|Should I buy an "off-the-shelf" database
or develop one customized for my organization?
If an off-the-shelf program will meet your database needs, then it definitely should be considered. Such a program will offer less flexibility than a customized database, but it will generally cost less. The reason for this is that it is geared for a wider audience of users. This means that it cannot be as specific in addressing each individual user's needs. At the same time, the cost will generally be lower because it's development cost can be spread out over all of the users.
Developing a customized database, on the other hand, offers you both the flexibility and control to make sure that the software matches your organization's needs exactly. Almost every organization with which we have worked has first purchased an off-the-shelf database before coming to Tanabe Systems, Inc. and found that it didn't offer them the needed power and flexibility.