Pleasantly surprised

The article "Another name for tools vendor" (November 15, page 38) pleasantly surprised the development team at Brisbane-based software development tools supplier inteRAD Technology, by showing just how superior our technology is to that of our major global competitor.

Borland has led the software development tools market for many years, and is well respected by developers around the world. But inteRAD's build-IT, a Java-based cross-platform development environment which facilitates rapid program construction via component assembly, already delivers the objectives David Intersimone lists in the last paragraph of the article.

Object-oriented programming is not only the "flavour" of the past couple of decades, but is essential to achieve productivity in software development. The article states that Intersimone believes the next step for development platforms is to create a method of reusing objects from existing projects for new applications. He also says "At the moment it's a manual process, but people are working on the specifications and tools to take out objects from existing projects and put them in a resource library." Perhaps (sadly!) it's a manual process for Jbuilder users - but certainly not for users of inteRAD's products. Our unique Component Utilization Portal sets new standards for software component reuse and fully automates the process of transferring components from an application to a library and into new applications. A component implementation process that takes hours using Jbuilder can be completed in under 10 minutes with build-IT!

Unlike any other development tool, build-IT provides the option of totally visual back- end logic development using drag'n'drop technology.

Our tests show this produces an average 700 per cent productivity gain over competing products - including Jbuilder, which requires developers to tediously cut syntax level code to add programming logic. Of course we retain complete freedom for developers to code and appropriate control over the source code. And, like Borland, we avoid proprietary technologies and provide support for all industry standards.

The ability to build applications visually, then view automatically generated, fully optimised Java code makes build-IT the ultimate aid for use in education. Our unique visual technology has enabled students as young as 12 to achieve outstanding results in software development education programs. The visual methodology lets students achieve rapidly, building confidence and enthusiasm - and it shifts the focus of learning from the rules of syntax to the important concepts of design and structure. A full- featured professional tool suited to mission-critical development tasks, the product imposes no limitations on advanced students and provides the flexibility to teach a wide range of industry-standard skills and technologies. It also equips students with the knowledge needed to switch to other development languages or tools readily if required.inteRAD is proud of this all-Australian product which is setting new standards in software development technology. And we are delighted to read articles which make it evident that Borland is struggling to deliver the technological advances we have already supplied to the global marketplace.

Lorraine Cobcroft

CEO, inteRAD Technology

Hard to take seriously

I am writing in response to your cover story on (22 November). Is this a good thing for the reseller industry? Here is a company run by experienced people from within the industry blatantly advertising Microsoft OEM OS products to all and sundry in their services section.

They know and we know that it is illegal to supply the OEM OS without the motherboard and hard drive as per Microsoft's agreement.

By putting up a statement saying that they are not responsible for the distribution of pirated or illegal products, it doesn't change the fact that they are doing something that is wrong and their own experience tells them that it is wrong.

How can we take them seriously as a legitimate enterprise when they can't follow the most basic of rules in the computer industry.

Ian Grieve

Don Quixote Software

Shabby treatment

My staff and I read your publication each week with keen interest, and though we are a smaller company, we identify with the problems many of the mid-size companies seem to face. I have mixed with many other industries through my company's role as a hardware and network supplier and integrator, and one thing stands out from my conversations with other industries. The reseller channel is generally treated poorly by the traditional suppliers in every way imaginable. No other industry would treat its customers as we are generally treated, and the main gripes are these:

1) Lack of courtesy by representatives, channel managers, product managers or whatever they are called at any particular time. This includes not returning calls even when told the matter is urgent, broken commitments unless these are made in writing, and even then, loose interpretation of what was agreed. In an industry where we supposedly have such excellent tools for communications, it seems the supplier chain hides behind job descriptions and meetings which take precedence over customer needs.

2) Lack of coordination of resources, such as available evaluation stock, current brochures, out-of-date Web sites and technical knowledge by those who do make themselves available.

3) Lack of standards in how information is presented, probably as a result of the above two items.

It is extremely difficult for the smaller operation to get accurate information even on many current products. Perhaps this is less of a problem for the larger companies, but an endless round of calls on hold and unanswered e-mails makes quoting and formulating configurations frustrating and time consuming. Add in a time zone difference or a critical supplier staff member having leave or falling sick and we find ourselves constantly skating to meet deadlines for quotations.

Here in Adelaide, based in an outer suburb, we find our operation the victim of national freight deals which disadvantage us, and which again further lower our margins by us often having to pay more to counteract sloppy in-house freight despatch procedures. Why is it that we can always record a consignment note number and time of collection for our freight, yet many national suppliers with their barcode scanners and multitude of staff are incapable of tracking an urgent consignment.

The supplier's answer is for us to hold more stock, and we, like most companies, would gladly do this if, like other industries, we were informed in advance so that we could quit superseded items before the industry labels them as no longer desirable. Having taken a financial bath several times when suppliers misled us about a product's life span, we now depend on the distributors to carry the stock while we sell it. This was, after all, supposed to be their role in the chain. We have global software houses such as Network Associates, who cannot find the time to talk to us or assist with technical issues relating to their products, but can find staff and resources to approach our clients directly with discounted offers.

Many of the suppliers know that I and many other dealers are unhappy with them. We are generally nice people but find ourselves drawn to anger by the cavalier approach these suppliers show towards us. Their attitude seems to be that if you are not happy, then go elsewhere, but this is costly and time consuming to change.

Name and address withheld

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