Slide Armen Stein - Owner of J Street Technology - Custom Web Application - 98004 Friendly, practical,
business-savvy developers
Yes, we really do exist. SEE WHAT WE DO
Slide what-we-do Database programmers.
Web developers. Trusted partners.
Our clients depend on us to dive deep into their business issues, re-imagine processes, elucidate strategies, and be totally transparent about costs. They count on us to build reliable systems using the industry’s most bulletproof software. And they fully appreciate that we’re practical innovators who only recommend new technologies when we’re certain they can provide long-term value.
Slide how-we-work A human approach to application development. Let go of that programmer stereotype: introverted, oblivious to budget, and hell-bent on using all the latest gadgets. At J Street, we’re fully plugged in to the human dynamics behind creating successful partnerships and phenomenal solutions. You won’t find anyone that’s better at listening carefully, anticipating issues, and avoiding pitfalls. HOW TO CHOOSE A DEVELOPMENT TEAM Slide our-clients From cruise ships to clogs, we’re into it. Our clients represent an astounding variety of industries. Some have household names; some you’ve never heard of. Some are local; others multinational. There are for-profit businesses, and not-for-profits, too. But they all have one thing in common: Every day, J Street’s solutions help them do what they do even better. WHAT CLIENTS SAY ABOUT J STREET Slide Who We Are - J Street Technology - Custom Web Application - 98004 Engaged. Insightful. Enduring. That’s J Street. We may be some of the most seasoned, business-savvy application developers you’ll ever meet. We also happen to be some of the warmest, most candid, and clear-thinking folks on the planet. Our clients love that about us. We bet you will, too. GET A FREE CONSULTATION

Frequently Asked Questions

Technologies

database is a structured container for all the data related to your business: products, clients, orders, shipments, employees, processes, etc. Each subject, or “entity”, goes into a different table, and the tables are related to each other. For example, a Customer may have many Orders, an Order may have many items, and so on. As long as the tables are related, it’s easy to connect the dots and create a report, for instance, that tells you all Items a Customer has ordered.

The database is often referred to as the “back-end” or BE for short. You can’t actually see the back-end without special software–it’s like the foundation under a house.

An application also called the “front-end” or FE, is the part that you see and use–including screens, forms, lists, and reports—plus the business logic and validation rules that make it easy to view and manipulate the back-end data.

The system is the whole thing: the front-end application and back-end database working together.

When reviewing the back-end, we can tell right away if it has a good design: tables and fields are consistently named, there’s a nice diagram built showing the relationships between the tables, referential integrity is enforced, and there are no repeating or date-specific field names.

We use the Microsoft suite of database software technology. For Web applications, we implement a SQL Server back-end database with an ASP.NET MVC Core front-end, and for desktop applications, we connect a SQL Server back-end to a Microsoft Access front-end. Microsoft Access comes with a free database called ACE—though most people (confusingly) call it Access. An ACE database is capable of handling lots of data and many simultaneous users, however for most business applications we use Microsoft SQL Server. Even the free version, SQL Server Express, offers numerous advantages over ACE in terms of capability, stability, and security.

There are many pros and cons to both web and desktop applications. Web applications have a wider variety of available features and easier offsite access than desktop applications but are more expensive to build.

See our comparison chart or contact us – we’ll ask you some simple questions to determine which kind of system makes sense for you.

Sure, you could, and many people do–but it’s a bad idea. Excel is a great analysis tool, but it’s not good for storing critical business data. A proper database will have better security, reliability, performance, and stability when handling datasets of any significant size.

If need be, you can always export a selection of data to Excel for in-depth number crunching.

Services

That depends on what you need the application to do! If a software package exists that meets your needs, we’re not going to reinvent the wheel. If you need CRM, we’ll suggest Salesforce or Dynamics CRM. If you need accounting software, we’ll suggest QuickBooks. On the other hand, if you, your business, or your industry has unique requirements that cannot be met by off-the-shelf software, it’s time to consider a custom solution.

If you’re unsure whether an application is out there that meets your needs, contact us and we can research the market for you.

Sometimes. If your system uses technologies within our expertise, we’ll take a look at the quality of the underlying code and database and let you know whether we can take it on.

 

No. We’re not that kind of “database company”. We suggest you search for something like “mailing lists for purchase”.

