Security is big business today. However, the
industry has some inherent economic challenges. Any medium sized
commercial software company will sell thousands of one program,
and a large software company will sell millions of copies. Yet,
even the largest access control companies sell only hundreds,
or fewer, of any one large system software product. Large systems
can be considered to be those with greater than 256 readers.
These programs are complex and require many lines of code, perhaps
as many as 500,000 lines.
can only produce so many lines of code per year, yet each line
of code costs the same to both the large software company and
access control company. Microsoft has said that NT is over 20
million lines of code. Therefore, the return on investment
per line of code is hundreds to thousands of times greater for
the commercial software company than for the access control
company. The difference is made up by all of the hardware sales
in the security world. The fact remains that changing the
software to fix a slight anomaly in a timer for a door cannot
easily be justified on a "return on investment" basis.
Money is lost on every change, and changes are made only because
of the long term goal of having a good system and good customer
The biggest single cost when changing SRB microcode
is the engineering and testing to make sure that the change
will not adversly affect the installed base of doors.
I call this the legacy code cost. The door objects
concept eliminates this cost because a newly created door object
would only affect the doors to which it is applied.
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