Friday, November 04, 2005

[Pharmacy Software]

One of my clients has suggested I write pharmacy software. He has a home-grown Clipper app that does everything from Dispensing to Cash Register. I give him a hand with it from time to time. He reckons there's a market for a low-cost package which would fit the Western Australian situation better than the off-the-shelf ones now available.

So comes then the ever-present question: Closed Source, or Open Source.

No knowing a lot about how Open Source works as an income generator, I fear that there is the risk that my non-Open Source competitors may steal my ideas and woo my customers away because they have the resources to bring them (the ideas, not the customers) to the market faster than I can. Is that a valid concern?

Closed Source isn't without its problems either.

And then comes the other questions: programming language / IDE / RAD. I wonder if anyone's come up with a template for software projects in the style of Word / Excel / PowerPoint templates.


Anonymous said...

Open sourced libraries, closed sourced application?
I don't think there are many closed doors to break while writing pharmacy software.
OTOH you'll always need better libraries (and with enough eyes...)

Anonymous said...

Well, tools

Rule of the thumb:
- RAD for one-shot, throw-away projects (you'll draw almost everything, write some parts, forget all in 2 months)
- IDE for long-time projects (you'll have to write all by hand, probably develop some configure/make/make-build scripts, but you'll have full control-all the time)

- For web based (simple to complex order): PHP, Ruby on Rails, Java Servlets
- Standalone (portable -> nonportable): Java, C#, VB

I wouldn't want to use Perl for anything outside system administration ;-)
I wouldn't use Java applets for programs bigger than desktop calculator.

If there is any checklist/decision maker for such projects - I wouldn't use the ones made in Word/Excel/PowerPoint. The tools say something about maker, don't they? ;-)