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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)              

This section lists a few of the Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ’s on software development in general and on development at Genesys InfoCAD, in particular.

Exactly what do you do?

Genesys InfoCAD develops custom software to meet the precise needs of each business. Every business has different functions and work processes. Common business functions include sales, purchases, production, and inventory management. However, there are many businesses that have their own distinct work procedure not available in ready-made, packaged software. Most businesses also do have unique requirements within their work procedure such as commissions scheme, production scheduling, employee evaluation, inventory costing, and ISO documentation that cannot be met by packaged software. That’s where we come in.

We make sure that all the business functions are well modeled in the computer for smooth flow within each operation and between different operations of your business. For example, once you key-in the information into a sales invoice form, this information can potentially be used to

  1. print the invoice on paper
  2. remove and update your inventory automatically
  3. update accounts receivable
  4. print sales reports by day, month, week, or year
  5. update commissions report
  6. provide many other reports on sales such as sales by zone, by customer, etc.

The sales information will also be linked to the payments received from the customer for this invoice. Thus, all your business functions can be streamlined and you can have information available at the click of a button, right at your fingertips, while doing minimal data entry. [Top]  

What is custom engineered software?

Software development is often erroneously viewed as an art. It is misconceived as an art to effectively capture the requirements of the user and try to produce the program in due time. The methods used can be quite haphazard, lacking in well-defined procedures. Although, many developers continue to produce software in this non-professional manner, we at Genesys InfoCAD follow very strict software engineering principles in our development processes. The development life cycle can be viewed as several engineering processes: requirements analysis, detailed design, program development, program testing, implementation and training. Each process has its required quality control, document control, and other project management and scheduling requirements. Since these steps of software production are very similar to the manufacturing or engineering of other products, the term software engineering has been used to describe the use of engineering principles in the development of software, thus “custom engineered software”. [Top]  

What kind of software do you specialize in?

The people at Genesys InfoCAD have the expertise to capture the requirements of any business and produce the software to model the functions of that business. Thus, no matter what your business requirements may be, we can do it. In our 12 years of work, since March 1995, we have developed many different kinds of software (see site references for a list) including manufacturing, scheduling, accounts, finance, insurance brokerage, garment production, hotel and restaurant management, trading with imports and exports, customer service, and equipment maintenance and rental. We can certainly develop the right product for your business, whatever it may be. [Top]  

What are the steps involved in software development?

  1. Visit the client to determine the exact requirements and scope.
  2. Prepare a project proposal and quotation clearly defining the scope.
  3. Once the proposal is approved, sign an agreement and begin the development.
  4. The first development step is the analysis step where we interview various departments and review the documents used to get the complete requirements.
  5. After the analysis, we specify the requirements in a Design document which includes a menu, forms and reports design of the application.
  6. Once the Design document is approved, it is used by our staff to develop the software by first performing a Detailed Design document for the programmer.
  7. The programming work then begins with each module (menu, form, report) individually tested. For larger projects, we will meet with the client to show each module once they are completed to get some feedback. However, we will generally not allow the client to use the program until all the forms and the core reports are completed and tested.
  8. Once the entire system is developed, it undergoes integration testing as a complete system.
  9. The user then gets to see a first version of the software, after which we expect to get a few minor adjustments.
  10. After the fine-tuning we deliver the software and begin the implementation phase. Implementation includes user training, documentation, support, and data conversion from a previously used program or spreadsheet, if any.
  11. During the implementation phase we also finish some of the more complex, analysis reports.
  12. After implementation, we enter the free one-year maintenance or warrantee phase. [Top]    

How long does it take to make a software system?

This depends on the complexity of the program. For smaller programs it may take 1 month and for complex programs it may reach up to 8 months. On average our development time is 3 months. A good estimate can be obtained by estimating the number of fill-in forms (screens) and reports you may require. An average form takes 5 days to make and an average report takes 1 day to make. An average project which consists of 8 forms and 20 reports will require 60 days plus the overhead time for project analysis, design, testing, and training of approximately 50% of development time equaling 30 days, giving a total of 90 days. [Top]  

What are your qualifications?

Genesys InfoCAD is headed by Dr. Suthep Madarasmi who completed his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, and Masters and Bachelors degrees from Michigan State University, all in computer science. In addition, we have many other highly skilled, professional employees in the development team, each with bachelors or masters degrees in a computer-related field such as computer science, computer engineering, and management of information systems. [Top]  

How long have you been developing software?

We have been in business since March 1995. [Top]  

How many employees do you have?

