A few times I have been asked at work to decide on whether we should build an application or use something that’s out there already. Unfortunately, it’s never an easy choice for us… On the one hand something can be built that’s geared exactly to what is needed, but nothing else, and it’ll take time to plan, design and build it. Yet on the other hand you can have something that’s already been built so all the designing is not required, but it may have a lot of extra functionality that you have to rip out or things don’t work just as you want it to so will have to alter it anyway.
At this point I bet you’re thinking, “Andy is now going to give us the answer on what the best choice is, you just see…” Actually, no. No, I’m not. I can in all honestly say that I don’t know what the best course of action is. On one side I really favour creating the application myself because then I know exactly how it’ll work. But on the flip side of that, I’ll then have to do all the work and might not be able to put in all the features that are able to go in applications worked on by many people.
I suppose there is no clear winner here as it would probably depend on budget and deadlines, but I thought I’d open it up for debate anyway. Anyone want to comment?