Same meat, different gravy

We would like to tell you real examples of “IT Transformation”, in which we help our customers develop and implement a completely new IT environment that works faster, more flawlessly, more effectively and with minimal human intervention.

Not every job starts with a clean slate. Sometimes we are stuck to the limitations of an old system that may or may not be completely replaced for various reasons:” Then we work with the means available to you,” says Senior Software Engineer Maarten van der Lee. He can know, as he is involved in such a process: building a complete back office application for a government agency. A “hybrid solution” that adds new functionality to a basically old environment.

Maarten: “When we started in May 2014, we found ourselves working with a Microsoft Access application that kept growing with every new functionality. This devious solution barely managed to manage and it was no longer able to adequately support the new responsibilities of the organization.”

Time pressure

The first improvement was achieved under time pressure. Devoteam started in May, the system needed to be ready in January. Delay would mean that thousands of clients, dependent on the public service, would be in trouble.

Maarten: “We decided to use the existing frontend as much as possible and took over the database tables and the existing screens. In this way we were able to concentrate on developing a completely new backend.”

From the top

The backend requirements were clear. It had to be more testable and manageable with the possibility for automatic testing. In addition, the system had to be able to process the expected increase in client requests. Maarten: “We finished the first version in October. Within 5 months we improved the application to adequately support the new, heavier tasks of the organization. ”

In the meantime the users of the system encountered no problems. The user interface remained the same. Meanwhile, the application had become a lot more robust and could be tested faster and faster. “We have set a solid base during the period, from which we could build further.”

Capacity

When it was up to Maarten, he implemented even more automatisation. Unfortunately, that was beyond the scope of the assignment. The system is now able to accommodate the 1000 temporary workers required to handle and respond to all requests. Maarten: “The organization has already been awarded a few million euros to solve predicted problems with the capacity of architecture. That money has not been needed. Yes, there are capacity problems, but that’s more an organization issue.”

Improvement

Looking back, Maarten can conclude that Devoteam has played an important role:” If we had not rebuilt, it had become a fiasco. We have been able to perform our assignment properly. That does not mean that we are satisfied now; Altogether there are still many details so there is still a lot of room for improvement.” These improvements are now being implemented slowly but surely. If Devoteam completes the process in 2018, there is a firm, future-proof application.

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Contact

Maarten van der Lee

Senior Software Engineer