Trial Services

Case Studies: An Internet Front End

Your Profile

A prominent Application Service Provider currently has a client-server system, which supports 100,000 companies and more than 35,000,000 individuals. The cost of maintaining this system has become excessive; every time there is a new release of software, more than 100,000 CD-ROMs have to be shipped. That in no way guarantees that the customers will install the new version of the software.

Your Problem

More than 10 versions of the client server software were in active use by their clients on a variety of operating systems while coexisting with many other software products. When a customer calls with a problem, it's often very hard to diagnose. Before shipping a new version of the software, it has to be tested on a bewildering variety of systems. Maintenance has simply become too complicated and too expensive.

By providing a thin client Internet front-end to this system, the ASP can be assured that everyone is running the same version of the software. By doing all processing on ASP provided computers, data security can be offered as an integral service thereby avoiding the disastrous "lost data problem."

Our Solution

Expertise: ShouldersCorp brought in a world class architect and program manager followed shortly by OO designers, a GUI designer, a DBA, a technical writer, a quality assurance specialist and a team of Java developers. From time to time, other specialists were brought in to deal with short term highly technical issues, such as selecting a persistence mechanism or an application server.

Approach: Over a set of three 100-day projects, the ShouldersCorp team worked with client personnel to design, develop, quality assurance and roll out this application. It involves more than 200 screens, 1000 Java classes, 30 reports, 2000 data elements and 1000 business rules.

One of the largest challenges was to approximate the performance expectations of a power user of a client server system. We came very close given that we figuratively moved the disk drive 1000 miles away!

The architecture is also surprisingly agile. Radical changes can be made quickly. Business rule and workflow changes are made to data files rather than to source code. Most screens are generated not hand coded. A real object model helps the ASP understand what is and is not supported by the new system.

Results: The system is moving briskly into full production and scaling up to serve most, if not all, of the client server user population.

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