Integration within Lizzy™

Integration within Lizzy™

When we set out to design the next generation of business software, we had a few things in mind. We knew the solution needed to run on all operating systems. We knew it needed to be as fast as possible and run on even a cell phone or PDA device. We knew it should include a built in, fully functional CRM system, and we knew that it needed to be designed in a way that enabled quick and clean enhancements to be included with minimal fuss.

After searching the web and researching possible programming languages such as Flash, JAVA, Silverlight, C#, ASP and so forth, we finally settled on using standard HTML/Javascript processes. This enables us to run literally on any device supporting a browser, cuts down on the complex processes needed on the client side and throwing in a huge helping of AJAX, enabled us to pull off an OS level feel, right from inside the browser. The AJAX processes also sped up the overall solution to a point that we hadn’t thought possible at the time.

To be clear, Lizzy™ is probably one of the first 100% AJAX solutions found anywhere on the Internet. There isn’t a single thing found in Lizzy™ that isn’t pulled up as needed, including the menus themselves. This is the primary reason you will NEVER press the back button while using Lizzy™.

Next up, we knew that we were not ever going to farm out programming to another country. We wanted our programmers all on staff and in sight so that if a problem were to arise we could deal with it the way it should be dealt with. So NONE of our programming now or in the future will ever be conducted outside of our offices.

To the Clouds!
Cloud computing is everywhere these days. Salesforce.com, Sugar CRM, Amazon, Google, everyone is using it. So what exactly is it? Why is it called a cloud and what are the benefits and downfalls you’ll see if you use it? After a lot of research and soul searching, here is what we came to.

First, its called a Cloud because just like a real cloud you can’t really touch it. Its made up of all sorts of software written by all sorts of people and found all over the world.

Benefits include: you not having to write as much software because someone else somewhere else has already done the work for you. You just tap into what they’ve accomplished and put together a custom package that works just the way you wanted.

However, in reality it isn’t really that simple, and those that have jumped in head first have already discovered it. To help explain lets take a look at a typical development environment. We have 5 developers working together in the same office. Each has their own personality, their own beliefs and their own way of doing things. If any of you reading this have employees of any type you’ll understand where I’m headed. Trying to keep these people working together daily without ever having a problem is almost impossible. Eventually they will have issues with each other and you will have to deal with it. But hey, at least we can all sit down like adults and work through the issues. And of course, in the end, you’re the boss, so you can lay the law down if need be.

Now lets take a look at the Cloud. With the Cloud you have no control over the individual pieces that you’ve used to make up your solution. Which means if the guy from India decides to make a minor tweak to his code to make it run better, it may just kill the interface between it and other applications that you’ve selected to use. Of course you could try to call the guy, but he really could care less of your issues as he works for free and is just doing this out of the goodness of his heart. So its doubtful that you’ll get far with that approach.

So the next step is to hire a developer to help you keep things working together. This works for a while but as you add more modules you find that one developer is not enough and eventually decide that you need to hire a firm of developers to help manage the project. In the end, you have the same issues as before but on a larger scale. Because each piece of the project is designed by different people with not only different beliefs, but different views of life as a whole and that live on different parts of the globe, it becomes overwhelming to try to keep it all patched together. If you think this might not be true then look into why Salesforce.com started an entirely new division of their company just for this purpose.

For these reasons, nizeX, Inc. decided up front that all of our programming and development services would be internal. All of our modules that make up the system were all written 100% by our staff and supported by representatives that work hand in hand with our developers. In the end, this allows us to provide the MOST integrated solution on the Internet today. Our developers touch almost every aspect of the system which insures that if a new element is added to the inventory module, that the Invoicing and Purchasing sections are aware of it and can deal with it.

Our CRM system has access to information in real time with any other module that it needs. From Sales History to Order Shipments. This doesn’t mean we pass information back and forth between modules that require an integration path, it means because they all live in the same domain that they can directly access the real data whenever they need it.

So before you move to a cloud based solution, do the research and give Lizzy™ a try. We’re more than confident you’ll immediately see the difference.

–glenn hancock