"We have been very pleased with the competent, prompt and courteous service they have provided to us."

Stu Perlman
Monarch/USESI (New Jersey)

Is buying a $40,000 Canned Program to run a small business a good idea?

Here at Winning Solutions, Inc. we believe that in most cases it is not. When we say canned program we are referring to any software that does not provide you the customer with all ownership and source code rights. (Source code is the actual characters typed into a computer by a programmer to create software. Most programs you buy contain compiled code which is difficult to impossible to modify by anyone but the person who has the original source code.) You see when you spend $40,000 for a program to run your small business you may be spending even more than a custom program written by Winning Solutions, Inc. for your business would cost. When you contract with Winning Solutions, Inc. to have software written for your company, you own all rights to the software the moment your bill is paid. That means you can sell it to other parties, add more users to it, install it at multiple branch offices, have WSI or someone else change the programming or do anything you want with it!

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Seattle Lacks Computer People

On Thursday, May 31, 2012 National Public Radio posted a story on the Seattle Area Lacks Computer Science Majors.

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National Public Radio interviewed a business owner that was actively seeking full time computer programmers to work at his company. He was having difficulty finding qualified personnel. While it may be necessary to employ full time computer programmers in many situations, many times it is not. Winning Solutions, Inc. is a contract programming company head quartered in Ames, Iowa. We have done large and small programming projects for companies all over the United States. Several years ago we did a large multi-year programming project for an organization in Seattle, Washington.

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Access for Marketing

Support Article

Marketing efforts can generate a lot of data. If you conduct campaigns and need to report on the results to know if you are getting your money’s worth, Microsoft Access can be a great tool. Do you get advertising results reports from a variety of sources like direct mail, email, call centers etc.? Wouldn’t it be great if you could bring all of these results together and get accurate reports? Wouldn’t it be even better if you could get nice charts and graphs? Well you can. Microsoft Access is a powerful tool and we know how to help you get the most out of this great relational database. Don’t be scared if someone tells you that your dataset is too large. We can put you data into Microsoft SQL Server Express or one of the bigger versions like Microsoft SQL Server Standard or Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise. In most cases Access’ own built in database will be sufficient and when it isn’t Microsoft SQL server can step in. The beauty of Microsoft Access is that depending on your skill level and available time you can do some or all of the database development yourself. If you don’t have the necessary time or skill you can call on one of the Access professionals at Winning Solutions, Inc. to do it for you. Our Access professionals can show how they solved your problem or just get it taken care of and not bother you with the details. With Winning Solutions, Inc. this is entirely up to you.

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Will Your Next Operating System be More Like a Gated Community than a Wide Open Neighborhood?

Support Article

A gated community is nice, that is why people of wealthy chose to live in them. It limits their exposure to threats from the outside world. This desire to be safe and simple has driven the iPhone's success. You can't just install any application on an iPhone. What you install needs to be Apple approved. Just like a gated community you can venture outside via the Internet, but overall you are much safer.

I think that Apple accidentally stumbled into this wonderful new customer benefit I'm referring to as a gated community. When they created the Apple app store I think their number one goal was control and control equals profit. At best customer protection was secondary. However, Apple quickly realized this was the justification they could tell software companies who were mad that they could not sell their software creations directly to Apple's customers. How could the software companies argue with Apple's wonderful "customer first" strategy?

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Should I buy a new computer now? (December 2009)

Support Article

Short answer: Yes, but…

Welcome, in September of 2009 our short answer to this question was no. But as of now, December 2009 the answer has changed to yes! Windows 7 has shipped, so in most cases a new PC will come with Windows 7. You may not be aware that Windows 7 versions such as Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, etc. come in two versions 32bit and 64bit. 64bit has the advantage of being able to support more memory (plus other things), so we say go with that one, but check to be sure your software and hardware will work with it by visiting the respective manufacturer's websites.

Click here to read more about buying a new computer... 

Resizing Images for the Web

Tutorial

Many times we want to post images or photos to our website.  The most common mistake made in doing this is posting images before they have been formatted correctly for display on the web.  This tutorial will walk you through the process of formatting an image correctly before posting it on the web.

Click here to start learning how to resize images for the web...

Search Engine Submission

Support Article

We often get asked after developing or designing a website, "What next?"  That question has lots of possible answers but the best step to take after creating your website is to submit it to search engines.  This process is pretty easy and can be completed by anyone.  We have included a list of links in this article where you can submit your website.

Click here to view the list of search engine submission pages... 

Should I buy a new computer now? (September 2009)

Support Article

Long answer: You need to consider that Windows 7 will be shipping on October 22, 2009. Although you get a Windows 7 coupon with the Vista or XP license that is included with most PC’s purchased now, this may not be a good value. The reason the coupon is a poor value is that most experts recommend performing a clean install of a new operating system. If you’ve ever done a clean install you know this means re-installing all of your applications. This can be a very tedious process. Please note that it is technically possible to install Windows 7 over Windows Vista. According to Microsoft Windows 7 may not be installed over Windows XP.

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Is your computer support company pushing you into something called managed services?

Support Article

Generally speaking managed services is a system where you pay a computer support company so much per month, per desktop PC, per server for support and certain proactive services. You need to carefully review what services are included and what restrictions are stipulated. If you are overwhelmed and would like a company experienced with the technical aspects of these agreements to review the agreement you are being offered you may contact WSI for a quote on reviewing your agreement. Typically it requires 1-2 hours per agreement for the review and to provide you a written summary of the strengths and weakness of the agreements.

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How do I really know I have all my source code?

Support Article

If you have contracted with a programming company or individual programmer to write a computer program for you, you need to be sure you receive the source code. For those of you who are unfamiliar with source code, it is the actual lines of instructions written by a programmer. A program called a compiler transforms the source code into object code which makes it execute faster. Object code is not easily modified, techniques to "de-compile" object code back to source code are problematic at best.

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How to save an older version of an Adobe Illustrator file

Support Article

Not everyone has the same version of Adobe Illustrator but that doesn't prevent us from wanting to share files with each other.  Fortunately, Adobe Illustrator will allow us to save out older versions of files so that users can still open our files.

Click here to read more about saving older versions of Adobe Illustrator files...

Iowa Headquarters
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