Cost

As with many things in life, it depends. We do custom development projects ranging from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands—occasionally exceeding a million dollars.

With most custom development projects, we do an early discovery phase we call an Architectural Framework, which ranges from a $4K to $12K investment. Completing the Architectural Framework will give you a clear Project Plan with accurate budget estimates, an initial database design, and a Screen Flow diagram that will act as a “road map” of the system.

That’s a good question. Some developers that present themselves as companies are really just one individual working out of their home. These solo developers don’t have many expenses but lack the advantages of a full team. Others are just getting started and have less experience, so they charge a lower rate since it might take them longer to build your system. Studies have shown that a good developer can produce results 5-10 times faster than a mediocre developer. So in the long run it is often better to pay an experienced developer’s higher hourly rate than to hire someone who is cheaper per-hour but may take a long time to finish building your system.

It’s awesome that you know what you want. Maybe you even have system specs written down, or diagrams prepared by another vendor. These things will really help, but there’s no way to know everything in advance. We’ve found that new details and complexity always come up during discovery, design, and construction.

To that end, in order to cover our risk of a project becoming more complex or taking longer, we would need to quote a higher amount. Even then, a fixed-bid developer would have an incentive to finish the project in as little time as possible. Because of these misaligned incentives, among other reasons, we think fixed bid software projects are a bad idea.

Nope. We only charge for the time we spend on your project. Everything is delivered to you (including the source code) with no ongoing fees or license costs.

The only exception is if your application needs web or database hosting, which will have a recurring monthly cost.

“J Street has an edge over any other development companies we’ve worked with. They have an uncanny ability to quickly understand your business.”

Charles Varah
President of Big Summer Golf

J Street Tech

The J Street team is comprised of about a dozen people, including a system architect, software design analysts, programmers, a tech support/testing specialist, a project manager, and an office manager.

Most of the team works near Seattle, WA.

Armen founded “Armen Stein Consulting” in 1994, then renamed the company to J Street Technology in 1997. Armen’s wife, Lori, came up with the name after the street they lived on when they were first married and where Armen got his first technology job. They agreed that the apartment on J Street was just what they needed at the time; pragmatic and practical with no unnecessary frills –just like the database applications we build!

Methodology

Many people think that they need to prepare complicated specification documents, design their database, sketch out the application, or reorganize all of their business data before we can get started. If you’ve done any of those, we can certainly benefit from the work you’ve put in—but it isn’t necessary. All we need is some time with you to ask you about your business and what you need your system to do. From there, we can begin designing your database and ironing out desired features.

Nope. We’ll still need to go through the Architectural Framework process with you to get a more complete understanding of what you’ll need. Just like when designing a house, we’ll need to prepare all of our plans and blueprints before construction in a consistent and standardized format.

Perhaps. Computer science, however, is a massive field with a ton of specialization, so their experience may not be the right kind to build a high-quality database application.

Here’s an analogy: You may know someone who’s handy with power tools, and they may do a great job of refurbishing furniture or making quick repairs to their home, but you wouldn’t ask them to build a whole house from the ground up.

Many of the calls we receive are from companies that need us to take over from a novice developer; they were unhappy with the quality of the work product, the project was never completed, or the developer has dropped communication entirely. Usually, we need to start over from the beginning.

The time a system takes to build can vary, based on size and complexity. Most simple systems can be completed in weeks, while more complex systems may take several months.

You do! Our Master Service Agreement (‘MSA’) covers this in fine detail, but in summary: We reserve the right to reuse common code and underlying system architecture practices, but you own the system, including source code. That means you have the right to maintain and alter the code yourself, or even hire a different company to support your system (though that would make us sad.)

We're experts in:

  • ASP.NET MVC
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Microsoft Access & Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)
  • Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
  • JavaScript & jQuery
  • XML & Web Services
  • Quickbooks custom integration and programming
  • Office 365

Our Credentials

President Armen Stein has earned the Microsoft MVP Award every year since 2006. That tells you something about his passion for technology.
Microsoft Partner logo - J Street Technology - Custom Web Application - 98004

In fact, the whole J Street crew shares his commitment. We’ve proven that by earning some of our industry’s most prestigious certifications. As a Microsoft Certified Partner, we have access to the latest technology, tools, and support 24 x 7 x 365.