What to do when onCourse is almost, but not quite, what you need…
We understand that onCourse cannot solve every problem for every type of college or school. We write features to suit the customers we already have and those in sectors we think are most appropriate for the product. But all software development involves making decisions about which features we work on now and which wait for a future release.
If onCourse needs some additional functionality to suit your needs you should start by letting us know:
Our response might be one of:
- “That feature already exists, but is known by a different name, or you can do what you want with the existing features in a way you haven’t thought of.”
- “That’s a pretty good idea and we are already working on it since we’ve been asked for it a few times. It should be available to you at no cost soon.”
- “That’s a pretty good idea but hasn’t been demanded much from our clients. It might be a little while before we get to it.”
- “That idea, while useful to you and maybe some others, doesn’t really fit our product strategy at the moment.”
You don’t know until you ask. And the more people who ask for a particular feature, the more likely we are to implement it soon.
Finally, we do take ‘paid-for’ feature requests from many of our clients. The way that works is that for a negotiated fee we implement specific features. Perhaps that is integration with a specific accounting system, or a peculiar timetabling need, custom reports or some other zany (but useful) idea. This fee gives you:
- control over the implementation timetable
- control over the functional specification
In most cases we like to implement features which are then available to all clients, not just the one who funded it. This benefits you since onCourse then remains as one (unforked) application drastically reducing our programming workload. In our own time we can continue to build upon the feature you funded for the benefit of all our users (including you).
Of course, we always reserve the right to refuse new features if they don’t fit in with what we are trying to achieve. But (as above), you don’t know until you ask.