Calculate the procurement cost of Web reporting tool



Generally, Web reporting tool accounts for about 10% of a software
development project. In recent 2 years, it showed an increasing trend.
According to my own projects, the cost of Web reporting tool can reach
20% at most. However, in calculations below, we still use 10% as a
standard, and assume the cost of each man-month as $2,500.

Take a $100,000 software development project for example, then the
procurement cost of Web reporting tool is $10,000. As the cost of each
man-month is $2,500, it needs 4 employees to accomplish the report. In
a practical project, there are several ways to split this $10,000.

1. Integrators' previous code accumulation + Programmers'
customization according to project.
In short, it is pure manual coding. It can be classified into 2
A. Based on integrators' previous code accumulation, customize
according to project directly.
B. Look for an open source reporting software, and amend it according
to requirement.
This can reduce programmers' workload and latter maintenance cost to
some extent. However, your development will be limited by the open
source reporting software. Besides whether product information and
APIs are all included, bugs of the open source reporting tool will
drive you crazy.
These 2 ways do not involve the cost of reporting tool. Its advantage
is that developers can control programs completely, and the
development cost is intuitively. However, its disadvantages are as
1) If the report requirement is high, programmers' workload will be
very heavy.
2) Report developing is inefficient.
3) Latter maintenance cost is higher. If a client wants to modify a
report, he has to ask the developer for service. Then, it will involve
the problem of money.
In practice, these 2 ways are usually used in small and medium

2. Web reporting tool + Programmer development.
The advantages of using a reporting tool are as follows:
1) Improve developing efficiency.
2) Save time, and shorten construction period.
3) Latter maintenance is convenient.

There are a great number of reporting softwares available in the
market now. Then, how to choose a Web reporting tool which can satisfy
the project requirement and control the cost reasonably?
In my opinion, you should choose your Web reporting tool according to
the principle below:
It should reduce the workload of report developing for at least 50%,
and cut down the total development cost for about 1/3.

According to the example above, it needs 4 man-month to make the
report. With a Web reporting tool, it only needs 2 man-month to do the
job. Add the procurement cost of the reporting tool, you only need
about $6,000 to accomplish the job which costs you $10,000.

You can compare several famous reporting tools, such as Crystal
Report, RAQ report, and BIRT, etc. Then, you can make your own choice.

This post is from freezea's blog. You are welcomed cc it anywhere, and
please indicate the source.

If you would like to read more articles about reporting tool, you are
also welcome to refer to his blog at

Tony Toews [MVP]

sherry said:
Generally, Web reporting tool accounts for about 10% of a software
development project.

Gee, why do I suspect this is spam. From someone posting about their
own product.


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