Checker eases app programming flowdoption of a new software development process framework

SINGAPORE--For Digital Scanning Corporation (DSC), the adoption of a new software development process framework has helped the company sell its software to a wider variety of customers.
Seah Liang Chiang, CEO and founder of the Singapore-based company, said its deployment of IBM's Rational Software integrated development environment has been a boon to its programmers.
DSC tracks and manages changes to its software codes based on Rational's methodology. This framework has afforded the local company more agility in adapting changes for customers, while keeping the code base stable, Seah said Tuesday at an IBM Rational event.
Prior to adopting the framework, much of its applications had to be recoded when customers requested customization or when programmers left the company, taking their intellectual property with them, he explained.
The ability to push out coding changes more stably, be it software updates or customization work, goes toward DSC's "Gillette" business model, where the company charges a lower price for the product and thereafter, relies on subscription fees customers pay in exchange for services and maintenance.
Seah noted: "Off-the-shelf doesn't cut it anymore because customers want the 20 percent [of the software] that is customized [to their needs]."
The ability to manage the programming process also allows DSC to broaden its customer portfolio.
Steve Robinson, vice president of IBM Rational Software, said its software was designed such that developers no longer needed to rebuild their codes from scratch. It does this by keeping base codes consistent, enabling programmers to build different components or modules--based on their clients' specifications-- on top of the base code.
According to Seah, this allows DSC to easily repackage and market varying customizations to customers from different vertical industries.
Robinson noted that software companies in the past did not prioritize the application development process, but this has since changed.
Companies now realize how much inefficiency can arise out of rebuilding software due to circumstances, for example, when programmers retire, he said. This has pushed application houses to increase their focus on ensuring the application development process can continue even after their programmers leave, he noted.
Seah could not provide statistics on how much time DSC's programmers have saved from adopting IBM's Rational application development framework, citing the company's short experience with Big Blue. The Singapore company signed on as a customer four months ago.
IBM's country leader for Rational Software, Paul Tay, said companies can expect to reduce their programming time by 15 to 50 percent.