About the Client

The client is the world’s largest home improvement retailer with more than 2,200 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The client also has an e-commerce business that offers more than one million products for the DIY customer, professional contractors, and the industry’s largest installation business for the Do-It-For-Me customer.

Business Challenge

The client was unsuccessful in launching a mobile synchronization application for its field personnel. The client had originally planned to use an off the shelf synchronization software from a major vendor to synchronize data on mobile devices with the server database.

After significant delays in trying to leverage the third-party solution, and faced with time and cost overruns, the client sought to develop a custom synchronization solution. The client needed to partner with a vendor with the experience to design and deliver a seamless and cost-effective synchronization solution.

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Silicus Solution

Silicus used Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit, ASP.NET and the Microsoft .NET Mobile Web SDK to architect a WAP gateway-based solution. The software application design featured a reliable and scalable architecture. Field personnel could update statuses and perform actions on wireless devices / PDA’s, and these could be viewed by decision makers through a browser based application accessed through a PC.

ASP.NET mobile web forms were used for rapidly building forms for consumption on the handheld devices. Along with standard ASP.NET mobile controls, some controls were customized for extensibility and compatibility with multiple devices. Handheld devices would communicate with a central web application server where information was stored in a SQL Server 2000 database. Decision makers could access reports, receive status updates through requests that retrieve and process information from the database.

Silicus Microsoft.NET developers used a WAP browser emulator for testing, simulation of code and logic changes made to the application residing on the handheld device.

The PC side application was designed as a simple browser based application using ASP.NET forms and controls. Web developers used HTML and CSS for organizing and displaying web pages.

Silicus delivered the custom developed synchronization solution at less than 50% cost of implementing packaged product solution. A fully operational solution was delivered in less than 2 months.

Technologies Used

Language
Language

ASP.NET

Platforms
Platform

Microsoft.NET

Database
Database

SQL Server 2000

Tools
Tools

Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit, Microsoft .NET Mobile Web SDK

Client Benefits

Microsoft.Net Expertise Delivered On-Time & Within Budget

Silicus stepped in at a stage when the project was critically delayed and management was under pressure to achieve a quick turnaround. Silicus took control of the project, architected a robust solution using Microsoft.NET mobile technologies, and ensured smooth project execution with deliverables in less than 2 months from the start date.

Software Engineering Risk Mitigation

There were risks involved in developing a custom solution as solution components and interdependencies were unknown. A detailed POC was not feasible given the time constraints. Silicus mitigated these risks through its reliable and predictable software engineering processes – from solution and architecture design, development, quality assurance and deployment.

Robust Solution Design For Long Term Value

The mobile synchronization solution designed by Silicus featured a robust and scalable enterprise grade design. The solution reduced operational costs, shortened cycle time for business transactions, and drove overall efficiencies through the entire supply chain.

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