No two software projects are alike. There's a whole array of specifics to take into account. Different user groups, implementing and prioritizing specific processes, and demands for a unique user experience give every project its own character that is hard to transfer from one project to the next. All things considered there are still similar functions to the way domains are modeled and classes are built. Take web apps for example, regardless of the use case they are all to be accessible via a browser and deliver a modern looking, usable interface to the user. Software frameworks facilitate the development of exactly these common functionalities to a point. Custom software projects should be about excatly what the name implies custom features—not the reinvention of the wheel-there is no need to reimplement the basics. Using frameworks puts the focus on the individualities of the project. Applying resources efficiently and fruitfully.
Working with a software framework gives developers a well defined structure to build on. Implementing project specifics within or adapting existing parts. Using modules that implement generic and common use cases gives web apps a host peer reviewed blocks to build on. Templating, database access, caching, security, authentication, and authorization modules which developers know and trust exist to build a solid ground to build on, also giving developers a piece of mind when it comes to generic security attacks.
Combining and adapting modules such modules in a custom app channels the combined knowledge of experts in the field into the project. This way a custom built app can deliver individual requirements early on in the project.
Three Significant Points
Frameworks come in all sizes commercial and open source. Open source frameworks, i.e. frameworks with source code that anybody can read and access (and is available for commercial use based on individual licenses), are maintained by a global community of developers on a pro bono basis—some actually are supported by commercial enterprises—can be summarized with the following threes significant points:
Quality: The open source nature of these frameworks enables developers to view the code and enhance it if needed. From which they and the community directly benefit from in current projects. This yields in a testable quality improvement which isn't as easy to come by with commercial software.
Expandability: Developers can also expand the functionality of these frameworks and modules. Giving current and future projects a wider base of tools to build with. In a web app scenario e.g. this can enable access to a host of unique authentication modules that can be further customized to the needs of the specific project.
Independence: A commercial framework has the best commercial interests of its developing company in mind and is bound to eventual direction changes. The lifecycle of a framework built on such ground may be prone to a sudden end. Open source frameworks are supported by the people who use it, making it independent from the commercial success or existence of its owning company.
Open source frameworks yield shorter development cycles with a greater focus on individuality. Using the right open source frameworks in the custom software business gives customers a consistent development process with solid results. The majority of development effort goes towards the special needs of the project, enabling business models to be validated with prototypes quickly and efficently at first and providing sustainably digitized proccesses with high quality and efficiency in the long run.