January 26, 2010


Why You Should Buy a System Instead of Building One – Reason #1

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to design something in-house or purchase it from a vendor. “Make versus buy” is an important topic that I hope we can explore in detail together. Here’s the first installment:

Seems to me as long as trade has taken place, people have been faced with make versus buy decisions. I enjoy working on cars but that can take a lot of time and often requires an investment in specialized tools (make). So, it makes sense to have someone else do the work at times (buy). Similarly, when adding networking to a product does it make sense to start from scratch, or should you buy a module with all the hardware and networking software already done? If you’re like me, you may lean towards doing it yourself, but like working on a car, prepare to invest a lot of time and you will likely want to invest in good development and debugging tools. If you are using an ‘open’ operating system like Linux, a lot of the software tools may be free, which is a big plus. Time still needs to be invested in learning the tools and if you are not familiar with TCP/IP and the dozens of other protocols, there will be even more to learn. There are definite advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. We’ll talk some more on this subject in upcoming posts.

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