The Catalyst “Sizzle” – Why is Catalyst such a great platform?

Nov 12th, 2015 | by ViaDataWebAdmin |

The Catalyst “Sizzle” – Why is Catalyst such a Great Platform?

At ViaData we use our own, purpose built, ‘Business Systems Engine’ (BSE), Catalyst, as the foundation for all our custom software development. Here are some reasons why Catalyst is the best software system for your business, along with quotes from our developers and users about why they love using it…


Technology That Never Grows Old

A customer’s system with exactly the same rules can be presented as a Windows application, a browser based application or a mobile application for Android or Apple mobile operating systems without changing the system at all. This also applies to new technologies and languages.

The Catalyst BSE technology will NEVER become obsolete. ViaData can create new presentation implementations with NO impact on the business rules in the system.

The above is possible because the technology and business rules within Catalyst are kept completely separate in all areas of the system (both back end and front end).

It is interesting to note that many systems and architectures claim to separate business rules and presentation BUT business logic is usually built into both, for example the presentation layer includes screen layouts and screen level validations.

Within Catalyst the presentation layer is 100% business agnostic and doesn’t know anything about the business it is serving. This is because the links between the two layers are held in data in a simple data structure.

“Catalyst design of database backend and user frontend is flexible in that the front end has no business logic and can be a web or app interface, allowing for diverse access possibilities – on the road, in the office or from the home. – Victor Brink (developer, ViaData)


Completely Scalable

Your business will never outgrow Catalyst, which means that you can safely rely on Catalyst to power your company for many, many years to come, with no need to spend money on another system at a later stage.

Catalyst systems are completely scalable and can handle business data from a small business to very large enterprises.

“Catalyst systems are highly scalable, on the same measure that SQL Server is scalable. On the web front, this is effectively limitless. So whether it’s a small customer or a large one, Catalyst is scalable enough to handle whatever one throws at it.” – Kosie du Buisson (developer, ViaData)


Simple and Consistent Interface Design

Catalyst users become productive on the system very quickly, thereby enabling the business to earn a return on investment at a very early stage of system implementation.

The Catalyst system is quick to learn and easy to teach and train on for users, and the Interface design is simple and consistent across the entire system.

The interface design includes the standard placement of objects across the entire system, along with the standard use of options and controls and shortcuts for most functionality.

“An easy and intuitive learning curve for new users” – Craig Dunsmuir (TEE College)

“A generic interface that behaves consistently across all aspects of the data” – Craig Dunsmuir (TEE College)


The Incredibly Versatile Catalyst “Grid”

Using the Catalyst Grid, users can mine for data very easily and efficiently, drastically reducing time to get meaningful business results.

The Catalyst Grid is amazing! It’s used everywhere to display rows of data, it’s flexible, dynamic and configurable, and provides powerful sorting, filtering, printing and exporting features.

“Most incredible user interface – users love to work on Catalyst grids due to all the functions like filter, search, export, report functionalities”. – Truia Meyer (Dole)

“Quick drag-and-drop column and view reorganisation that can be exported and printed; right-click grouping and sub-grouping, with drag-and-drop reordering, that can include totals, counts, averages, etc.; simple point-and-click filter building which can be further refined through advanced features, then saved and reused on new data sets; comprehensive data views which are easily narrowed and refined – users easily generate their own data extractions; data manipulation and arrangement in views is easier than in a spreadsheet (and always up-to-date) and lastly fine-grained user security and access on entities and methods.” – Craig Dunsmuir (TEE College)


Drastically Reduced Development Time

Your business will benefit from Catalyst’s extremely short development time in that users will be able to use the system and produce meaningful business results shortly after the system is introduced. There is no extended wait for the system to go live, thereby saving time and money.

Catalyst development time is very short, in that the prototype ‘becomes’ the system and is not thrown away when the actual system is written, unlike other software system development.

“Rapid development process – save a lot of time and energy on the mundane stuff and spend the majority of development time on the exciting and really import issues”. – Truia Meyer (Dole)

“Rapid delivery of ‘prototypes’, allowing the engagement of user interaction and approval very early; reduces the level of detail in specs and empowers business analysts to get more involved with the actual development at an earlier stage. Reduces development time substantially. – Sabi Isaacs (business analyst, ViaData)


Consistent and Standardised Catalyst Environment

A User that has used any Catalyst-based system will easily take to any other Catalyst system or new functionality within an existing system, covering a different aspect of the business. This reduces training time and money.

Aids an Agile development process due to quick turn around and thus significantly reduces cost, allowing budget for further, incremental, revisions once a set of functionality has been rolled out

The Catalyst development environment is tightly controlled and standardised, and includes version controls, naming conventions and change control. This means that all changes connected to a user request are logged and authorised by the system.

“Quality is reinforced by massive reuse at a number of levels, including the implementation of multiple systems and many users; internal use of our own systems written in Catalyst, including our development environment and the reuse of existing elements of the architecture as foundational building blocks for new features.” – Alister Main (operations director, ViaData)


Shared No-Cost Functional Benefit for Clients

Clients always have the latest Catalyst system with the latest enhancements, including those requested by other clients, so there is a shared benefit for all.

Catalyst systems are modernised and improved continuously (without clients explicitly requesting these changes). This includes screen layouts and new features such as exporting grids to Excel, scheduled emailed reports and emailed reports (instead of printed versions).

“Catalyst has a lot of potential, it is continually getting new features and improving … and those improvements are going to all customers free of charge.  So it’s a shared potential and shared improvement.” – Kosie du Buisson (developer, ViaData)


Keeps Pace with Your Business

The Catalyst system never lags behind the business – development and enhancements are a phone call away, and enhancements are also added as a result of other developments. This means that users are always working on the latest, fully integrated system.

The Catalyst business system is built at the pace required by the business and it all integrates perfectly.

“As the business grows, it’s easy to develop add-on modules. Because it’s developed from a ‘big picture’ understanding of the business, the new modules fit neatly onto pre-existing modules. In my experience this is the most problematic issue with bespoke systems – the ‘add-ons’ don’t lead to an integrated system, but starts to become messy and looks like ‘patchwork’. This is not the case with Catalyst.” – Nikki Maritz (IBTC)

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