A revolution is taking place within the business application arena today. Just a few years back most custom business applications such as CRM, ERP, data mining and other business data information systems were inflexible and expensive applications. The database ran on a server within the company’s compounds and each desktop machine was running a client application. These systems required heavy licensing fees to be paid, constant maintenance, lots of hardware, proprietary backend software such as server operating systems and databases. Customizations and upgrades required on-site personnel and became expensive. Smaller firms weren’t able to get their own customized solution and therefore lost time and money as their staff had to spend extra time accommodating the company’s business process to an off the shelf solution.
Luckily things are changing rapidly as always with technology. Custom business application software has started to move online. Even though critics may claim the internet is not fast enough, not secure enough and so on companies have realized the extra value and decreased costs that come with moving business data online. There are many reasons for this change. First of all the internet has become faster, bandwidth and server capacity has become cheaper. With the advent of cloud computing server capacity has become a commodity.
Another reason for the change is that the knowledge of web programming languages is rapidly spreading as most software is moving to the web. Today people use webmail, online calendars, social networking and even online word processors and spreadsheet software. This goes hand in hand with web programming languages evolving, become more mature, stable and secure. Microsoft position was very strong a few years back with ASP and later ASP. NET which many developers learned in universities and businesses probably because Microsoft’s dominant overall role in the software industry. More recently open programming languages such as perl, PHP and ruby on rails have increased in popularity. One reason is that these languages are fast, there’s lots of publically available information about how to develop software using them and as a developer you don’t need to purchase any code editor (IDE).
If you are running a small or medium sized company today and you want better control over your business processes, expenses, staff, customers or any other business data you should look over the possibility of migrating or developing from scratch a business application using PHP and MySQL. It will save you money, make information available to all stakeholders quickly and in a user friendly fashion, and be a scalable solution you can grow with in the long term.