About the Client
The client is a leading provider of online discount dental plans for individuals, families, and groups. It also has an extensive in-house affiliate program, which provides assistance with campaign optimization and offers proven online marketing materials to participating dentists and brokers.
The client had two separate websites - one to take care of the administrative back-office processes, and the other for public marketing and sales of dental plans. Although the websites worked well, there were drawbacks which limited their capability. The most significant challenges were:
Application inflexibility: Back-dated technology limited code enhancements, which left little scope to add advanced features.
Increased cost of maintenance: Efforts and resources required for programming on an older platform added significantly to the maintenance costs.
Limited scalability: Scaling application modules led to performance issues.
Degradation of codebase quality: As a result of continuous bug fixes, the codebase had reached a point where it needed significant refactoring.
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The client selected Silicus to resolve the identified challenges based on its expertise in web modernization and validated by its Gold Application Development competency in the Microsoft Partner Network. Highlights of Silicus' successful re-engineering of both web applications follow:
- Study and requirements analysis of the websites, followed by development and presentation of a High-Level Design (HLD) document.
- Object modeling for conceptualizing and mapping business workflows.
- Web application platform migration from ASP to .NET 4.0 using Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services.
- End-to-end code re-engineering including legacy bug fixes, performance enhancements, incorporation of good coding practices and compatibility with all major browsers.
- Comprehensive testing comprised of automation, performance and functional testing.
- Out-of-process state management techniques used to enable quicker and easier application deployment.
- Support for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption security protocol.
- Use of NHibernate for generating database agnostic SQL queries.
- Documentation of all functionalities in an integrated user manual with search features.
FUTURE WORK PACKS
Now that the updated websites are stable and in production, Silicus has started working on the following for the client:
- Business process automation selection, e.g. SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)
- Database re-engineering – cleanup, extension, and migration
- Report transformation using SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
- SharePoint enhancements
These activities will help to save even more application maintenance time and will enable the client to turn around business requests more quickly.
MSSQL Server 2008
Builds & Deployment
Quick Test Professional (QTP) framework and NUnit
Team Foundation Server
Adobe RoboHelp v9.0
MVC 3.0 with Razor view engine, NHibernate, .NET 4.0 including latest techniques with C#, such as Lambda Expressions, LINQ; NCache for session management.
System Capability Significantly Improved
Silicus' solution provides significant overall system capability improvements. The websites are now scalable, with substantial performance and efficiency gains. Moreover, the client can now tackle the backlog of long desired new feature enhancements. They will be able to deliver these initiatives quickly as a direct result of the technology upgrades.
Codebase Quality Enhancements
The new solution eliminates code redundancy and inconsistency, contains easier deployment options – by excluding the need for application downtime – and reflects a structured and modularized program with appropriate comments.
Ease of Use and Simplified Maintenance Result in Significant Cost Savings
Users find the product much easier to use through the inclusion of search capabilities and documentation of all functionalities in the user manual. As a result of the improved usability, it becomes substantially easier to debug, troubleshoot, maintain code and deploy the application – which can help reduce support costs.