technologies: Other Software Tools We Use

To support our SQL Server and .NET development work, we use various software tools. We choose them because they make our  software applications better or our life easier – or ideally both! Here’s a selection of our favourites:

Microsoft Visual Studio

  • An integrated development environment for web, windows and mobile development – it helps our developers to be productive and structured in what they do. Visual Studio comes as part of our Microsoft Developer Network subscription, which also gives us development access to all the latest Microsoft software.

Microsoft Team Foundation Server Source Control

  • Source control is critically important to our development team. It allows multiple developers to work on an application at once, managing the synchronisation of the ‘master version’ of the .NET code to incorporate everyone’s work. Source control also acts as a back-up store for our code.

Red Gate SQL Tools

  • We use a fantastic suite of tools from Red Gate to support our work in SQL Server. These tools provide source control for our SQL code, code synchronisation and data comparison. They also help us to be slick in deploying database updates to live client systems.

Telerik UI Controls

  • Telerik provide award-winning developer tools for .NET. These help to make our user interfaces richer and more powerful. We also use Telerik Reporting tools to power many of our applications’ reporting and document generation functions.

Microsoft Visio

  • We use Microsoft Visio for data modelling – which means drawing pictures of the relationships between the information stored in a database. We model this before we build the database, and generate the database structure directly from the model. Keeping our data model updated as we progress through the project means we always have something to refer to (and debate) as we get in to the nitty-gritty of detailed implementation.

Balsamiq Mock-ups

  • This powerful tool lets us mock-up user interfaces. Drawing the interface helps us to clarify the practical detail of the software requirements, and allows us to discuss the emerging application with clients before it is actually built. The pictures then provide our developers with an important part of their ‘instructions’ on what to create.

Atlassian Confluence – Collaboration Software

  • Confluence provide our (cloud-hosted) wiki – a collaborative online space where we document applications as they are built. This documentation means that we always have a reference point when returning to an old application or bringing new developers on board, and it is the starting point for application help or user notes documents.

Logmein – Remote Access and Desktop Control Software

  • Logmein provide a secure set of tools for remotely accessing clients’ PCs or networks. Having remote access to a client network enables us to install software directly to them, and makes it much easier to trouble-shoot or maintain applications.

Sage Developer Programme

  • Our Sage Developer License allows us to integrate our bespoke software with your off-the-shelf accounting software, to avoid duplication of effort.

Issue Tracker

  • Our in-house bug tracking system ensures all project issues are tracked to completion.
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Call now on 0845 643 0851 for a discussion of your particular needs – or complete a contact form and we’ll get in touch.