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Many of you may have never heard of “custom coding” or know what it means. I get it…until the last several years, I was clueless to what that meant. Coming from the world of church construction, “code” was always about building codes, regulations and abiding to rules. In many cases, these rules did/do not really improve things. In fact, many of them make no sense at all…and yet, to build a facility you had better make the local “code” official happy or your life will be miserable.

As I have learned more about the software industry (remember…I am a facility guy), I have learned that forward thinking SaaS based companies do several things really well:

  1. Listen to their subscribers
  2. Are constantly developing and improving their product(s)
  3. Are “agile” (2 meanings)
    • “able to move quickly and easily”
    • “Agile software development refers to  software development methodologies centered round the idea of iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams”
  4. Listen to their subscribers (Did I say that already?)

Because they listen to their subscribers, these companies incorporate what is know as Custom Coding (also referred to Custom Development).

Here is a simple definition:

“Custom Code” (noun) – Any functionality integrated into a product that does not have committed resources and schedule for support and updates.

Let’s break this down:

  1. Includes new or enhances functionality into a product
  2. It is for features that the company has not allocated resources to accomplish
  3. While it may be a great idea, it is not on the current development schedule (also known as the development “road map”)

What is a company to do? What are its subscribers to do when they want features that are not on the road map or that are really a one-off project?


Over the past couple years, we have performed custom coding for many of our eSPACE subscribers that was looking for features that either were not on our development road map or were projected further in the future than they desired to wait. We have done more custom coding in the last 12 months than we have done in the previous 10 years combined.

This is so critical for you and ALL of the subscribers. This is a WIN for everyone. Here is why and how it works:

  1. Subscribers that really need a feature/enhancement are able to make a request and we can provide an estimate as to the cost and time frame.
  2. If that same organization agrees to sponsor the development costs, then our team will adjust resources to accommodate the request.
  3. Once the work is completed and approved by the sponsor organization, it is released to ALL SUBSCRIBERS. That’s right…everyone benefits and not just the sponsor org.

Think of it this way…the community of eSPACE subscribers work together to improve the system for everyone.  Sounds like a win-win.

Here is a list of many of the custom coding projects that we have completed…and you benefit from:

  1. Billing and Invoicing Module – First United Methodist Phoenix and Bloomfield Hills School District
  2. Ability to filter the Work Order & Asset Management calendar based on priority, location, department, service category, work order status, etc. – North Point Ministries
  3. Work Orders in Chronological Order on the calendar view, specifically work orders that are associated to an event and generated from Event Scheduler. – North Point Ministries
  4. The ability to delete more than one task at a time in the Task Lists that are created in the Work Orders.  – North Point Ministries
  5. When Task Groups are created, added the ability to edit the order in which those tasks appear, and save the order for future use. – North Point Ministries
  6. Ability to delete tasks in bulk. – North Point Ministries
  7. New “All Event Work Orders” grid (optional) on Work Order & Asset Management dashboard with following column headers: Event ID, Event Name, Location, Next Requested Completion Date, Priority, Requester, Work Order Count. – Lincoln Berean Church
  8. Only show events that have at least one work order associated that needs to be completed. – Lincoln Berean Church
  9. Next Requested Completion Date should be coming from the first work order that is not closed, ordered by Requested Completion Date. – Lincoln Berean Church
  10. New expandable sub-grid that will show all Work Orders across that event. On All mobile lists, add event information as well, if work order is from an event. – Lincoln Berean Church
  11. Work order task description now has unlimited characters. – Lincoln Berean Church
  12. Extended iCal file to 24 months instead of 12 and made the option to exclude spaces, so when your print it will take up less space. – Shades Baptist Church
  13. Event Registration for multiple funding sources that can be deposited into different bank accounts based on merchant account, drop down menu for which funding account to be used. – New Life Christian Fellowship / Providence School
  14. Adding event description field to the event setup report. – Second Presbyterian Church
  15. Showing event conflicts across locations. – Bloomfield Hills School District
  16. Expanded public request forms. – Bloomfield Hills School District
  17. Omnia Door Access Integration. – Eastminster Presbyterian Church

Join me in thanking these organizations for their tremendous contribution to the eSPACE community…and to everyone that is dedicated to be the best Facility Stewards possible!

Contact us HERE if you want to learn about custom coding options.

Tim Cool
Chief Executive Officer
Tim Cool is the President and CEO of Smart Church Solutions and takes great pride in helping churches optimize their facilities. When he’s not at the helm of his company, he’s dedicated to his family, being a husband to Lisa and a father to 27-year-old triplets. An enthusiast of the outdoors, Tim enjoys the simplicity of hiking in the North Carolina mountains.