The company takes a synergy-seeking approach to software development: instead of building only client-speciﬁc applications, Infrae develops generic solutions that are useful for multiple parties. If projects can turn into open source products, other users will have a vested interest in future development and maintenance of the software, resulting in sharply reduced IT expenditures for all.
Infrae offers expertise in content management, web authoring, digital asset management, user interface design, and infrastructure. As a group of specialists, Infrae people understand the importance of focus and the advantage of a networked environment.
The company utilizes its extensive business network to bring in experts for tasks that are either beyond its core business or outside its geographic area. This keeps the company agile and flexible, yet capable of navigating the diverse IT landscapes of its clients.
Infrae works with an international range of organizations. See our references for a list. Since most of the customers are distributed over the European continent, Infrae people are expert at remote collaboration. The company’s technical approach and project management are based on the following practices.
Agile development means working in quick iterations, responding to user requests rapidly, while at the same time staying focused on building a well-structured piece of software, and not to descend into ad-hoc solutions that will become hard to maintain and use in the future.
To gather user requirements, Infrae works with use cases. This allows the project team to quickly capture requirements for the software in a clear and understandable way, without getting bogged down by overcomplicated requirements documents. A use case is essentially a story. It’s not technical, which means anybody can read, understand, and amend it.
Inspired by Extreme Programming, Infrae develops its software in fast iterations of continuous updates, remaining flexible in the face of changing requirements and an increasing understanding of the problem domain.
Finally, Infrae people like to learn new things; if somebody doesn’t know about something yet, they'll find out, and soon. To accelerate the process, the company has extensive experience in the use of the network as a key resource during software development.
- Outstanding technology
- Open source software is developed by some of the world’s most accomplished software engineers in business and academia. The developers often have a long experience with, and appreciation of, the art and craft of software construction. This translates into well designed and well engineered software that can be extended and relied on.
- Development speed
- Open source software is often developed at breath-taking speed due to the contributions of many programmers across the world.
- No vendor lock-in
- The software’s continued development does not depend on a single company’s strategy and survival – large open source systems, such as Python and Zope, have a loyal user base of knowledgable developers in many companies across the globe. Intimately familiar with the core of these systems, these developers are cooperating in building the next generation of the software.
- Software that won’t go away
- Some open source systems have a history of literally decades of development behind them. Because of the availability of the source code it will continue to be developed and maintained as long as anyone is interested in it.
- Absence of onerous licensing fees and conditions
- Proprietary software often has high licensing fees or complicated licensing conditions. Open source software comes with liberal licenses, even allowing modification of source code itself, and thus no related worries.
Open Source Experience
Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.
—Lord Acton, historian (1834-1902)
Infrae has a long track record with open source software and a large network of contacts within the global open source development community. The company has contributed to the development of Python, Zope, and Kupu and are therefore very familiar with their internals.
When developing new applications, Infrae developers prefer to abstract out reusable components and contribute them to the open source community, to gain some of the benefits mentioned above for both the software and the customers.
The user interface of Infrae software is considered essential and not an afterthought. The quality of the user interface lies both in the global concepts as well as in the many details, and developers pay attention to both.
Infrae cares about its customers and the software developed for them. The team is passionate about software creation: it should be done right, both on the outside and the inside. It should do what the user wants, do it well, and be understandable and flexible enough to be extended and maintained into the future. Infrae people feel software has an aesthetic, and they have a strong sense of it.