When a small business hires a software developer to create a software package for them they almost never ask what development tools the developer will be using, but they should.
We developers almost always use the development tools we are most familiar with and rightly so. We have invested a lot of time and money in purchasing and learning how to use these tools. But that may be a problem if the developer is using older technology just because that is what he or she knows. At the other end of the spectrum are the developers that use whatever the "flavor of the day" in development technology is hot at the moment.
So, what should the customer look for then when asking this question You should look for tools that have a proven record and most importantly are still being actively revised and expanded to keep pace with the ever changing development environment. Ask the prospective developer which tools they will be using and then do your own research on the internet to see if the tool meets these criteria.
We use Embarcadero’s Delphi product. It has been around for 10+ years and is still being actively developed. There is almost nothing that you can't do with Delphi. When we looked around for a tool to create web applications we chose Elevate Web Builder because it uses the same syntax as Delphi so all of our Delphi knowledge transferred quickly to this tool. We have also embraced the Elevate DB database engine.
In the next installment of this blog post we'll take a look at standard versus enterprise level development tools to see how they affect the choice of which tool to use.