Development Case Study

Brolin Corporation - Development Case Study

Problem: Find methods to reduce development time and the cost of custom applications, and improve their reliability.

Brolin's Generic Library. Brolin's research revealed that for the average custom software project, more than 50% the project's development effort, including budget and time, is spent developing common generic functionality that is needed in almost every software application. That's a tremendous amount of effort reinventing the wheel over and over again.

Of course, the next question was why. The answer is in the technical nature of programmers. We found that while most programmers do have extensive function libraries that they re-use, these libraries are typically designed to perform technical programming tasks that are performed behind the scenes such as parsing a phone number, converting one date format to another, etc. Even our own programmers did not think in terms of integrating a bunch of small tasks to perform a larger group of work. We found that the integration of tasks, even when the code is already written, is a very time consuming task in itself and a major source of bugs. Couple this with the pressure to deliver and it's no wonder why there are so many custom software failures.

The solution was to design and develop components that include all the functionality necessary to perform a larger scope of work. The Brolin Generic Reporting Object, GRO, is a great example of this. When GRO is plugged into an application, the application automatically inherits all the tables (with fields, relations, etc.), program code, user interface, interface to other Generic Components and documentation to perform most anything you would want to do in the area of reporting. What a tremendous time saver! On top of this, Brolin's Generic Components offer the benefit of being fully tested in the field and the ongoing R&D contributed by the many projects they are reused in.