I’m a developer, so I’m usually arguing that building custom is better. Most of the time. For me, I just hate to see a client invest in some bloat-ware that’ll slow down the works. One of the top benefits of custom development is that you only have to build out the features you want. And that’s usually way, way “lighter,” so to speak, than buying into some larger tool. Those large tools can have pretty big costs (e.g., special server needs and administrators when just an ordinary shared-host LAMP stack will suffice if you avoid bloat). I do think that this whole discussion is becoming less divisive than before, now that most larger online companies offer solid APIs. With those, a developer can kind of live in both worlds — let them, you know, run their business on Zoho or something, yet do their reporting on some other server where you can just pull in the data via the API & do whatever you like with it. Anyway, nice article!

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Web guy at ArrayWebDevelopment.com; author of books & blogs. See: JPDbooks.com.

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