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Custom development or using existing tools?

Custom development or using existing tools? – part 2

by David Söderström

In the previous part of this post, we discussed examples of when doing a custom solution is a must and when using some existing tools can be wise.

We left that part with a question if using existing tools such as Highcharts and Chart.js would mean there are little or no development? The answer is, thankfully for us, no :-). Tools like these are great, but they are just that: tools. Using the sales & reporting tool as an example again, the bulk of the code is about handling the projects and simulations correctly, which has nothing to do with the actual charts. The charts are just added on once all the simulations are complete and numbers are ready.

Does that mean little or no development? The answer is, thankfully for us, no :-)

Our long-term project Challengera (we provide all the development for their platform) is a project where a vast majority of the code is custom made by us. Yet still, there are a number of examples where we’ve made use of existing tools, such as statistics tools as above, the Zend framework for handling YouTube uploads, PHPExcel for exporting platform information as well as importing user data.

To sum up. Good tools are invaluable. Good tools allow building well-made custom applications and websites. Just like a carpenter knowing how to handle the proper tools, a web developer with knowledge of a wide range of tools is likely more well-equipped for a web project. Just like the carpenter needs skill to make the best use of his/her tools, so does the web developer.

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