It makes more sense for agencies to invest in new solutions, rather than spend significant time and money to maintain older software. Microsoft solutions, like the .NET framework, are designed to be easier and less costly to maintain. It is also easier to find staff trained to administer Microsoft solutions more than any other platform available today. There are large user communities for Microsoft and plenty of helpful resources for administrators. And since most other applications in use at agencies are typically Microsoft-based, agencies are able to keep a smaller, more highly-focused IT staff.
The hardware for Microsoft-based solutions is often less costly to purchase and maintain. The Microsoft.NET platform utilizes the widely popular Microsoft SQL Server database, like many other everyday applications. This makes .NET applications ideal for agencies interested in platform consolidation.
Microsoft.NET applications are also easily updated because they are designed to take advantage of remote software deployment. Instead of installing applications and updates on each individual computer, software can be pushed through from the client-server. This saves significant time for law enforcement agencies because individual workstations automatically check the server for updates and download them without disrupting users. Microsoft.NET applications also have built-in features that ensure updates and new installations do not interfere with previously installed software.
For agencies worried about information security, .NET applications may be the answer. The design of the Microsoft.NET framework is meant to address many common software security concerns. By choosing to develop solutions using the Microsoft-provided framework, public safety software providers leverage many valuable built-in tools including a proven security model.
These benefits, and many more, of the .NET framework demonstrate how the foundation of your public safety software determines the flexibility, stability and future of your mission critical solutions. Of course, with all of the technology available today, the Microsoft.NET foundation is not the only software platform to choose from. When selecting new public safety software, there are many solutions built on several different development frameworks, including older mainframe systems and Java open source frameworks.
Understanding your agency's needs and matching them to the features and known benefits of the software options you are faced with will lead your agency to the right technology. For agencies seeking a state-of-the-art, user-friendly solution that is reliable, scalable, and provides seamless integration to other applications — the Microsoft.NET platform may very well be the best option.
Technology in law enforcement is constantly advancing, especially as public safety software solutions become even more critical to safety and homeland security efforts. The solution you select will need to work for you for 10 to 15 years. Make sure the investment you make today will continue to grow and develop as technology evolves — without a high cost to you.
Sarah Bajek is the Marketing Specialist at New World Systems. She is responsible for researching and communicating about new public safety industry trends, as well as managing the public relations of the Company. New World Systems is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, committed to providing integrated public safety solutions for more than 26 years.