In addition to the M.D., Dr. Suthep Madarasmi, Genesys InfoCAD has 8 developers including 2 analysts/project managers and 6 programmers. The M.D. is responsible for the analysis and design of the software with the aid of the analysts. The project managers are responsible for detailed design, project development management, scheduling, and testing. The programmers do most of the coding and unit testing work. We have 3 other non-technical staff for administrative and documentation work. [Top]  

Can we see a demo of the program we are interested in?

Since we have developed for several clients in many different areas, chances are we do have a software product that is similar to your business requirements. We can certainly demo that software, to give you an idea of our capability. However, you should remember that we develop custom made software to meet your exact requirements, so the demo is not necessarily the software product you will finally get. [Top] 

What programming language (front-end) and relational database management software (RDBMS backend) do you use to create your programs?

Our choice of development tool depends on the requirements of our clients. We have extensive development experience in Visual Basic, Delphi, and Visual C++, each working in the Microsoft Windows platform. For internet, web-based database development we have experience in the use of Cold Fusion, PhP, Dream Weaver, and ASP as front end.

The relational database backend we have used include Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, and Informix. The choice is usually based on the requirements of the project and the project budget. The parameters that determine the choice of the relational database include software budget, availability client's IT staff for support, security requirements, and load requirements. [Top] 

My business has lots of data, do I need a strong database system?

Most relational database management systems (RDBMS) such as Microsoft SQL, Sybase, Informix, and Oracle can support large databases. However, if your main concern is security or data integrity, then we recommend the use of a strong, highly secure RDBMS such as Oracle. Your choice also depends on your budget and the IT staff you may have in your company to maintain your choice database. [Top] 

What operating systems do your programs support?

Our programs are compatible with Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000. We have stopped developing for Windows 3.11, although we continue to support the clients using our software versions developed in that platform. We can also develop for the web-based platforms using Cold Fusion, ASP, HTML, and PhP. [Top] 

What packages do you offer?

We offer the following packages:

  • Best Policy for Insurance Brokerage

  • ProFashional for Custom Tailors

  • BizWiz Accounts for SME Business

  • DigiTex for Textiles Trading Business

  • TexDox for Textiles Export Business

  • WearSoft for Garment Merchandising

  • Optima II Manufacturing for Production Plan and Finance

  • E-Files for Paperless Office

[Top] 

How long is your warrantee and when does it begin?

We do provide a free maintenance service for one year for all our software products. This begins after we have delivered and implemented all the software modules including the forms, reports, and documentation. [Top]  

How much does the maintenance contract cost?

After the first free-maintenance year, you may purchase a maintenance contract for 15% of the cost of the software. This will support bug fixes, data recovery, hot-line service, and other consultation. [Top]  

What if a bug is detected after the warrantee period?

As much as we would like to support our product for its entire lifecycle, we cannot afford to do so without your financial support. We, therefore, request a fees for any work done after the warrantee period, unless you have a maintenance contract to help us financially support our customer service endeavor. [Top]  

Do your programs work in a network environment?

Yes, all the programs at Genesys InfoCAD are made to work in a multi-user network environment and can support an unlimited number of users. The networks supported include Microsoft Network (peer-to-peer), TCP/IP on Windows, Novell Netware, and Windows NT domain. [Top]  

How do you service your customers?

If needed, we visit our customers, otherwise we use remote control software such as PC Anywhere or Carbon Copy to dial-up to the client’s machine via a modem and service the client. [Top]  

How much is it going to cost to develop a software system?

The cost of every program we develop is based on per programming day charge. In other words, we charge according to the amount of time taken to develop the program. To give you an idea of our pricing scheme, a simple way to estimate your cost may be to divide your project into fill-in forms and summary reports. An average form takes 5 days to make and an average report takes 1 day to make. Thus, an average project consisting of 8 forms and 20 reports takes approximately 60 programming days. We charge a programming day rate of 6,000 baht. Thus, an average-sized development project will cost 360,000 baht. If we already have a similar product to your requirement, the price will be considerably lower, since we will spend less time on development. [Top]  

How do you charge us if a change is needed?

We make a proposal and quotation stating the exact scope of the project during the agreement phase. If you have any changes that are beyond the scope proposed, we may charge you for the additional work based on the number of person-days required for the additional work. You are given a quotation detailing the requested change for your approval before we make the change and bill you accordingly. [Top]  

What are your terms of payment?

Payment for mid-sized projects are generally divided into 3 parts:

  1. 30% for initiating the contract and starting the project
  2. 50% when the forms are delivered and implementation has begun
  3. 20% is due when all the work is completed and implemented

For large-sized projects, generally over a million Baht, the payment terms are usually split into 5 payments:

  1. 20% to initiate the contract
  2. 20% when analysis and design are completed
  3. 20% when program is developed and first demonstrated
  4. 20% when program is delivered and implementation (training and use) started
  5. 20% when all the work is completed and implemented [Top]  

What type of ready-made software packages do you have available?

