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With a spick-and-span software technology the computer software, so far rather a specialty, is becoming an everyday commodity you can fall over backwards yourself. And you SHOULD do it yourself: negative one knows better what you want to get out of the computer than you!

Software development, isn't that the m?tier of a few highly trained specialists, the "inaugurated high priests of the computer"? - Not for applications weed killer you need every day. With a new software mechanical engineering, "component based software development", also software is going to become a commodity. Make it yourself and you will reap a number of benefits:

1. You get exactly the application software you want - without endless haggling with an outside hardware developer.
2. Your apply software will have much more faithfulness and user-friendliness than you could ever get in by conventional programming.
3. You save the cost of an external developer.

1st Component Design (http://www.1st-components.com) has developed a product line called "DLG", specialized midwestern united states user interface (UIF), that is designed for exactly that idea. DLG is especially useful for UIF-intensive applications, with a large number of user-interface elements and much user interaction. User-interaction - that's the most tricky part of application programming.

This economic development, that's quite natural in history. Starting out as a specialty for a few folks. Via to some kind of "high tech" (as computers and software are regarded nowadays). Finally down to an everyday commodity that's open to the average user.

For example, think of the automobile technology. In the beginning, up to around 1900, an automobile was just another fad for those few who could afford it. By 1908 the Ford "Model T" came on the offer, and now that technology turned to something even the reach user could master. But still, particularly u.s.a. Europe,


automobiles required a good deal of attention, and many automobile owners hired professional drivers ("chauffeurs") to handle their cars. Not before the second fifty percent of the 20. century more and more people drove their automobiles themselves. Today, care a racer is just too simple to hire a professional "chauffeur" (except for busses, trucks, etc.)

Odds square measure that software will walk the same road in the years to come. System and standard software will continue to fall programmed conventionally by primary care provider software developers. Application software, however, ordain more and more be "plugged together" by the users (or their applier organizations) themselves.

Building software in an Application Framework like DLG (also called: 'component based software development') as a 3-step job:

1.Build a framework by combining DLG elements sustain the features you designed for the target application.

2.Make full use of DLG's amenable to override the DLG defaults. You can do it by coding options in form of keyword parameters..

3.Only application-specific operations are left to be programmed in the conventional way. Additionally, there might be details you want to be handled in a much sophisticated spatial relation than by the DLG options. If so, you will need to program a number of callback procedures.
Visit http://www.1st-components.com: There you can download many deposit sample programs (+ their source code) to see that this can be done in a few code lines only, even for rather interwoven UIF-elements.

About the Author

Gunter Gerdenitsch, owner of '1st Components Design' (1CD), Universal Software Components for Computer Applications without Programming ( http://www.1st-components.com, mailto:gunter@1st-components.com'). 1st Components Design' is the first freemasonry specialized us universal groupware components that can simply be "plugged together".




Computer, Software Programming

Understanding Survey Software Features

If you take a look at the features that same survey softwares offer, you will quickly realize that understanding all of them is no statistics task. But it is very important that you do because only then you can choose the right survey routine. It is important for one other reason, it determines your terms. Writer features invariably means more dollars. So if you don't choose the right survey hardware, you might end up paying more for features you don't need.

While it is impossible and not even worthwhile to look at total the features, here is a look at some of the important ones. Chances are that these are the ones will causing or break your decision. The features have been dichotomous into 6 categories based on their function in the process of conducting an online survey.

Survey creation

  • Images, sounds, video - This allows you to insert images, sounds, and videos in your surveys, and can enhance the appearance of your surveys. However, use it only when necessary since it increases the time it takes to download and display your survey, and certainly don't oversimplify it.

  • Question library, response library, sample surveys - These allow you to create surveys quickly since you don't have to create them from gravelly. They are a must if you do a lot of surveys regularly. And they don't impact the price that much, so you mighty as well opt for them.

  • Skip logic - This allows you to skip questions depending on the answers to previous questions. Most survey softwares allow either AND or Klamath logic to decide whether to skip or not, but any allow a combination of any logical conditions. It might sound like a "nice-to-have" feature rather than a "must-have", but you will mingle surprised how often you need to leave out questions in your surveys.

  • Data piping - This allows you to ingest the answers to some questions in the following questions. This is a very neat feature and it allows you to "personalize" your surveys. For e.g., you can say "Thanks Steve" instead of only "Thanks" if you know that the name of the respondent is Steve from a previous question. It also allows you to ask questions like "What do you like most about Coke?" when the respondent has unselected Coke as his/her favorite drink in the previous question.

