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Building Applications at the Speed of Thought

by Tom Kennedy | insiderPROFILES

January 1, 2011

Sometimes tradition is good, but not when it comes to application development. The traditional methodology is slow, tedious, and inflexible — not to mention complex. But the new CranSoft Software Development Kit from BackOffice Associates is designed to solve these problems and give business users more control in the application development process. The company’s CTO, Tom Kennedy, provides a thorough overview of the application and its various benefits for SAP customers.

Traditional application development can be a complex process involving database administrators, software engineers, designers, web developers, and business users. Requiring months just to write specifications and prototypes, the traditional development methodology is slow and opaque to the business users. Often, the users’ requirements are altered, misunderstood, or even omitted. The application development process is also tedious, inflexible, and can result in a great deal of unnecessary code as well as inconsistent user interfaces.

To solve these problems and give business users more control in the application development process, BackOffice Associates has now made available its proprietary application development platform, the CranSoft Software Development Kit (SDK). The CranSoft SDK is the foundation of the entire BackOffice Associates product suite. CranSoft is a web-enabled, multi-lingual, Unicode-enabled platform for both strategic and tactical applications; CranSoft supports the creation of rich Internet applications without requiring developers to write or generate code. Using CranSoft, developers and business users can more effectively collaborate to prototype, build, and maintain enterprise applications, without having to write specifications or rely on cumbersome programming tools.

An Intuitive Platform for Application Development

The CranSoft SDK is a broad, robust, all-encompassing application development environment that allows users to quickly and efficiently create web-enabled applications to support any business process. All applications built on the CranSoft platform inherit several hundred enterprise features, including an intuitive process workflow, a multi-tiered environment for development and change management, multi-lingual and localization support, background processing support for large data sets or long-running tasks, native and custom authentication and authorization processes, and historical change auditing.

cConnect CranSoft application
  cConnect, an example of a CranSoft application

cConnect, an example of a CranSoft application, is an internal collaborative application for collecting and distributing questions to subject matter experts (see figure above). Answers are monitored, tagged, audited, and ranked. They are also automatically emailed to any user who subscribes to the tag. This application was built in a matter of days by a business user who identified the need for knowledge sharing and understood the ideal process flow to ensure maximum participation. No coding was required.

CranSoft is built on top of the Microsoft .NET platform so it leverages open web standards, such as HTTP and SSL for communication, SMTP for workflow, and XML for persistence and interoperability. Application data is stored in a traditional relational database management system (RDBMS) and accessed using industry standard SQL. In addition, this data can be exported to various formats, including plain text, CSV, XML, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel files.

Benefits of Using the CranSoft SDK

Using the CranSoft SDK to develop applications means that:

  • Business users can more effectively collaborate in the development process
  • The development process is much faster
  • There is no coding required and no code is generated
  • The resulting applications are easy to maintain and modify
  • All resulting applications have a consistent look and feel
  • The development is business-process oriented
  • Developers can work remotely, using any system without installing any software, due to CranSoft SDK’s intuitive web interface

For more information on the CranSoft Software Developer Kit, contact BackOffice Associates, LLC, at

Tom Kennedy

Tom Kennedy is Founder, Chairman, and Chief Technology Officer of BackOffice Associates, LLC, a leading provider of ERP data migration and data governance solutions for Oracle, SAP, and other leading ERP solutions. Concentrating on enhancing ERP data quality since 1996, the company’s products and services are a recognized best practice for businesses using Oracle, SAP, and other solutions. BackOffice Associates delivers the industry’s only “Boring Go Live” process for uneventful ERP implementations. For data governance solutions, BackOffice Associates is the choice of customers who require “Business-Ready Data Every Day.” BackOffice Associates is a global corporation headquartered in Massachusetts with additional offices in the US, Europe, Asia, India, Australia, and Mexico. Company information is available at

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