Programming - a relational database program for voiceover agencies




Like so many of the old DOS based programs still running today, Agent continues to do the same accounting, invoicing and remittance work for a voiceover agency that it was doing in the late eighties. Written originally in Dbase II, it's been bug-free for twenty years and the only reason to upgrade it to Visual Dbase, a windows version, is for better analysis of data, being able to print via USB(!) and the look of the thing.

It uses three databases; one for Companies, one for Artists and one for Job details. By using three status flags for each Job;
1. Invoice Sent to Company
2. Payment Received from Company
3. Payment made to Artist
- all the paperwork gets done and the resulting financial data is then available for analysis.

I sold it to another voice agency, Speakeasy, where it ran fine for about fifteen years. It's now been upgraded to the windows version because the office is networked and basically operates in the 21st century.

When I first wrote it I hawked it around and got a lot of interest, it was among the first such programs, and being designed specifically for a voice agency, was an extremely viable product. That's where I've always needed a business partner, or brain - I sold it twice.

One of the main things I've learned from being in charge of other people's businesses like that - when a computer failure is disaster and only you can help - is that it's so horribly easy to exploit. If I were not an honest man, and I had similar control over hundreds or thousands or millions of people's computers, I'd be tempted to throw in a bug or two and make a fortune from the helpline and the expensive upgrades.

Oh, did somebody else think of that first??

 

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