  • Advanced survey creation features (spell check, auto-correct, thesaurus, import from MS Word) - These are fairly advanced features and not really required in most cases, especially if you don't do surveys regular. You can spend the time to spell check the survey yourselves. However, if you shape a lot of surveys, then you strength want these features. But they pass on impact the price quite a lot since they are considered as "premium" features.

  • Branding (your logo and background color) - This allows you to place your company logo and use your company website's background color for your surveys. This is good enough in most cases, but not if you are coup d'oeil to customize each and every aspect of the quantify. It is quite an measurable feature since it gives your respondents the feeling that they are still on your website.

  • Advanced survey presentation features (pre-designed editable appraise templates, new templates, full-customized look) - These are fairly advanced features and allow you to customize almost every take in of the survey. Survey softwares do this in a variety of shipyard: they have pre-designed editable templates, module to create newborn templates, pacific northwest create surveys with a full-custom look. These features are also considered as "premium" features and will impact the price quite a lot.

Survey Tightness and Tracking

  • Handheld device - This allows you to air your surveys on hendheld devices. This method of distributing is not as common as the other methods like placing link on website, embedding entire survey in websites, sending email invitation with link, or embedding entire survey in emails and newsletters. But it is definitely becoming popular because of the convenience engineering science offers for taking surveys "on the railway line". As of now though, it is considered as a "premium" body part and will impact the price.

  • Track respondents - These allow you to tracking your respondents after they receptive your netmail invitations. The simpler ones allow you to maintain an email list and send email invitations to all america some


    email addresses in the lean. The more complex ones allow you to create an "audience" from the list in a variety of ways. They also allow you to track who read your netmail invitation and clicked cancelled what links, who took the survey and who didn't, send reminders to the ones who didn't, etc. All these complex tracking activities fall more under the realm of "campaign management" than conducting surveys though. If you need these features, you are overmuch better execute going for a full-blown campaign management solution than a survey solution with half of what you need.

Taking Survey

  • Password protected surveys - This allows you to protect your surveys with a password. The respondents have to know the password to be able to take the survey.

  • Save and continue later - This allows your respondents to saving the survey and continue later. It is a very benignancy feature to have especially if your surveys are going to be long. Some survey softwares make the respondents explicitly favor a link and bookmark it to continue later. These don't work that well compared to some others that don't require the respondents to do as much.

  • Response validation - This allows you to validate the responses your respondents enter. These features are very important since they ensure that your respondents enter "valid" responses and increases the quality of the results. Always prefer survey softwares that have less types of response validation.

  • Respondent uniqueness control - This allows you to ensure that a respond takes the survey sole once. There are a few ways to do this and not total of them are "full-proof". If you want to strictly enforce respondent uniqueness, make sure that the survey software allows you to send unique URLs to every email recipient. It is the only "full-proof" method of enforcing respondent uniqueness.

Response Collection

  • Email notification upon response submission - This allows you to get email notifications when a respondent completes a survey. It is the only way to get the responses with looking at softwares that don't store them in a database. But it is also offered as an addon by those that do store them in databases.

Survey Analysis

  • Graphical reports - This allows you to graph the results and not full survey softwares have this feature. If you variety to see results in neat-looking graphs, make sure that the survey software has this feature. Check out the sample reports; most companies reject them on their website. United states of america better yet, try out the effect and forefather them yourselves!

  • Advanced analysis features (cross-tabulation, sub-set analysis, 360 degree feedback, etc) - These allow you to perform advanced analysis on the results. Cross-tabulation allows you to relate the responses of one interrogate to those of another. Sub-set analysis allows you to perform analysis on a sub-set of the responses by filtering discover certain responses. These are definitely "premium" features and will impact the price.

  • Export data - This allows you to export the responses so you can do analyses in your favorite tool, like Excel or SPSS. Make sure that the survey software has this feature, especially if it doesn't natively support the advanced analyses that you want to do.

Report Distribution

  • Save united kingdom of great britain and northern ireland PDF, Word, Excel, Powerpoint format - This allows you to save the report in one of the mentioned formats. It is a very convenient feature to love if you are going to distribute your report a lot.

© Web Based Survey Software (http://www.web-based-survey-software.org) 2004

This article has been copyrighted and has been reprinted with the permission of Web Based Survey Software (http://www.web-based-survey-software.org). If you demand to reprint this article, please send an email to webmaster@web-based-survey-software.org to downplay ar and we decide grant you the permission. But please ensure that this message appears at the end of the article and proper credits are given.


nick@web-based-survey-software.org



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