In 2010 Okko Huisman, CEO of CloudSuite, and I wrote a business plan with a single goal in mind: the development of a state-of- the-art ecommerce system suitable for B2B and B2C environments and everything in between. Potential customers had to be able to work with a flexible order management system based on ERP, and our programmers had to be able to make quick and simple connections with external and existing customer systems. All data had to archived in a single database, and all software had to use this database. Initially our business plan was primarily commercial and functional; the technologies to be deployed came afterwards.
After we had completed our business plan we still had not picked a development environment and so we began our search. Initially, the choice between the different environments seemed to come down to .Net, PHP or Java. This had to do with our list of demands such as the possibility of web developments and object-oriented developments, the application of existing and available components (preferable open source), freedom of choice when it came to databases, a simple learning curve for new developers (exit Java!) and a large, readily available community. We were also on the hunt for a smart framework (the underlying structure of all the software you use to develop) and the possibility for agile development: that is to say, one that reached the end result step by step (iteratively).
"A fun fact is that the programming language was developed by a Dutchman, Guido van Rossum.''
Front-runners.NET, PHP and Java fell by the wayside because we stumbled on the Python ERP framework. We were immediately impressed. We hadn’t considered Python initially but the more we looked into this language, the keener we became. Python more than met our demands. The Python ERP framework has the standard basal structure of an ERP and accounting system that is simple to build out. What’s more, the language was created with the express purpose to get the maximum results with the minimum of code. This aids performance and reduces errors.
As a procedural developer, I had a hell of a time getting my head around an object-oriented programming language but I did it, thanks to the smart and simple Python syntax. The learning curve for new developers is short compared with other languages. CloudSuite used Python to build a complex suite of software products within a time frame that we didn’t think was achievable when we started.
A fun detail is that the programming language was developed by a Dutchman, Guido van Rossum, who is now the technical supremo at Dropbox. He and a large team of open-source developers are still working on Python. A large number of components is available already, and they are being used by large and leading companies such as Google, YouTube and Dropbox to name but a few.