Webix in Practice: pharmaceutical laboratory

Webix is planning to get better and stronger in the new 2022. To implement this New Year resolution we carefully listen to our customers’ feedback. Today we have Mr. David Sutton with us. David is a jack-of-all-trades in IT. Currently, he is the IT Director and a single developer of the family business, Compounder’s International Analytical Laboratory (visit the site). We are happy to learn David’s impressions of our product.

interview with Johan Smith

Hello David! Nice to meet you. Tell us, please, about your experience in the IT-sphere?

Well, I really am a jack-of-all-trades in IT, as I have an extensive background. I can do server work, networking, and programming. I used to work at trading companies, for retailers, and ad agencies. Also, I’ve done web programming for 10 years. On the whole, I have a 30 years IT career. 

Now I work for my parents, they are in their late 70s, they own a pharmaceutical testing lab. We test drugs and medication produced by apothecaries. They have to be compliant with state regulations and the US Federal Drug Administration. We should be sure that medication is safe to use and there is enough of it. 30 people work for us. We need to present our findings to customers, who are apothecary shops, efficiently. In the past, we printed PDF files and posted them to web servers but it was difficult to manage. I looked for a database-driven solution. We tried various things. First, we settled on Sencha, but for me, it became too difficult to handle. I found Webix which is a much simpler platform for one developer, and I was able to make a robust solution for our customers. It took me only a few months to develop and I am impressed.

Great to hear that! How did you learn about Webix?

I found you through a Google search. I was looking for alternatives to Sencha.

Do you use any additional libraries and frameworks?

No, only Webix.

interview with Johan Smith

What do you like about the library?

A big plus is that it is an easy framework to learn. In a short time, I’m able to build effective solutions. When I found you, Webix was on version 4, there was not much documentation at that time. But you have gotten better. You now have the Designer. It helps a lot, especially to such single developers as I am. Webix is faster than Sencha and not as complex, it is more straightforward.

Have you faced any difficulties?

Well, the Designer needs to be more robust, but it has gone a long way. 

The thing that would help you get more market share is working closely with different APIs. Your competitors closely tie their frameworks to data APIs, while Webix has broad acceptance for APIs, but you haven’t focused on one or several popular ones. It would help a lot in the architecture and allow developers to connect data APIs easier.

Thanks for this idea. Which Webix widgets do you like?

My favorite one is Kanban. I like the idea of it, but I still can’t figure out how to use it in my project. I use a lot of cells and lists in my project but I would love to present the data in a kanban style.

interview with Johan Smith

Is there any component that you lack in the Webix library?

Yes, QR code generators would be very useful. In our laboratory, we need QR codes for everything. We test medical devices, for example, and the capability to generate medical QR codes would be perfect.

What is important for you in a UI library?

The learning curve needs to be shallow. I’m a single developer, I don’t have much time and I need something very intuitive. Webix is easy to learn and it has all the features a business app needs.

Where do you find the information if you need to know something about IT?

I don’t usually have a lot of time, so I do a quick Google search. But most of the time I spend on the documentation site, reading through examples. They are very important and help me understand what each part of the framework does. The documentation has matured a lot recently. I know you are still adding information and I think you are on the right track there. I also found some good examples on the forum. I’m not a code copier you know, I want to understand what is happening, how it works, and only after that, I rewrite my code.

interview with Johan Smith

Are you likely to recommend Webix to your colleagues?

I have already recommended Webix to many friends. I showed what I was doing with it, and they were impressed. They tend to try to reinvent the wheel sometimes with jQuery, for example. People often don’t know how to search for business frameworks. JQuery is not for business apps. So, they are very thankful to me, when they see what Webix can do. I think such interviews and posts on the blog are a step in the right direction for your team. Webix has a lot of places to grow, and I’m glad for this opportunity to help you with your development.

Thank you, David! We appreciate that. All the best to you in this new year.

If you have something to share with us, please, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be glad to listen to your experience.