Lawrence Campbell Technologies

Technologies, Methods and Partners

We are pragmatists and we are realists. We believe in method, but we are not ruled by it. We also believe in discipline, standards and continuity. What matters to us is the user’s requirement and the resources that are available. We believe
in taking a professional and effective approach to building solutions using
sound judgement and a great deal of experience. We consider our most important “method” is listening; we use it a lot.

 

Preferences – how we meet your needs

Our “ground rules” mean that we have some preferences, such as the following:

  1. The customer drives the tools, technologies and approach that we use. If the customer prefers to use PRINCE, we use PRINCE.
  2. As cost and time are normally the key constraints, we follow iterative approaches (RAD, DSM) which an emphasis on delivery linked to the Project Plan.
  3. We prefer to work from a solid functional understanding of the client’s requirement.
  4. We want to ensure that what we deliver can be changed easily as plans evolve. The cost of this is far outweighed by the flexibility of the solution.
  5. We value style and approach and consider it as important as the technologies used.
  6. We prefer to build out of the strengths of existing solutions rather than reinvent them.
  7. We are obsessive about testing.
Emphasis – making it easy

Our emphasis is not on technologies, but we do make some choices and these are normally:

  1. To use technologies that are widely available and known, such as .Net, SQL Server, Office VBA.
  2. To use technologies that are likely to be understood by others. For writing code our preferences are VB .net and then C#.
  3. Clear distinctions between components and objects and to avoid too much compiled code. Consequently, we make full use of database functionality, SQL and stored procedures (even if it duplicates what is written code) and prefer the user interface to always be distinct and separate to the business logic.
  4. We like the easily deployed Web and Web Services and we like Office Addins as the user often has experience. We prefer to copy a few files than provide solutions with hefty installation routines.
  5. If a script (as opposed to something compiled and complicated) serves well, we use it.
Partners – using what works effectively

An abiding rule of ours is to avoid too many moving parts and to leverage what already exists. This means that particular products we like to partner and work with. These are (please click on the link for additional information):

      1. Ultimus a BPM solution we have worked with for many years. It automates and manages processes very simply.
      2. INFOR Sun Systems has rich and simple structures that we can use really effectively to deliver complex accounting solutions.
      3. SharePoint a framework we can utilise and add to to generate really powerful solutions.
Our roots are in the Microsoft World. It is where we go for simple and effective solutions based on components within the SQL Server Suite: Reporting Services, Analysis Services and Integration Services.
Style – simplicity, elegance, symmetry

When it comes down to the selection and application of technologies we think it is all about getting the approach right and the techniques correct. This means thinking first and doing second. Our work not simply a science, its an art too. The following three points are what matters:
  1. Simplicity: Is it simple? If it’s not it will not work.
  2. Elegance: If it looks a mess (front end or behind the scenes) then it is a mess!
  3. Symmetry: If there is balance it means everything that needs to be addressed is addressed.

We use: RAD; PRINCE; UML; Java, Javascript, COM; .Net; Html5; VB; C#; Sql; XML; Silverlight; TCP/IP; Web Services; and SOAP. All are important to us, but what matters is not just the toolsets we use, but the way we use them.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
— Arthur C. Clarke