HSW Enterprises - Wright Track Intranet
The customer requested an online document management system for company forms. The system should provide a data entry interface to save project information and is then transfered to a digital representation of the company's forms and documents. The project teams will use the system to submit information and publish documents to internal departments and 3rd party vendors.
The solution for this project involved several iterations. The first focused on the initial goal of an online data and form management system. But after research and analysis with the client it became clear that the system needed to reinforce business rules and business processes as well. The creation of the system followed a more traditional development cycle, where we first gathered requirements from multiple department representatives. We collected the requirements and created a requirements model that outlined the requirements by services and feature points.
Next we outlined a object model that translated into a class/method hiearchy and data model. The application architect developed a object-oriented framework for conversion of object-based entities to relational entities. This provided a robust framework to build the system objects within, this provided the advantages of object-oriented programming languge that integrated with a relationship database. Based on the UML class and data model we generated stub code for all of the major system services and stored procedures. Based on the design effort I created grey models of the system interface to gather feedback from client representatives while developing a prototype of the system look and feel.
During the inital R&D I conducted an analysis of the client's current forms and business processes. This involved interviewing key representatives from each department involved in the bidding, procurment, and management of a construction project. The business analysis of the forms required resolution of conflicting business requirements and a strategy to homogenise the datapoints gathered from paper-based forms and migrating the datapoints into an online database schema.
The solution involved developing a web-based project management system that provided online data entry and form generation. The project team can assign employees, partners, and competitors while tracking valuable project information, communication, and documents. The system models the business processes required to manage a construction project. This is accomplished by sending automated email notifications to team members and authorizing bodies in addition to generating just-in-time analytical and statistical reports.
The client is very satisfied with the system design and has requested updates and additions to the system design that means we will have significant work for the foreseeable future. Future services planned include integrating with the company's insurance, legal, and accounting processes and systems. The creation of a client, partner, and vendor extranet in addition to re-developing the client's corporate website.
This was a great opportunity to learn how to use Enterprise Architect and expand my experience designing a system using object oriented concepts and principles. I had not used C# for almost 3 years so I had a little catching up to do, but because of the development timeline had plenty of time to learn the ropes and the languages is based on Java/C++ so I already had a working knowledge of the language basics. What was very interesting was the new C# 2.0 generics features, I had a hard time at first understing the framework and the use of generics but as development progressed I grasped it rather well. Because of the national size of the client I had the opportunity to travel to Seattle at least four times and almost once to San Diego. That was exciting as was the chance to expand my business analysis and client interviewing skills. All-in-all the project has been a possitive experience with a few road-bumps here and there. I am hoping this project will be a shinning example of what I am capable off with a smart and professional employer and we can present our work and references to gain more projects such as this.