Tel: 01531 822622
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Software Development

We love creativity and making great software that's easy to use.

Currently we undertake the following development services:-

  • Tailored development on web, Windows or mobile
  • Add-ons and enhancements to our own suite of Profess-branded products
  • Tailored interfaces between our Profess-branded products and partner systems, including corporate ledger systems
  • Bespoke Crystal Reports development for Profess-branded products or Pillar-developed bespoke projects 
  • Systems design and consultancy
Our methods
Giving users real input on interface design

We believe in short, easy-to-read functional specifications and getting a GUI in front of clients as quickly as possible. Often we've used Balsamiq mock-ups to design a GUI live with clients themselves, and this has proven a very successful means of delivering great software. Some examples can be seen below.

This included the initial designs for both Profess Client Commissioning (with Dorset County Council's Property section) and Profess Premises Portal (with Falkirk Council Development Services).

Cross-platform web and app development tools

We develop with Microsoft Visual Studio, MS SQL Server and for cross-platform deployment Xamarin.

Our team delivers work in sprints in a Scrum setting using OnTime to manage project delivery. The emphasis is to get work in front of clients as quickly as possible, while remaining agile enough to add in changes or additional enhancements.

Additions to our Profess-branded solutions are all added to the standard software and made available to all users as part of our ongoing enhancement programme. User-controlled settings give administrators control over the impact of any change, along with user-defined security controlling access to whole new areas. In some cases Pillar may opt to part-fund work for Profess-branded items.

Fully Supported

Most importantly we are also able to back-up delivery with a Cloud-based solution hosted and managed by Pillar Software, a UK-based Helpdesk and, where required, authoring of manuals and help files.

Legacy development for Profess-branded Windows software

Our long history has meant that with over 100 UK Local Government departments using one form of Profess or another, we also have dedicated resources servicing our legacy Windows software. This includes an ongoing programme of enhancement, upgrades to ensure continuity as new versions of operating systems are released.

We also provide tailored reporting and interfacing for all legacy Windows solutions.

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Examples of our web development projects #1

Hodkinson Consultancy - new functionality in Profess Time Manager

Having already worked with Hodkinson Consultancy (a specialist energy and environment consultancy for planning and development) to deliver an estimating/quotation page within Profess Time Manager, Hodkinsons' wanted to use the quotation data to form the basis of the project plan, and easily manage project and task progress.

This new work took the estimated work plan from the quotation and, upon Project acceptance, created the live Project plus the Project plan including staff and task assignments as per the original quote.

For accepted Projects, a new page in Profess Time Manager now allows project leaders to update their percentage completes for each Task, while having visibility of time booked on timesheets.

Our design for the Project Task Progress page, which was collaboratively reviewed and refined is shown below...

The project for Pillar included new functionality, new pages, database structure changes and then assistance in transforming data booked in their historic method to the new method with richer detail (using the work proportions split across the original quotation and redistributing time spent to date).

The project went live in early 2016 and we are looking forward to assisting Hodkinson Consultancy with developing a range of additional outputs and business alerts.

What our Clients Say

Examples of our web development projects #2

Gemco Ltd. - UKAS-accrediated Calibration Certificate system

Gemco's web application 'CertDB' - as used at their UKAS-accredited Winsford laboratory - is our largest bespoke project to date. While it completed in 2015, the project was such a success that Pillar were invited to develop the mobile front-end for Gemco where an engineer completes an electronic Data Input Sheet whilst on site.

Before the mobile edition, however, Data Input Sheets were manually keyed from paper sheets by users at the lab. These were connected to an Engineer Call Record generated by Gemco's call system. The Data Input Sheet gathered the basic details of the garage equipment being calibrated and then these would be validated along with pre and post calibration readings. Gemco carry out some 90,000+ such calibrations each year.

This process includes a 360degree view of the gas/smoke analyser calibration procedure being used by the engineer as well as the ambient settings, the emissions test machine, the engineers' variety of tools used (all independently also calibrated) and of course the results of the pre and post calibration itself.

A successful calibration will result in the UKAS-accredited certificate, all others would be marked as under query for re-processing, correction or verification by authorised staff.

Below is the web application view of Engineer's Instrument Sets and the Instruments within the selected set (for that Engineer), alongside other currently available sets. The button controls in the middle of this page retain focus on the current Engineer, allowing the user to switch easily from that Engineer's Lens Sets, to Tools, to Gas Bottles, to the Engineer record itself...

This page has multiple edit zones, conditional colour-formatting and drag-and-drop features.

This is an entirely unique project which would be unavailable as an 'off-the-shelf' solution, but Pillar are pleased to have been developers for this solution since the start, way back in mid-late 1990's. We developed the original Windows application, switched the back-end database to MS SQL Server, completed this switch to a web-based browser solution (while disconnecting it from its former partner solution) and, in 2016 are now working with Gemco (part of The Stenhøj Group) to deliver a tablet-based mobile edition of the Data Input Sheet.

Throughout this period of development, enhancement and change, Pillar are delighted to have also provided full support from our Helpdesk as part of the service. 

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What our Clients Say

Your web project brought to life with our tailored development service

Why not get Pillar Software to bring to life your browser-based application? We offer the complete package of services from design to delivery and beyond with our UK-based Helpdesk.  Call us 01531 822622 .