Self-Hosted Online Databases and Other Custom Solutions

Custom Solutions are required for advanced-functionality or one-of-a-kind websites. A Custom Solution is required when your website concept is complex enough to require significant advance research and planning. Custom Solutions usually require a written technical specification. They usually involve a bidding process and a contract.


Such a project may or may not involve significant database functions. If it does, it may be called a “self-hosted online database”. Self-hosted online (WAN*) databases can be used for any mass data storage purpose, just as offline (LAN) databases can be. However, while offline databases can only be accessed from your home or office network, self-hosted online databases can be securely accessed from anywhere in the world. While only you or your administrative staff can access an offline database, self-hosted online databases open the possibility of secure access by your clients and other web visitors. What opportunities could that open up for your organization?

What do we mean by “advanced functionality”? Here are some examples:

  • Sites that dynamically change (a page is different for one user than another)
  • Sites that contain user-definable profiles or functions akin to social networking
  • Sites that offer memberships or subscriptions
  • Sites that offer the public an opportunity to create a profile or login
  • Sites that restrict certain content to privileged web visitors other than administrative staff

If your website project requires advanced functions like these, then off-the-shelf solutions may not offer the flexibility that you require. If there is no off-the-shelf solution that does what you need, you will have to hire a web engineer such as Triskelon to define and build a custom solution.

Don't Build Your “House” without a “Blueprint”!

When a custom solution for an advanced-functionality website is required, it's usually necessary to write a specification as your “blueprint” before work begins. Once the specification is written, then you'll be able to take bids from a variety of web professionals, and benefit from the competition. Without a written specification, interpretations and bids will vary widely, and there would be no standard against which to measure whether a contractor will, or has, completed delivery, the way you envision it.

We'll interview you to discuss your unique needs and requirements, then write a specification using plain English (as much as possible) for you, and industry standard terminology for your bidders; so you and your bidders will be on the same page as much as possible, and you can select a bidder and begin your website project with confidence that you are conceptualizing the same outcome. There is no further obligation to use our services after the specification is written, although we hope you'll consider us as one of your bidders.

Writing the specification costs a tiny fraction of your project development cost. As a side benefit, during the spec-writing process, we will also perform a significant amount of strategic research and planning, thus helping you avoid costly mistakes in your business planning process. Is peace of mind, sound risk management, and confident business planning worth a tiny fraction of development cost to you?

Not Sure Whether a Custom Solution is Right for You?

To see a slideshow which offers a rounded treatment of the pros and cons of a custom solution vs. off-the-shelf software, please see our You Tube video on that topic.

If a custom solution isn't quite what you're looking for, consider some related alternatives.

Next Steps

If a Custom Solution is the right approach for you, please provide us with your written specification and ask for a bid. Or if you don't have a written specification, then contact us to start the process of developing one.
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* “WAN” stands for “wide-area network”, as opposed to “LAN” which stands for “local-area network”. The terms “WAN” and “online” are used interchangeably here, as are the terms “LAN” and “offline”. The Internet is the ultimate WAN, due to popular usage, availability of access, and prevalence of standards. Triskelon always uses the most widely supported Internet standards. So using Triskelon as your service provider and the Internet as your WAN is a sound decision.

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  • Fully functional websites (including mobile support, ecommerce, front-end automation, online databases, and custom solutions; not just design)
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  • A simpler content management experience (if you do your own editing)
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