Rant

The Differences Between Enterprise and Regular Software Development

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Software Development

When it comes to software solutions, there are two primary approaches: either you can take up the Enterprise app development approach and regular software development. Both have proven to be successful in their own right, but they are vastly different. Understanding the differences between these two forms of development can help you decide which one is right for your project.

 

What is Regular Software Development?

In regular software development, it is important to have a clear picture of all of your requirements before you start developing. This type of software development model is also known as the waterfall model because the development process flows down in a logical order. Requirements are gathered at the start of the project; once you have a clear idea of what you want and need, the design begins. After design comes implementation, testing, and deployment.

If you were to create a timeline for this type of project, it would look like this: requirements gathering and definition > design > implementation > testing > deployment.

 

What is enterprise software development?

Enterprise software development is the process of creating software for use by large organizations, such as governments, banks, and other big businesses. In contrast, consumer software development focuses on creating software that typically targets individuals and smaller organizations.

Developing enterprise applications is often complex and requires a team effort to achieve the desired results. It is different from consumer software in many ways, including purpose and deployment. Enterprise-grade products are highly scalable, with a focus on meeting the needs of each company they target while simultaneously ensuring security through robust authentication protocols and data encryption.

For the most part, enterprise software is pretty much the same as regular software. The users want a program that is fast and has a great UI/UX. They want to be able to easily find what they need, instead of digging through a bunch of menus just to find the simple option they are looking for.

But there are some differences between enterprise and regular software that may not be known by everyone.

Software Development

How is developing enterprise software different from standard software development?

1. Interconnectivity

Enterprise application software often needs to work with other systems and databases to function properly. This means it needs to have a better API than regular applications, so it can seamlessly integrate with everything else that is being used in the company. It also needs to have an easy way to import essential data from other sources, such as Excel spreadsheets or CSV files, so it can take all of the information from the old systems and use it in the new one. This makes it easier for companies to switch without losing any of their data or having to start over from scratch.

2. Cost

Startup companies can often operate on a budget, but it will be much harder for an enterprise to function with limited funds. Custom enterprise software requires more money from the start because of the large number of users, particularly when they are spread across multiple locations. These users will demand features that make their work less complicated and more efficient, which drives up costs as well. Because enterprise software takes longer to develop, you’ll have to factor in design time and maintenance costs as well.

If you’re developing your software, try to avoid any unnecessary complications and stick with the basics until you have a better idea of how your app will scale over time.

3. Productivity

Enterprise software has a much higher emphasis on productivity when compared to standard software. This means that this type of program has to be able to take care of menial tasks for the user to increase their efficiency and effectiveness. For example, accounting tools that can input receipts automatically and then categorize them properly would be considered enterprise software. It does all of the work for you so you don’t need to spend as much time doing it yourself.

4. Adaptability

One of the biggest differences between enterprise and regular software development is adaptability. Enterprise apps are often built in a way that allows them to be easily adapted for different environments, including different operating enterprise systems and hardware configurations. This means that there will be fewer problems when users run them on their devices. Regular software products, on the other hand, are built for specific devices and operating systems, so they may not work properly if they’re run on other platforms.

5. Security

Enterprise software often has high-security requirements. Large organizations have a lot of sensitive information, such as customer data and financial records, that needs to be protected. The consequences of leaking such information can be severe for the company, so they need to make sure that their software has adequate defense mechanisms and will not leak information if it gets hacked.

On the other hand, regular software usually doesn’t have such high-security requirements. For example, consider a game app on the Google Play store. The app might contain in-app purchases, but all payment information is passed through the Google Play store itself. So if someone hacks into the app, they aren’t going to get very much useful information. If you’re developing regular consumer-facing software, you don’t need to worry too much about implementing strong defenses against hacking attacks.

In general, enterprise software requires more secure coding practices than regular consumer-facing apps do. You should make sure that your code is properly validated and that you’re not introducing any vulnerabilities by mistake.

6. Distributed Storage

One of the biggest differences between enterprise and regular software is that enterprise software is almost always distributed, while most individual users run on a single computer. Even when a regular user has multiple computers, they don’t usually use them together in the same way an enterprise does. For example, an individual might want to access their iTunes library from multiple computers, but that access is typically read-only (at least for purchased music). The individual won’t expect their iTunes library to be updated simultaneously across computers.

By contrast, enterprises need to keep data synchronized across different locations, so they require distributed storage. The first thing to understand about distributed storage is that there are many different types of distributed storage systems.

7. Support Platform

If you’re developing an application for your company’s use only, then you probably don’t need to worry about support at all. However, if you’re developing an application for commercial use by other companies, then you’ll need to think about providing support to your customers.

Providing support is a necessary evil in enterprise application development — customers will have questions or complaints and they’ll need a way to reach you so that they can be resolved. The larger the enterprise application is and the more customers it has, the more staff it will take to manage support.

This can take many forms — from email support for small enterprise applications to call centers for large ones. For example, Microsoft has a huge amount of resources allocated just to provide support for their enterprise products like Windows Server and SQL Server.

8. Microservices

Microservices are a way to structure an application as a collection of small services, each running in its process. These services are built around business capabilities and are independently deployable. The microservice architecture enables the continuous delivery/deployment of large, complex applications.

The key difference between regular and enterprise software development is that enterprise software development is geared more toward large-scale applications that can be deployed on a microservice architecture.

9. System Integration and Development Methodologies

Enterprise software development uses system integration, which is the process of bringing together the component subsystems into one system and ensuring that the subsystems function together as one system. The result of system integration is generally a customized application called a solution and typically involves both hardware and software. Enterprise software development also uses nontraditional methodologies like extreme programming, feature-driven development, or scrum, which is an agile project management framework for managing product development.

10. Execution

Regular software development is a part of the business and it has to be budgeted for. Enterprise software development, on the other hand, can be a profit center. A regular software development company might turn a profit in the hundreds of thousands per year. An enterprise software development company could realize profits in the millions or tens of millions.

One of the major ways that enterprise software companies receive funding is through venture capital (VC) firms. These VC firms are looking for multi-million dollar exits to justify their investments. Everything is geared towards this goal: building an enterprise-grade product that can sell to large corporations, getting that product into as many hands as possible (if not all), and charging as much as they possibly can.

The bottom line is that enterprise software development is often the choice of business enterprises, which are looking to focus on scalability, flexibility, and testability. Regular software development may be a better choice in many other situations, such as startups and newer companies. Both approaches have proven successful, but knowing the key differences between them can help you choose the right choice for your project.

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