We're not a software company
During a call to a tech support person from a bone density scanner company, the tech replied "We're not a software company" to my query about the poor performance of their software. I'm glad we were listening on a speaker phone, because I have witnesses to that statement. What refreshing honesty. Of course, I didn't disagree. [:(]
An illustration of their product's inefficiencies was their creation of a quality control (QC) extract. My client called me that the QC extract process was taking so long to complete (several hours) that they had to stop the process in order to resume patient scanning or end-of-day operations. I looked at the process and discovered that the vendor's process was doing the following:
- copy the MSAccess97 database (around 90MB), including tables they didn't need
- loop through the records in every table, deleting the non-QC data
This was clearly a WTF condition. Not only did the process run way too long, but the resulting MSAccess97 database (90MB) contained mostly deleted (patient data) rows. I don't want to think about the possible HIPAA violations.
I created my own solution that runs in about 20-40 seconds resulting in a 1.8MB database that only contains the QC data. The user is quite happy. They can almost fit the QC database on a regular floppy disk.
- make a copy of empty template database, containing only the four tables with QC data
- attach the tables of this database copy
- execute four Insert SQL statements to append just the QC data
I fully understand. We manufacture controllers Our software for them is terrible (been around for years and noone wants to take the time to update them). The answer... "We are a hardware company not a software company." How convenient, except for the fact that you cannot use our equipement without the software to program it.
Got to love it.