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Source: http://www.netstorm.no/Consulting/Competencies.aspx
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Mastering a productive set of technologies

We are continuously striving to enhance our competencies. It is important that we understanding the inner workings of a carefully chosen set of technologies, to be able to choose wisely and advise our customers accordingly, in a rapidly changing world of computing. And of course, we have to be productive and at the same time assure quality. We are intimate with a widely established and preferred set of technology platforms, development environments and tools. We will continue our focus on the tightly connected products and platforms, described in the following, that have gained tremendous popularity in the enterprise markets and elsewhere.

 

The .NET platform

ASP.NET using the C# language has been the basis of most our projects since its birth in 2001. Some say that .NET (dotNET) is Java-done-right. We chose ASP.NET as primary development platform over server-based Java, because of outstandingly promising Rapid Application Development (RAD), and we never needed to look back. We think the dotNET community is right in claiming that ASP.NET can be used for any project in traditional Java territory. Not delving into a discussion about platform choice for giant projects like the amazon.com web, what matters to us and our customers is that, using dotNET, we are able to do agile development projects quicker, at a considerably reduced cost. All while delivering features and quality as good as any, or better, for custom enterprise applications or demanding Line-of-Business (LOB) products.

Most our dotNET projects are ASP.NET, for either web applications or web services. We also do a number of Windows services, and Windows Forms applications now and then, usually these are associated programs to support our web apps/services. And we have been making Silverlight applications, typically for SharePoint/intranet purposes. Finally, we have a few apps for Windows Phone, as this is virtually the same XAML-platform as Silverlight. (although our current mobile platform strategy still is ASP.NET, using libraries to optimize for various screen resolutions, now seemingly moving into HTML5)

 

SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server is a clear case for a dotNET companion. Although we have enhanced Oracle support for some of our projects, we still have primary focus on improving and maintaining skills for SQL Server development. Put simply, we are in control of new features of new SQL Server versions before dealing correspondingly with new versions of other DBMSs. It's partly because SQL Server already is the database platform of choice for most of our customers, but also because it's our preferred DBMS for our most frequent types of projects. Features, flexibility and performance is at top, while keeping costs significantly down - just like dotNET.

Our most frequent use of SQL Server is with our ASP.NET applications, being the data storage and processing backbone. We are also developing applications using services provided with the SQL Server product, like Reporting Services, Integration Services and Analysis Services, for purposes in the realms of Data Warehouse (DW) and Business Intelligence (BI). Finally, we offer complete management of SQL Server installations, although mainly in cases where we provide applications.

 

SharePoint

Microsoft SharePoint has become an increasingly popular and widespread backbone for collaboration and document management, powering intranets and occasionally public webs.
Built on dotNET, for dotNET. For us, this is indeed a familiar server application platform. And for more than 60% of our customers, already a chosen platform!

We are primarily a software development company, but in the case of SharePoint we have made efforts to be able to offer a full range of services:

  • SharePoint Enhancement: Boosting the standard user interface and adding data visualization like charting.
  • Development Business Intelligence (BI) applications, using ASP.NET or Silverlight.
  • Development of ASP.NET or Silverlight modules, to extend collaboration and document management features.
  • Configuration and setup for your organization's needs
  • Installation, maintenance and consulting for production environments
  • Internet hosting of small to medium sized SharePoint installations
 

Sitefinity

Telerik Sitefinity is the Web Content Management System of our choice. A common opinion is that most common web CMSs are either easy to use taking care of content, while having a too lean feature set, or they are just the other way around, also including a seriously big price tag. And if you ever need to add custom development to a web, to make your business stand out, or take care of non-standard tasks, you would normally have to go for the pricy systems. And you end up with bits and pieces that would complicate future changes to your web.
However, standing out as the exception, it appears to us and numerous developers and profiled international companies, that Sitefinity actually avoided all pitfalls mentioned.

The ASP.NET based Sitefinity actually provide a subset of features that are common to SharePoint. However, they use a different approach, have different strengths, and while they could be applied for the same purposes, they rarely are.
Rule of thumb: SharePoint is a great backbone for collaboration and document in management medium and large organizations. If you can't deploy SharePoint by adding content and configuration alone, but instead might need more than just a little custom development, then consider Sitefinity. The same applies if you need a modern data-intensive public web with all sorts of features. This is Sitefinity territory.
Anyway, you will not really get stuck with a choice of SharePoint or Sitefinity. The products are ready to be nicely integrated, should you ever end up with both. And we have decided that we will continue our pursue to provide the best services and expert knowledge for both platforms.

Sitefinity offers an outstanding set of features right out of the box, including rich interactivity and user friendly editing of pages and templates, efficient taxonomy, storage and mashup of any content item, and complete modules for newsletters, blogs, forums, eCommerce, CRM interaction, notification services, social media connectors, web analytics and use a complete set of enterprise-ready features like customizable workflows for editing and publishing.

We offer all services relevant to Sitefinity projects, including design, development, project management and support. It turned out that our experience with ASP.NET was just what we needed, for rapid development of modules that securely turns your Sitefinity installation into almost anything you want!

 

And more..

As you already have seen from the above, we apply server products for nearly all user applications as well. Putting the nitty-gritty on the server side efficient, stable, accessible and simply what people demand these days. To further meet requirements of companies requiring maximum productivity, we have been integrating applications with several other popular server technologies, using products that we otherwise are familiar with, in terms of deployment, configuration, running and maintenance.

Windows Server

We have been setting up and running both simple and complex Active Directory networks using Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and all versions back to WS2000. For enterprise environments our applications have integrated with Active Directory, to utilize organization and user data.

Windows Azure (The cloud)

All projects we do from now on using ASP.NET, SQL Server or Sitefinity (see all above) are compatible with Azure, but not necessarily tested and optimized for the platform. The latter is a separate service. We can also convert and port almost all customer systems from the same basis, that is, "taking it to the clouds". We are of course offering project management and advisory services in this context, and later all management at the Azure cloud.

 

Exchange Server

If you are running Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 SP1 or later we can assist you with enhancement through development, using the Exchange Web Services Managed API and Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Web Services SDK, putting command to a .NET application or even your SharePoint installation - should your company and/or users ever want to have more control of the messaging workflow or any bits and pieces of Exchange. At the same time, why not make us use the Exchange Server 2010 SP1 Outlook Web App Customization SDK to make Outlook Web App special for your organization? Our development services for Exchange can also assist you in controlling the transport behavior using the Transport Agents SDK.
We usually don't put a lot of effort into announcing our services for Exchange. But please feel free to ask us, in particular if your company also is interested in any of the above services.

 

See also