Modernizing Real Time Reporting App for Electronic Displays

Success Story.

Modernizing Real Time Reporting App for Electronic Displays

About the Client

The client is a leader in real-time digital display solutions used for providing key operational data to employees and management to improve call center performance. The client’s software collects data from disparate data sources and displays key performance indicators (KPI’s) in real time through LCD screens, wallboards, desktops, email, web pages and mobile devices. This real time call center data helps call center agents make informed and good business decisions.

Business Challenge

The client’s existing software was developed on an older architecture and platform and had its limitations. The software's PC based architecture had limited scalability. The configuration front end was tightly coupled with the software, limiting its use only on machines where it was installed.

The client was looking for a partner with a proven track record of designing and architecting software on the latest platforms and technologies. The client chose Silicus for its strength on the Microsoft platform and its track record of delivering high quality solutions on the latest technologies.

To modernize the software, Silicus realized that we had to abandon the existing software and design a new one.

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Silicus Solution

Silicus offered its services in two phases:

  • Existing functionality development on new architectural framework
  • Functionality enhancements

Both these phases were executed simultaneously.

During the initial requirements analysis phase, Silicus reviewed the existing software product and conducted requirements gathering sessions with various stake holders within the company. The two fold objective of the requirements exercise was to understand short comings within the existing software architecture and determine the new functionality requirements from the client.

A clickable prototype of the User Interface was developed after the requirements gathering phase. After capturing detailed functional and technical requirements, Silicus submitted project cost and time  estimates and a detailed project plan.

Silicus used the MSF (Microsoft Solutions Framework) for Agile Development to perform iterative and Sprint based development and deliver modular software releases.

Some of the software aspects that Silicus worked on improving were:

Smart Client Architecture

The application was developed using Web Services architecture, enabling smart client front ends.

The application had the following layers:

  • Web Service Layer, which provided an interface for smart client applications to interact with the application.
  • Business Object Layer, containing the  application’s functionality.
  • Database Access Layer, for managing interaction with the relational database.

Using smart client architecture allowed the software front-ends to use local resources to provide a  rich user interface while connecting to the main application to exchange data over HTTP.

Scalability, Performance and Reliability

The application was architected with loosely coupled sub-systems which can be implemented in a distributed environment to provide a high-performance, scalable and reliable solution.

Being a real-time application, performance was one of the main challenges. Multi-threading as well as caching were used extensively to optimize performance.

Application Functionality

Major areas of functionality developed in the application included:

  • User Management and Security
  • Data Collection Module: responsible for collecting data from various sources (ODBC, Socket, File and Web).
  • Data Management Module: responsible for massaging the collected data and defining data items which are finally displayed to various output devices. This module also allowed definition of various threshold levels for individual data items.
  • Wallboard Module: responsible for sending data to Wallboards.
  • Email Management and Messaging
  • Display Client: responsible for displaying data on user desktop.
  • Configuration Front-End: responsible for configuring the application.

Technologies Used

Language
Language

C#

Platforms
Platform

.NET 2.0

Database
Database

SQL Server

Web Server
Web Server

IIS

Architecture
Architecture

Smart client architecture

Client Benefits

  • Released a very competitive, next-generation award winning product with a host of new features and improved benefits for their end customers. This was made possible by the Microsoft CoE and .NET competency management initiatives at Silicus.
  • Rapid time-to-market with a product launch that was right on schedule and within budget made possible by our Quality Management initiatives under the Global Sourcing Framework.
  • Proven project management processes and development methodology.
  • Ongoing Maintenance and Support services by a dedicated team.
  • A creative, reliable and highly productive development partner in Silicus that serves as a technical sounding board for their business
  • Cost savings of over 50% in the development cycle, using Silicus’ cost-efficient global delivery model.

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