GUI Pricing


Basic Program Requirements

  1. It must properly work
  2. It must be easy to use (common tasks must be accesible)
  3. For each table in the database, it must provide a GUI for: SELECT (search), UPDATE (edit), INSERT (add) and DELETE (eliminate).
  4. It must smartly use the screen space (trying to eliminate scrollbars and save clicks).

GUI Pricing

Even though, it is difficult to establish a fix price and a fix amount of time to each specific GUI element based only in the type of GUI element, it is possible to calculate a rough estimate using this method.

The button

Behind a button there is function that may have a different complexity, thus, it is difficult to set a fixed price. In the case of database applications, the button may be a: select, insert, update or delete button. In the case of an insert or update button, the button will open another GUI with its own costs.

Tip
Always provide a Microsoft Excel file showing the price list so that the client can accurately decide how to spend his money. The list may include: single record delete button, multiple record delete button, filter button, etc. For instance, a single record delete button cost $20.00 and takes four hours. Experience will help you create a good price list. A good price list is a list that accurately represents how much and how long it will take to complete a task.

The textbox

Behind a textbox, there may be a regular expression to validate the information provided by the user and some SQL statements to manage the communication with the database. Include in your price list the price of a generic textbox. If you have special textboxes, include in your list the price and describe briefly their features.

The drop down list

The drop down list provides a connection with a lookup table in the database. There are two types of drop down lists: simple and allows edition. Thus, there are usually two different prices, being the drop down list that allows edition more expensive than the simple drop down list. In a simple drop down list, it is not possible to insert new items. As the drop down list that allows edition includes an internal textbox, its price must be the price of simple drop down list plus the price of a text box.

A radio button collection

A set of radio buttons provide very similar functionability that a simple drop down list. However, they require extra work. Thus, a rough estimate of the price of a set of radio buttons should be 1.5 the price of a simple drop down list.

A check box

As the check box provides interaction with a bool variable or a bit column in a database, its price is always the same. A rough estimate of the price of a check box can be 0.5 the price of a textbox.

The date time box

It allows manipulating date variables. The cost of a date time box must be similar to the cost of a textbox.

A List View

A list view control is one of the most popular controls in a database application. As the control may provide several features, it is possible to set a price for a simple list view and charge separately for each additional feature. For instance, suppose that the list view is used to display a list of transactions, suppose that the client would like to filter the transaction by date. In this case, the total price would be the price of the list view control plus the price of the additional GUI controls to perform the filtering (possibly: one or two date time boxes and a button).

Tip
Always take into consideration the type of database table that the GUI will be providing access to set the price. For instance, a list view that provides access to a simple database table is cheaper than a list view control that provides access to a linking table. Additionally, a list view control that allows multiple selections is more expensive than a list view control that does not. Be as specific as possible in your price list so that the client can understand the complexity and make decisions based on his requirements.

A check box list

A check box list is a list view control that provides check boxes. A check box list is usually used to provide access to a linking table. Thus, the price of a check box list is usually higher than the price of a simple list view control.

Tip
Many clients do not know or do not understand the complexity of the programming behind the GUI controls, use your price list to educate your clients. Your price list may include a couple of simple examples, so that they can understand how to compute the total cost of a product. If the system includes printed reports or any kind of special request, be very specific in your list. For instance, simple report from a list view control costs $50.00 and takes 8 hours. Use your experience to set the costs and the time, you may use your last project to analyze how many months were used and how many people were involved. Keeping a record will help you make better estimates.

Tip
Keep a track of your estimates, and update your price list every time a project is completed. Knowing how much a project will cost is very important for the client and you. Knowing how long a project will take to complete is also very important. The system proposal meeting is an excellent opportunity to communicate (in a formal document) an estimate of the cost and of duration of the project. Be clear and honest by providing a schedule for all the future meetings indicating the dates, times and intentions of each meeting. Include in your proposal a calendar payment so that the client can plan in advanced. For instance, the proposal may indicate that 40% of the total is required at the moment that the contract is signed, 30 % of the total will be required at the beginning of the testing, and the remaining 20% should be paid at the beginning of the release. The remaining 10% can be paid at end of the release (which may be two months after releasing the product).

Dialog or Form

A dialog or a form is a window that displays to collect additional information to perform an operation. Indicate in your price list the cost of an additional empty dialog (empty form). Thus, the total price of a dialog is a fix price plus the cost of each of its GUI elements. As a reference, the price of dialog is the same as the price of a textbox.

Tip
Some clients require that the additional dialog (form) remains simultaneously opens with the main application window, this type of dialog (form) costs twice the cost of a simple dialog.

Problem 1
Using Microsoft Excel create the price list (Database and GUI) of your company including one simple example. Your price list must include your company: logo, email, address, and web page. The example must include a simple table and the respective GUI for: searching, inserting (create a new record), updating (editing) and deleting. Call the Microsoft Excel file PriceList.xlsx.

Problem 2
Prepare a complete system proposal for the university database described previously. Suppose that the project will begin the first day of the next month. Show your results in a Microsoft Excel File. Your proposal must include the meeting dates, database costs, GUI costs, and payment plan in case of accepting the proposal. Call the Microsoft Excel file UniversityProposal.xlsx.

Problem 3
Repeat the last problem for the best_buy database previously described.

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