We do have a few software products that are used by more than one client, thus making them “software packages”. However, for each of these we still need to implement the software for you by printing it onto your invoice stationary and putting your company logo on the reports, for example. The packages we currently have include: Insurance Brokerage Software, Manufacturing MRP System and Finance, Accounting, Garment Merchandising, and Textiles Trading with Outsourcing. [Top]  

What products are included with the program?

The software we deliver include the following:

  1. Executable version of the software and the data installed on the server and on each client.
  2. User manual in printed form.
  3. An on-line help is provided if you choose this option in the contract.
  4. A Technical Developer Documentation giving the structure of the database to enable you to make your own reports is provided, if you choose this option in the contract.
  5. The source code is given to the client, if it is an on-site development contract. [Top]  

Is the source code given to us along with the program?

The source code is given to the client for on-site development contracts only. [Top]  

Is the online help included in the program?

An on-line help is provided only if you choose this option in the contract. In other words, there is an additional development fees for it. [Top]  

Can we add reports to the system on our own?

A Technical Developer Documentation giving the structure of the database for making your own reports is provided, if you choose this option in the contract. With this document and with knowledge of report development software, you can make reports on your own. [Top]  

What are the minimum hardware requirements for using your product?

This depends on the size of your project. For mid to large sized projects, you will most likely be using relational database management software such as Microsoft SQL, Informix, or Oracle for which you will need a database server. You will also need a file server, which may be the same machine as the database server. You will also require several workstations, each running our application. The server should be a Pentium II or above with 128 MB RAM and at least 2 GB hard disk space remaining for our application’s database. The workstation should be a Pentium 70 MHz or above with at least 100 MB of hard disk space remaining for our application. You should also consider the purchase of UPS power backup and a data backup device. Your machines will be connected via a local area network (LAN), so each machine will also need a LAN card and wiring to the server. You will also need printing capability.

For small projects (below 6 users), you may use a peer-to-peer connection between the workstations and, thus, not require a dedicated file or database server. However, even smaller projects will require a network to connect the various users.

If you already have a working LAN and a Pentium file server, you will most likely not need any additional equipment to run our software applications. [Top]  

Can you provide the computer hardware and network resources we need?

Genesys does not sell any hardware, nor do we service network problems. We focus primarily on software development. However, if you wish to deal with a single vendor for all your computer-related products, software and hardware, we do have hardware and network partners that can meet your requirements. As our client, we will also provide you free consultation on how to set up your network and data back up system. [Top]  

Do you do web graphics design work?

If your website has a technical, database element to it, Genesys InfoCAD can develop your complete website including the graphics design work. We do not have in-house expertise for the graphics design, but do have partners who can do an excellent job on design. We focus on the technical aspects of software development such as the database and the web-based application development. [Top]  

What kind of software licenses do we need to use your software?

Since our software runs on a network, our clients are responsible to have a license for their file server software whether it is a peer-to-peer Windows 95/98 configuration or through a domain server such as Windows NT. For clients using a relational database such as Microsoft SQL, they should purchase a license for the Ms-SQL database server and for each client. If our client plans for us to develop the software with the source code on their site, they are also responsible for the license for the development tool used such as Visual Basic or Delphi. [Top]  

Can your software be copied and used at our branch office?

Our clients are generally licensed to run our software on a single local area network (LAN) and may not copy the software for use at another site. However, this may be permitted if the client has purchased the additional site license for a nominal maintenance fee. [Top]  

How do I decide between a ready-made and a custom-made software?

First, you need to make what's called the “make or buy” decision. That is, should you buy ready-made, packaged software or should you have one custom developed. This depends on how unique your requirements are and how much you are willing to adapt to the work pattern of the packaged software. Time is also usually a factor. If you opt for custom-made software, you should be prepared to spend some time in the analysis and design phases. You will also have to wait for a few months before the product is ready. However, the advantage of custom-made software is that it meets your exact needs and, thus, is easier to use. There are also some risks involved in choosing custom-made software. If you get a developer who is not professional, you may end up getting a product that does not quite meet your requirements. Also, your developer may not have the commitment to finish or support your project. With these risks, you should wisely choose the software developer. [Top]  

What is the next step to take, if I need a custom developed software?

If you make a decision to “make” the software, then you should contact us for a proposal and quotation. We recommend that you compare our price and expertise with that of other software developers as well. We are certain that once you see the quality of our software products and witness the no nonsense capability of our team, you will put your trust in Genesys InfoCAD. [Top] 

 

If you still have any questions about anything, you are most welcome to contact us. After all we are here to provide you with all the service you need.

 

   
 

 


Copyright 2007 Genesys Infocad Co., Ltd.