Custom Computer Systems

Whistling Fish Software prides itself on providing friendly, professional service, drawing on our involvement with end-to-end software development projects in many business contexts over more than a decade. Let us work with you from the ground up to provide a computer solution which addresses the unique needs of your business.

With over ten years' experience developing and supporting a diverse range of software solutions for clients in the utilities, hospitality, healthcare, legal and service industries, Whistling Fish Software has a wealth of experience spanning all facets of the software development process.

Software development encompasses far more than the nuts and bolts of computer programming. With the emphasis on a collaborative approach, we will work with you closely to identify and document your detailed requirements, advise you of the options available and seek your agreement as to the appropriate level of documentation. As the construction phase begins, we will present suggested screen layouts for review and, as work continues, provide regular progress reports. Prior to implementing your new system, we can provide detailed test plans which will allow you to identify any outstanding problems and verify that all documented requirements have been satisfied.

Whistling Fish Software strives to stay abreast of advances in software development technologies and uses the latest development tools such as Microsoft Visual C#. Your software application can be coupled with any one of several database products, depending on specific requirements.

Database Design

Whistling Fish Software is well versed in database design principles and has worked extensively with Access, SQL Server, SQL Server Compact Edition and Oracle databases over many years in many work environments. Regardless of the database platform, we believe that clearly defining the data you need to store and manipulate is imperative early in the requirements-gathering process, providing a solid foundation for any subsequent development effort.

Perhaps your needs are few. We cut our teeth developing many simple and not-so-simple Microsoft Access database solutions and, while Access has its limitations, for many small businesses on a budget or with limited requirements, an Access database performs more than adequately if basic design principles are observed.

Whether its a customer and contacts database, a small inventory system or a means of easily storing and retrieving your other business-related data, an Access database may be the answer you've been looking for.

System Support and Enhancements

Many small businesses already own computer systems which have served them well for many years but have become unwieldy or inadequate as their business needs have evolved over time.

Like so many other businesses - large and small - perhaps you have an Access database system which performs adequately enough but needs a facelift, new features added, or whose range of reports is is need of expansion. In addition, you may have one or more Excel spreadsheets which continue to perform their role well enough but have grown in an ad-hoc fashion over time, becoming extremely complex and difficult to maintain in the process. Your range of spreadsheets may have become central to your operations as your business has grown or diversified and now assume a level of importance such that you need a more manageable and less fragile means of storing and manipulating your business-critical data.

In the case of the Access database, we can easily rejuvenate it, add the features you need or create additional reports.

In the case of your Excel spreadsheets, however, perhaps it's time you talked to us about replacing them with a customised computer system more befitting their importance to your business operations, providing all the benefits of a modern, user-friendly interface as well as secure, centralised data storage.

Office Automation and Integration

Almost all businesses have access to the Microsoft Office application suite and rely on it on a daily basis, however, what many don't appreciate is the potential it provides to automate repetitive tasks using macros, or to incorporate more complex functionality using its inherent programming capabilities. In many cases we can streamline your processes using the software you already own and are familiar with!

When developing custom software solutions using advanced development platforms such as Microsoft Visual C#, we can even incorporate functionality already provided by your Office applications rather than reinvent the wheel. As an example, we can take advantage of the flexibility Microsoft Word possesses to dynamically generate complex documents where Word's inbuilt mail merge capabilities are inadequate.