Jorge Rodriguez, principal at Knowledge Management Associates, Inc., Waltham MA, was all too well aware of these requirements when he wanted to update KMAâ€™s popular Mekko Graphics software.
offers dozens of business charts and graphs that integrate seamlessly with Microsoft PowerPoint, and is the kind of tactical, high-ROI application that usersâ€"in this case, thousands of financial and management consultants worldwideâ€"grow to depend upon, and passionately bond with.
knew that any upgrade would not only have to offer users significant improvements over the current versionâ€"otherwise, they wouldnâ€™t upgradeâ€"but that the upgrade process itself would have to be executed near-flawlessly, with lots of input from, and testing by, users.
had originally been written in Visual Basic, and, at the time Rodriguez
was pondering the upgrade, the code had already been reworked numerous times.
It made sense, therefore, to build the application from scratch on a more modern platform--.NET to be specific.
Rodriguez called in Michael Stiefel., principal of Reliable Software, Inc., Brookline, MA, and author of Application Development Using C# and .NET , to serve not just as an architect and developer for the project, working in partnership with KMAâ€™s own development team, but also as a consultant and trainer.
Using the Platform to its Fullest Extent
selected .NET because it offers an improved development process and allows the creation of more robust, and more easily maintained, applications.
Many of these benefits were apparent from the very beginning of the development process, he
says. â€œWe could see that it provided a better way of architecting, and a better way of coding and testing.
Stiefel also assisted KMA
in developing application features that would have been difficult to achieve using other development platforms, including a highly-popular â€œundoâ€ capability that allows users to step back through entire graphical scenarios. â€œThis is something the users really loved,â€ Rodriguez
Stiefel was also instrumental, Rodriguez
says, in developing Mekko Graphicsâ€™ version identification capabilityâ€"a very important feature in a â€œlong-lifeâ€ product with which many users have been creating their own objects going back as far as ten years. â€œHe helped us create an environment and infrastructure within the product that enables us to handle multiple versions,â€ says Rodriguez. â€œMekko Graphics can now handle objects created with all past versions of the product AND will also be able accommodate those objects into the future.â€
Stiefelâ€™s primary contribution, according to Rodriguez, was being, â€œa good thinker and a good architect who was always pushing us towards the direction of making things clear and clean.
Weâ€™re always challenging each other, and he