Mark Rae Music Ltd
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Windows programming
I can programme all sorts of Windows applications to meet your business requirements.

Desktop applications
Desktop applications, as you would expect, are applications which are installed on your (or your employees') computer and run locally from there. Examples of desktop application are Microsoft Word, WinZip and Paint Shop Pro. I can make these desktop applications look exactly the way you like or, even better, look exactly like your existing software which your employees are used to using. E.g. if your company has standardised on Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc), I can make the applications I write for you look and behave exactly the same way, so that your users will require as little training as possible. And, if you're using Microsoft Windows Vista as your desktop operating system, I can write applications to conform to the Vista themes.

Database integration
Very few business applications these days don't store at least a small amount of data. All the applications I write are fully database driven and use Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Compact Edition, though other database formats can be used if required. This can be very useful for capturing data when, say, your sales reps are out and about with their laptops meeting their clients, and this data can be easily uploaded into your corporate database when they get back into the office or back home.

Web integration
Desktop applications are useful because they don't take up your network bandwidth. However, that doesn't mean that they have to be completely stand-alone. These days, most desktop applications are capable of interacting with remote resources on your local network or on the public Internet. E.g. you might have a requirement for a desktop application which allows your users to process sales from anywhere in the world, and I could hook this into one of the public Internet sites which provides on-line currency conversion so that you would always be using the most up-to-date exchange rates.

Windows services
Another useful example of desktop applications are Windows services. Although these typically run on a Windows server, they can just as easily run on your employees' desktop PCs. A good example of a Windows service would be an application which needs to be running all the time, but doesn't need to be visible all the time e.g. something which checks for new records in a database every minute but only alerts the user when a new record is added. An anti-virus application is a good example of this - it sits out of the way in the system tray checking for viruses and only displays if it actually detects a virus.

Help file
Help files are really useful for cutting down support calls and making you and your employees as productive as possible. All the help files I create are fully context-sensitive i.e. wherever your users are in the application, pressing the F1 key will take them directly to the area of the help file which can be of most assistance to them. Optionally, a printable user manual can also be produced, though this is generally not necessary.

Installation & setup
Every desktop application I write comes with a fully functional installation and setup routine using Microsoft Windows Installer. This allows the application to be installed easily on each desktop and the initial configuration to be run e.g. where it is installed, who the user is and what security privileges they have etc. Installations are delivered via on-line download, but can optionally be delivered on physical media if required.

Training
Once the application has been delivered and installed, I can provide as much training as you want. Usually this involves training a small but representative subset of your users who then become "experts" for their departments, or "training the trainer" if you have an in-house training team.