Guidelines for Choosing a Computer Language:|
Support for the Visionary Organization
Appendix E: Cost Factors
The following cost factors are used in Table 4 in the main document. They are defined below, along with a discussion of why they are important to the cost considerations.
Purchase of product – the purchase cost of the software development tool(s).
This is an obvious cost, but it should only be considered if the product, or additional licenses for the product, must be purchased. Be sure to consider enough licenses for all who will need to use them. Also consider whether the products will be used by individual workstations or across a network.
Maintenance on product – the cost of maintenance on the product for the expected duration of use.
The purchase of maintenance ensures support for problems that arise with the product. It usually also includes upgrades to the product as they become available. Upgrades can be a very important way to resolve problems that impact the ability to use the product as anticipated.
Training – the cost to train personnel to use the tool(s) (including learning the language, if necessary).
The cost for adequate training for personnel to learn to use tools properly should not be underestimated. People should also not be expected to use tools that assume background knowledge they do not have. Additional training and/or education may be necessary to properly prepare personnel for the job they will be expected to perform.
Installation – the cost to install the tool(s), including check-out.
The more elaborate a tool set, the more time and effort will be necessary to get it properly set up and checked out. System configurations may need to be altered, and all functions of the tool set should be checked out for ease of use as well as proper functionality. Some of this process may require help from the vendor.
Additional hardware needed – the cost of additional hardware (including things such as networking cables) required by the specific tool(s).
It is important that this be considered as a possibility from the very beginning. All products should come with a specification of the hardware necessary for them to run. This is easy to check. The biggest problems usually arise with special needs, such as special cables needed for the configuration that will be used.
Additional software needed – the cost of additional software (including operating systems, networking software, etc.) required by the specific tool(s).
It is very important to determine the compatibility of all the tools with each other, as well as with the system software. If the output of one tool is expected to be used as input to another, a conversion of format may be required. Conversions may also be required if information will be exchanged across a network.
Additional people needed – the cost of additional personnel (over the lifetime of the project) required by the specific tool(s), to the extent that such personnel would not otherwise be employed by the organization for use with other candidate tool sets.
Some tool sets may be far superior to others in capability, but they may also require people with different skills or different educational backgrounds in addition to existing project personnel. It is usually reasonable to bring in new people with the desirable level of education and training. However, any extra expense for these people, who would not be used on a project except for the requirement of a particular tool set, should be considered as a part of the cost of using that tool set.
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