings to deployment can be done remotely?

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    Eclipse Mininingware

    Eclipse Mininingware from The Dev Team Our Eclipse Miningware Solution is a cost effective solution for any startup mining company.

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    Small Business

    Small Businesses

    Small Businesses from The Dev Team Even if you've got a small business then you can afford a big IT department because you'll be hiring our skills and services for a fraction of the time and therefore cost compared to hiring permanent staff.

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    Joint Ventures

    Joint Ventures

    Joint Ventures from The Dev Team One of the downfalls of working in IT is that everybody and his dog has an idea of how they're going to make a fortune with the Internet. They usually have no money to invest but they do know somebody in the industry who might listen. Sometimes they do listen....

The continuing evolution of the internet creates many business opportunities needing specialist IT skills.

That's where we fit in. We are a highly skilled collective who are more than a match for most blue chip companies internal IT departments.

We're here to make IT and the Internet work for you.

Written on 08 October 2004

Have you outgrown your Access database?

There is a simple rule of thumb that says that if you have a large records set and/or more than half a dozen concurrent users on an Access database, then you might benefit from a move to Microsoft SQL Server. At above these levels you are likely to find that Access becomes slow to respond and occasionally locks up whole pages of records that are being used by other users.

Increasingly databases are the life blood of a company.  They dictate the level of service that can be offered to customers, they are a repository of company knowledge and as such can facilitate opportunities for cross selling and opening new markets, and they are fast becoming a key component in any Due Diligence process prior to a company’s sale or purchase.

Limits of Access

From a strictly business point of view the idea of having 6 or more members of the staff wasting anything up to 10% of their time waiting for the database to respond is normally a sufficient reason for making the change.  But there is a more subtle reason relating to personnel motivation that comes into play. There are few things that are more irritating than waiting for the screen to refresh when you have an irate customer on the line.

Technical Differences

From a technical point of view, the Microsoft SQL server runs a genuine Client-Server architecture which means that queries are executed on the server and then returned to the client machine. Access works by locking blocks of 20 record when it needs to use them, and this is what causes the growth of ‘record lock’ errors as more concurrent users try to access the same or similar data..

On top of that immediate performance gain, MS SQL Server will deliver a wealth of opportunities for continuous improvements in usability, security and backup.  

Features such as ‘synchronisation’ enable you to offer remote users (salesmen, engineers etc) the power to read or update the database on their local PC off line and then integrate those changes at the end of the day/week with the master database via the internet.

XML features are an increasing features of database usage so the facility to build Web Services is a definite plus (Web Services are an excellent way of delivering data to third parties to whom you do not wish to give full access to your database.)

What does it cost

Using an SQL database is effectively free for up to 12 concurrent users, because it can run on the MSDE which is a free application supplied by Microsoft.

However, creating and editing MS SQL databases requires that you run the server with all the tools that you need to gain value from it.

If you are starting from scratch, there are some amazing deals around the SBS (Small Business Server) - See Dell – at time of writing they were offering a package of Fast hardware with RAID hard drives and SBS Standard edition for just over £1,000. The SBS Premium which includes SQL is about another £1,000.

So the main cost is in the labour. And remember that not all programmers are created equal.

The skills needed to create a database correctly are significantly higher than those needed to just maintain it and use it. And the skills needed to fix a badly created database with loads of valuable data are very rare indeed, so you can expect to pay a premium for them.

Any consideration of the conversion of the database from one platform to another, needs to take into account:

  • Time for working with users to understanding the current application and how it is being used. This invariably brings up a few change requests.
  • Conversion of the database structure
  • Migration of the data
  • Recreation of a front end for the users (so it has a familiar look and feel)
  • Consideration of increased functionality that the users would like to see.
  • Consideration of likely future uses for the data – eg website access, web services, security restrictions  etc
  • Arrangements on how the database is going to be supported in the future.

The process of converting a database can take anything from a couple of days to a several weeks of work, and its eventual success will be determined by the initial planning and the skill of the programmer.

One final issue worth thinking about. If you use bespoke software it makes you dependant on the creator of that application and it does not matter whether that is an in house employee, a sub-contractor or a freelance programmer, this can create difficulties. By using industry standard database structures you increase the likelihood that you will be able to find a new person to support your application if the creator is no longer available. Just make sure that you have copies of any source code that has been used, and all passwords.

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