The main feature is that resellers can make modifications in any COM-compliant programming language, rather than just the one the original software was written in.
Alistair O’Reilly, managing director of Access Accounts, said this will make the software easier to customise than rival products from Sage or Pegasus.
‘Resellers can use the skills they already have in-house,’ he said. ‘They can use whatever language they choose as long as it is COM compliant. With Sage and Pegasus you have to use the same language the original software was written in, whereas the most popular are Visual Basic, C#, or even Borland Delphi.’
Changes to the software can also be moved to newer versions of the product without having to be rewritten, meaning end users can still take full advantage of upgrades.
‘Modifications are usually restricted to the version they were written for, but with the SDK they can be kept as they are, held in a separate layer outside the source code,’ said O’Reilly.
The SDK is for use with Access Accounts Dimensions and DimensionsLite software, and beta channel partners who have already used it are London-based accounting systems reseller Asyst International, and manufacturing software company Pumasoft, which has used it to incorporate aspects of the products into its own software.
Jonathan Jorgensen, sales director at Asyst International, said the SDK gives the company a better sales pitch by enabling it to push low maintenance, highly customised accounting engines for little extra cost to the user.
‘As soon as you develop a core product there are upgrade issues and it becomes a legacy problem. SDK allows us to do development on an off-the-shelf system without changing the core source code. The key is a much stronger sales position,’ he said.
In its first release, the toolkit allows customisation of every screen within each of Dimensions’ 35 business modules. Standard or customised screens can be embedded in third party applications, while third party code can be incorporated into any part of the Dimensions system.
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