Who Is DataCraft

DataCraft was founded by Dave Batton in 1991. He is a well known and highly respected developer in the 4D community (nominated as a 4D VIP) who has created over a dozen commercial products, including the Foundation Shell, which remains the most widely used commercial 4D development shell. Dave has moved Foundation out of DataCraft into its own website and company to better focus on its support and development. He and Melinda Gallo also operate 4DToday, the place to go for up-to-date info on the 4D world. Even though he is no longer at DataCraft, he still acts as support, backup and plugin developer when I need him.

Tom Dillon (that's me) joined DataCraft in 1996 as a 4D developer. I wrote my first commercial database in version 1.0.4 of 4D in 1987 and have been doing it ever since. I too have been nominated as a 4D VIP, but am pretty sure that it was due to voter machine tampering. I've worked on a wide variety of systems, including financial, contruction, education, medical and legal (a partial list of companies I've done work for is listed below). I also run a website, 4thDimension.com which contains sample code I've written and collected, and general information about 4D. The site also includes pictures of people in the 4D community and of the 4D Summit conferences.

Even though I'm the sole proprietor of DataCraft, I say "we" because I rely on Dave and a small number of other collegues who take care of clients when I'm on vacation or overloaded; who are experts in areas in which I am not; and who can give me a variety of points of view when I'm faced with difficult problems.

On Site and Remote Development

The vast majority of my work is done remotely. I feel that this is the best way to get the most work done for the least cost to the client. It is, however, useful or even necessary to do work onsite at times. In fact it's a valuable way to begin a project since it allows a way for the developer to more fully understand the needs of the client. It is also a good way for the client and developer to establish a strong basis for communication, which is vital for a project to succeed.

Working remotely allows the developer to work in their most productive environment. This increased efficiency saves the client money. Most projects, whether new or existing systems, require a large amount of the developer's time at the onset, then taper off to a more steady state of maintenance, enhancements, and updates. There are, of course, situations where hiring a full-time developer is the better option. It's worth a company's time to make the most informed decision in this regard.

Fortunately, with the availability of high speed internet connections, virtual private networks (VPN), remote desktop connection software, email, instant messaging and video conferencing, there is less of a need to incur the added expense of hiring a full-time on-site developer.

If you need help with your existing database, want a hand getting one off the ground or want one built from the ground up, shoot me an email or give me a call. I may be the right fit for your project and, if I'm not, I'll help you find someone who is. I've been in the 4D community for quite awhile and know a veritable plethora of other developers around the world.

Companies I've written 4D for:

Anodizing Graphics of Texas
Bel-Rea Institute of Animal
Bolmer Grounds Maintenance
Caldwell Publishing
Colorado Lending Source
Corporate Health Resources
Equitable Services
Food Bank of the Rockies
Generation 21
Horizon Software
Linbeck Construction
National Technology Transfer
Perfection Learning
Ryan Hodge
SMK Sales
St. John's Hospital
Steve Pailet
Winds of Change