I wrote on Monday about COTS+ in Why you can’t afford to ignore GIS COTS+.  In this blog post we will dig deeper.

How GIS COTS+ save you time and money

Moving down the GIS path and releasing map-centric apps for staff or the public requires 3 key steps:

  1. Planning
  2. Data preparation
  3. Deploying COTS application or developing/deploying a COTS+ application.

Let’s imagine you have conducted your due diligence, have put a plan in place and prepared the data you will need for your GIS mapping application. Next attention turns to the application itself. COTS or pre-built configurable apps should be your first port of call. Is there a COTS application which has been released with your GIS platform which fits your need? Carefully assess what is available, and have your users test potential applications. Then weigh up yours and your users opinions. Do the COTS options on offer provide what is needed?

If yes … you are off to the races.

If no … think COTS+

In our Monday blog post we scratched the surface of COTS+. But COTS+ is a custom COTS app. Putting that differently, unlike a COTS app, COTS+ is not generic with fixed functionality, tools, and workflows.

COTS+ fits exactly your needs. COTS+ is the new way to build custom GIS apps.

COTS+ apps are built on top of an existing configurable framework. That framework is pre-built and supported by a large community or vendor. So no more reliance on long term support from expensive consultants. The framework is also super flexible. Imagine the super structure of a house, one which supports as many or few rooms as you want. The core structure is there, now you decide what you actually want inside.

Now COTS+ apps do require building out. So that will likely mean development help. But, with the super structure already in place, building the interior (using our house analogy) can be done far quicker, and far more cheaply. Rather brilliant.

Want to extend or change the COTS+ app in the future? Again not a problem. Some development might again be needed, depending on your requirements, but a COTS+ app will serve your purposes both today and tomorrow.

Its worth noting, COTS+ is a relatively new approach to custom software development. There are a number of frameworks available which support this approach. Whenever possible, as a GIS development company, we build on top of one of these frameworks.

Have questions about COTS+? Give us a shout on 801.733.0723.

Author: Matt Sheehan

Matt Sheehan is a Principal at WebMapSolutions. Matt evangelizes GIS and location intelligence around the world through keynotes, articles, tweets and his books. Follow him on Twitter:

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