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Over the years there has emerged a large number of specialised GIS focused companies who build both web and mobile applications based on customer requirements. But there has in recent times been a fall away in demand for custom GIS development. The emergence of configurable off the shelf (COTS) apps has impacted the custom development market, forcing many to reconsider business models and alliances.

Custom GIS Development Roaring Back

The good news is that we see this as a blip rather than long term trend. COTS web and mobile apps are generic and that will always be their weakness. The recent popularity of COTS is driven by the fact that they are often part of many GIS platform subscriptions. They remain a great way to get started with GIS. But inevitably, since they are generic, many do not fit the workflows or provide all the functionality required by organizations. Longer term that is potentially problematic.

Most COTS applications are designed to do one thing well: collect data, citizen feedback, navigation etc. Configuration options are often limited. More flexible solutions have emerged over the years such as the Geocortex product. These can be modified to provide a more custom solution, but that can be both difficult and expensive.

For those in need of a GIS web or mobile app which best fits their needs, the emergence of COTS+ is a big deal. COTS+ both compliments generic COTS apps, and is an excellent alternative to expensive solutions like Geocortex. So what is COTS+?

Think of COTS+ as a pre-assembled framework. Let’s use a building a analogy: the foundations and super structure is in place, its up to you to decide the internals of the house: number of rooms, function, look and feel of each room. Unlike a building, with COTS+ you can change the internals whenever and however you wish. Today the COTS+ app might be used for offline data collection, tomorrow configured (or modified) and used for asset management.

We prefer Javascript based GIS COTS+ solutions. Javascript is a language which is easy to work with and is open, meaning clients are not locked into relying on one GIS vendor. We build COTS+ web apps which are responsive, that means applications which run on all devices: PC, laptop, mobile. Maps and map layers are easy to configure and add to the application. Widgets drive the functionality: work orders, reporting, measure, draw etc.

Light-weight, custom, simple, low cost, super flexible that is how we describe the COTS+ approach to custom GIS solutions. Thanks to COTS+ custom GIS development is roaring back!

Contact us to find out more about COTS+

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Author: Staff Writer

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