Technology Case Studies
Beacon Hill regularly provides services to software companies developing their own commercial software applications. Working with a software development company on a consulting basis requires two important qualities: flexibility and integration. You must be flexible enough to integrate smoothly with a client's team. Quality is of the highest concern when helping to build a component, a section of product, an installation, etc. What is delivered must be at the same level of quality and reliability as the work being done by in-house developers.
Beacon Hill has successfully accomplished such tasks for numerous companies and on many occasions, as is demonstrated by the scenarios listed below.
A popular Internet service for children contracted Beacon Hill to develop their client-side account management and registration wizards and product installation. The company's highly graphical and playful environment required simple and easy-to-use installation, registration and setup components. Rather than attempt development of these components in-house, risking distraction from the core mission, the company contracted Beacon Hill to deliver the high-quality, custom components within a rapid-rate turnaround enabling the company to focus on development of its unique Internet service.
A company known for producing a popular e-mail program developed an add-in component for Microsoft Mail, providing users with the capability for filtering mail messages using rules. Beacon Hill was contracted to develop a server version, providing capabilities to filter user's mail automatically while out of the office. Also, for the same client, Beacon Hill developed a data access add-in for the company's rule language. With data access from the rule language, users can manipulate information from databases in response to e-mail-based events. Both add-ins allowed the company to attract more customers by enhancing the feature set of its base products.
An international retail software company contracted Beacon Hill for development support of its report writer for Windows. Major areas of involvement included the product's DDE interface, Query builder, RTF output, bitmap image support, help system, call-outs to user-defined functions and BASIC macro support. The product exceeded the company's expectations and was a popular retail sale item for more than three years.
Graphical information mapping
Beacon Hill was also contracted by an information mapping company to develop a future graphical interface product for users of the company's formatting solutions. The application presents users with a tree-building metaphor utilizing hierarchical representations of information, ending with information blocks at the tree's leaves. These blocks contain paragraph-like information, which, because of this product, can be stored in a database allowing the map creator to be independent of the block information maintainer. The product is an OLE server application, allowing users to create and build maps within other applications. Its ease-of-use and quality design enable what was once a manual, paper and pencil technique to be accomplished in a systematic way.
Beacon Hill developed an interface from Microsoft Access to English Wizard, supporting the use of natural language queries from within the popular database system. The client, known for its natural language expertise, also contracted Beacon Hill to develop a graphics conversion and support system for the company's web-based application.