What was the scope of their involvement?
We built our own app on iOS, but we didn’t have experience with Android. We wanted someone who wouldn’t expect detailed requirements, but rather use the iOS app as their framework and reverse engineer it. We guided them on how to create everything on Android, which was an effective and successful approach.
The platform allows companies to do their business process management in a drag and drop environment that is geared towards non-programmers like analysts, citizen developers, and people who don’t understand programming but have a business problem. We wanted the user to be able to build the app in the browser and with minimal effort be able to configure what the mobile app should do.
The mobile app is a container app that works like a platform. The content gets generated automatically based on what the user does on the server by using drag and drop forms, workflows, screens, etc. Then, when they launch the app, it can read the database and determine what to display for the user. All of that is dynamic, and it’s not for a specific application; it could be any application that the user builds.
Nextware worked with our CTO and I’m sure they used the standard Android technologies. They had to interface with our SQL server, XML, and HTTP as connections. They also had to build an offline functionality which we added later on so that even if the user has no internet connection, they can still enter data. They also maintain and manage our data center which is an ongoing cost for us as well.
What is the team dynamic?
There are three people that are managing and supporting the project. If there’s development work, there are two more people included. Shawn, the CEO, is our main point of contact but he also has someone who helps us out when he’s not available.
How did you come to work with Nextware Technologies?
We wanted someone reliable and cost-effective, who had experience with Android and a good reputation. Nextware was referred to us by one of our close company contacts who had previously worked with them. So, we interviewed them and compared them with other companies.
Shawn is local to us and we met a few times. He started with some small projects for us to be able to get a sense of their capabilities, and we expanded from there. The key was their knowledge, reliability, and professionalism. Shawn is also willing to learn and understand the business need and suggest solutions while taking responsibility for any issues that come up. He’s reasonable to work with and we have a good relationship.
How much have you invested with them?
We have invested between $75,000–$100,000 over the course of our relationship.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working together in October 2014 and they are still the main developer. Any enhancements, support issues, and bug fixes are taken care of by them.