The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy.—Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe, 1977.

Welcome to Compass Rose Technologies. We provide software development services and custom software applications for clients worldwide.

Woodcut on title page of Messahalah de scientia motus orbis, Nuremberg, 1504.

Web Development

Whatever your requirements—whether it’s for a simple five-page Web site; a database-driven, full-featured Web-based application; or an e-commerce site—Compass Rose Technologies can make it a reality. We can extend and enhance your existing Web site or Web-based application or design a new one from the ground up.

Web-Based Applications

The scope of Web development extends beyond traditional Web site design. More and more software applications now include a Web interface to leverage the power and flexibility of the World Wide Web. Such Web-based applications are delivered to users from a Web server over a private network or the Internet.

Web applications are popular because of the ability to maintain them without having to install software updates on hundreds of computers. With a Web-based application, users have the freedom to work from any computer in the world without having to reinstall the application on each individual machine. In addition, a Web-based interface makes it easy for more than one person to access an application simultaneously. Today, the line dividing a Web-based application from a Web site is becoming more and more blurred. In fact, all but the most basic of Web sites now include functionality that qualifies them as Web-based applications—an online shopping cart is one very familiar example. Web-based applications are also used for Web mail, discussion boards, blogs, and auction sites like eBay.

In building Web-based applications, we rely on our long experience in full-featured software development. We believe in focusing first on the underlying functionality an application needs, and only then on opening that functionality to the Web. We feel that many Web development companies concentrate too heavily on the Web interface alone, treating what goes on “under the hood” as more of an afterthought—this often results in relying too much on “canned” solutions that don’t fully fit your needs.

Web-Database Integration

Web-Database integration refers to the techniques used to make database information available on the Internet. By integrating databases and Web-based applications, you can open up new possibilities for dynamic content and data access. The maintainability and scalability or your Web site or Web-based application can be vastly improved. Because of our extensive history in providing database solutions, you can be assured that your Web application will be fully integrated with your database. Your application will function intuitively and efficiently, while keeping your sensitive data secure. If your Web site does not currently manage dynamic content, we can help upgrade it. We can design an information system specific to your needs, rather than relying on an off-the-shelf data model.

Reisch, Margarita Philosophica, Freiburg 1504.

Web Site Design

We believe in creating Web sites that will be useful for years to come. In developing a Web site or a Web interface, there are specific principles of design we adhere to consistently:

Standards Compliance

At Compass Rose Technologies, we specialize in creating standards-compliant Web sites using Extensible HyperText Markup Language (XHTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), as recommended by the authority on Web standards, The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

In spite of W3C recommendations, the Web today remains overburdened with non-compliant Web sites. The non-standard tags, sloppy markup, and inaccessible code built into these Web sites result in difficult navigation, browser incompatibility, and a confusing, often frustrating, user experience. Furthermore, such Web pages tend to be slow loading and difficult to maintain. We discover all-too-often that even some well-established Web design companies, rather than updating their skill base to keep up with current standards, will continue to rely on familiar but obsolete practices. While such companies may develop a Web site that functions and looks good today, their customers are definitely not getting their money’s worth in performance, maintainability, and future compatibility.

Using XHTML and CSS together ensures the separation of content from presentation. The resulting pages will be smaller (and thus load more quickly), obtain higher search engine rankings, and be accessible to a wider number of users. Maintainability is vastly improved. Content will not be lost in a forest of unneeded tags and unneccessary markup, and the look and feel of the entire Web site can be completely changed by editing a single style sheet—eliminating the need to make thousands of individual changes.

By taking the extra effort to comply to Web standards, Compass Rose Technologies ensures that your Web site will be functional for browsers and devices of the future—not just those in use today.

Clean & Efficient Coding

In contrast to many of our competitors, our philosophy is to hand-code all the Web pages we build rather than rely on What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG) software that automatically generates the underlying code from a visual layout. There are many advantages of hand-coding pages over generating code. These include:

  • Efficiency — Hand-coded Web pages tend to have a filesize many times smaller than their generated counterparts.
  • Customization — A hand-coded Web page is fully customizable, whereas generated code is limited by the functionality built into the editing tool that produced it.
  • Standards Compliance — Many of the code-generating tools commonly in use today produce non-compliant code; hand-coding circumvents this problem.

Search Engine Optimization

Approximately 85% of new visitors to a Web site will have discovered that site from conducting a search on one of the major search engines. Type in any term into a search engine like Yahoo! or Google and instantly it will sort through millions of Web pages to present you with the ones that best match your request. The matches are ranked so that the most relevant information to your query appears first. Of course you want your business to show up at the top of such a list!

The ability for search engines to understand and rank your Web pages is critically important for driving traffic to your site. High search engine positioning depends upon a number of factors, many of which are within your control. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing these factors to achieve prime search engine placement. Compass Rose Technologies can analyze your existing site’s compatibility with search engines, and help optimize it for the best possible search engine placement. Of course, all Web sites that we build from scratch are designed with search engine optimization in mind.


Once a search engine leads customers to your site, it’s important that they understand the content and how the site works. Whenever we design a web interface, whether it be for an application, Intranet or Internet site, we consider all the objectives and try to make the user’s experience an intuitive and instinctive one. Is it easy to locate the contact information? Will the page display well regardless if a customer is using Explorer, Firefox, Opera, or AOL to access the Internet? These are but a few of the questions we ask ourselves when building a Web interface. Usability is one of our top priorities for every project we undertake, and we can adjust the scale of our usability study to the particular needs of your project.


Millions of people around the world have visual, auditory, physical, neurological, or other impairments that impact their use of the Web. When creating a Web interface, it is important to take into account all potential users. Web accessibility ensures that people with disabilities as well as older people with age-related imparities can enjoy the same benefits of your site as everyone else.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Web sites in existence today have accessibility problems that make it difficult or impossible for many people with disabilities to use the Web. Compass Rose Technologies strives to make our Web designs accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

Implementing optimization, usability, and accessibility in Web site design while adhering to W3C standards results in a fast-loading, search engine-friendly site that provides all users with exactly what they are looking for when they need it.

Web Site Maintenance

Hosting Services

While we don’t offer Web hosting on our own servers at this time, Compass Rose Technologies can assist you with every step necessary in getting your site hosted—even handling the entire process for you, if you prefer. We can help you decide on and register a domain name, configure your domain, set up e-mail accounts, and upload and test your Web site.

Content Management

After your Web site is launched, you must then turn your eye towards the endless task of updating the content your site offers. Over time, you’ll find it necessary to modify or reorganize existing information, add new features, or even change the site’s overall look and feel. Although we design every Web site with maintainability in mind, we find that some customers are more comfortable letting others handle content management. Compass Rose Technologies will gladly take on this task for you, at an affordable cost.

Whatever your Web development needs, Compass Rose Technologies can deliver! Contact us and let us know what your requirements are. For more information about what we can offer you, write to

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