Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Choosing data driven app? Jump start from the right foot.

I've been asked oftentimes what system is better to choose for solving particular task and what system will serve best for each specific need.

So, I’ve tried to summarize the experience personally I had exploring functionality of below listed web-based apps. This is a brief description in alphabetical order:

Your front-end must be completely integrated into your web site? Are you a newspaper? A lot of your competitors are already using Caspio Bridge. You can be the next. If you are curious how MS Access would look if it was completely made on web-browser check out Caspio Bridge.

In case you need easy to use tool for data analysis over the web Dabble DB is your choice. This is not some useless web-based Excel clone, but a system with its own approach and philosophy. I think you’ll like it.

Are you searching for not that expensive solution as Salesforce? Check out LongJump. The system may even surprise with more powerful functionality than Salesforce in some areas. But I guess its complexity makes the system not so good for small business.

Looking for a solution from a mature vendor? Your budget isn’t strictly limited? Want a system with a time tested functionality and opportunity to create a full-fledged app? Try QuickBase. Besides, no developing skills needed.

Want to build a complete application, but QuickBase is too much for your budget? Check out TeamDesk. Salesforce styled interface and robust functionality is there for building a complete solution. If you can write few formulas in Excel, than you'll handle TeamDesk easily.

Looking for something simple to manage a couple of tables? Try TrackVia. Easy to use and learn, but in case you’ll need something more complex in the future, no way to do this within the system. I think the system is a bit costly for such a limited functionality.

Can’t reckon it up: tested not that much. It takes some effort to master a non standard interface though. From the first sight I can tell the WorkXpress is robust enough, but is no Salesforce killer and won’t blow your mind as developers promise.

If you are a programmer or pursue it, but PHP or ASPX scare you try Zoho Creator. Mastering Deluge Script is not easier, but you can do a lot with scripting.

Of course, this is my personal opinion and vendors can disagree at some points. Anyway, it never hurts to take it into consideration in case remarks are really reasonable. Well, we'll see if any...


Due to Treff LaPlante (WorkXpress President & CEO) concern:
"Further, when compared with the other reviews, it places us quite falsely in a negative light. If your intent is to print an incorrect review, then please let it stand; time will reveal the truth. If you acknowledge that maybe others who have spent more time with the platform overcoming the "non standard interface" are seeing some potential here then I encourage you to amend your review to focus on the lack of time you’ve spent with it."

Corrected. We’ll see what time reveals.


  1. Is it strange that not one of the common PAAS engine companies allow for any EDI data formating and VAN connect? If they are going to bandy about the term, "ERP", shouldn't they have the minimum features of rapid replenishment and forecasting?

    Workxpress is spamming the world over a case study, oh what ever!

    No EDI? No ERP.

  2. what am I trying to say here? Should PAAS companies like workxpress be throwing around the acronym 'ERP', by referencing a 2 page paper that was probably paid for?

  3. Hi Allen, as always, i'm happy to connect you with the reference; you have yet to take us up on any of our offers though! You will be pleased to know that another "ERP" application is rolling out over the next 10 days, I'd be happy to connect you with that happy customer as well :).

    Regarding payment, our customer certainly paid us for the product, but the case study was not in any way paid for. As hard as this may be to believe, they are actually quite happy - no programming required! Out of curiousity, do you divulge your financial contributors? Would you like to meet that customer?

    fyi, The case study in question can be found on our WorkXpress website.

    Allen, please keep in mind that we are genuinely focused on solving the customers problems, and enjoy seeing them be successful. I'm pretty certain thats a formula for business success.

    Regarding EDI...what about it? We have customers that use WorkXpress to make and receive EDI transmissions...its not actually a big deal.


  4. The case study was non compensated? Then good for you. It was compiled as a peice of free-lance indistry journalism? Even better.

    That you serve the client - also good for you. That you are a pioneer in hosted services, good for you.

    The you have a client or two that might assign the term ERP to an application that may not compete in the sector as typically defined...well, it's not for me to say whether they attribute the functionality that you deliver as helping them "plan" their enterprise resources! But there are certain benchmarks from the supply chain perspective - forecasting accoring to certian GMP standards, etc.

    As far as EDI and VAN interconnect, EDIINT, and the whole managed commerce sector, its great that you support the X12 standard. Most PAAS does not.

    Will Workxpress be SAAS 70 certified?

    Regarding MY retained clients and fees:

    I am not marketing a service to the public, I am a channel sector analyst servicing software vendors, and few end users. When any of my statements are declaratory of 'fitness for an intended purpose', you bet your ass that I disclose. I also have a client list on my blogs.

    The PAAS companies want businesses that have capital line of business needs to eschew incumnbent architectures, and go the hosted route. My aim is to point out that many PAAS, SAAS, and clound app companies are in no position to offer CLOB services. They are not rated, certified, insurable, underwritable, and are often thinly capitalized.

    Na, Na, Na....before you say that workxpress hasn't taken a dime of VC and that's better because.....x, be careful. Or open you books to to the ISO or the other data center ratings agencies. Voluntary vulnerability tests don't count.

    It's all good. Till the whip comes down in massive outage affecting time sensitive manufacturing order flow or POS data.

    And this goes for all hosted services, Amazon included. Not just workxpress.