What happens after “Happily Ever After”? We like to tell stories about the software we build, but they always end at launch. Today we’d like to highlight what happens after the fanfare of launch, just in case you’re the person who’s really into sequels and epilogues. We sometimes forget to talk about what happens down the road, but supporting software long-term is a big part of the Rocket promise, and we make it a priority for all our clients.
So, what does supporting software look like over the long term? Well, it begins by designing and building software with the end in mind. Our software is built to be flexible enough to adapt months or years in the future. Because we build with time-tested platforms and languages, and because our development team has so many years of experience, we never “paint ourselves into a corner.” If you need a big update or addition next year, you won’t have to scrap what you have and start over. We’ll just work with the great material we already have.
What does updating software look like practically? Here are a few examples of small and large changes we’ve made on existing software recently.
Prosci has been a great client to work with for many years. We built their original web portal back in 2013, and we’ve done updates, large and small, for them since. In the past month, we have tweaked a few things to run more smoothly.
- Prosci customers upload large CSV spreadsheets through the web portal, which is usually a smooth process, except for international customers. So we modified the CSV batch upload tool to better interpret international versions of Excel. We also kept the problem from happening by modifying the downloadable template to force correct formatting even in international versions of Excel.
- We added exit surveys to auto-generated emails sent after subscription cancelations. It’s a great example of a small shift in the software that can have big impact on business strategy.
- Prosci changed the name of one of their big products, so we updated all relevant URLs to reflect the change.
Transportation Resources Stewardship Planning Tool (TRSPT)
The TRSPT web application was created in partnership with Logan Simpson Design (national business with a branch in Fort Collins) back in 2009. The software was built for the National Parks Service as a tool for road planning, specifically protecting natural and cultural resources from the damage that comes with road traffic. It generates detailed reports of resources within national parks and their distance from the roads. The reports save countless hours of manually combing through spreadsheets and combining data. Recently we’ve done a few non-visible updates to the system.
- We added new sets of data to the application, expanding the tool to include nine additional parks in Alaska.
- We made some modifications to the database that affect the user input fields, which eliminated entering duplicate data points on multiple pages.
- We also did several other small tweaks to the front end of the application to clean up wording in the content, reformat embedded maps, and some other general housekeeping.
Northern Colorado Anesthesia Professionals
The Northern Colorado Anesthesia Professionals have been a client since 2015. You can read more details about the project here. They are a great example of improving business processes over time and updating the software to match. We’ve helped their software stay flexible as their practice grows and changes. They use their web application as an HR and compensation reporting tool, so accuracy is the top priority. Custom software has been a real asset to NCAP over the past year as they restructured some of their compensation policies because the software could be updated as processes and policies changed.
- Most recently, we added more granular controls to the reporting tool so they could generate more precise reports.
- We also modified some of the application’s logic and calculations per the client’s request.
- NCAP wanted to test some new process scenarios before committing to going live with the changes, so we helped set-up a replicated development environment for real time testing of new functionality — risk free.
Maingate Tickets is still a fairly new client, compared to the others listed here, but we do enhancements on newer sites too. After the first few months of using a new application, ideas for new features always surface. Maingate is a ticketing site where event vendors can sign up to create events and custom ticket types and prices. Our client found they needed an additional level of reporting and tracking, so we made a few additions and enhancements.
- We created historical yearly reports so staff could review the entire year at one look (in addition to the existing monthly reports).
- We also created custom URLs upon ticket purchase completion that allow transaction tracking.
- The client also requested that we slightly modify the way event dates are displayed throughout the site.
Businesses are never stagnant, and their software shouldn’t be either. Out-of-the-box software will never have the same flexibility as a custom web application. We are committed to long-term relationships with each client, and our software is built to grow and adapt with your business.