Assumption, Further Development and Maintenance of Business Critical Applications
E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH & Co. KG (E-Plus) assigned adesso with the takeover, the maintenence and the development of two business-critical applications called POSMAN (Point of Sale Manager) and VISS (sales information and management system).
“With the assistance of adesso's software architects we were able, during the course of the project assumption, to realise a very important project requirement: the almost immediate adoption of the POSMAN and VISS applications by a supplier, while simultaneously developing a joint vision on the basis of component-based technologies for future development activities in the IDS business unit.”
POSMAN comprises the functional areas of master data maintenance, contact management and marketing and is imbedded in a complex system landscape with several interfaces to other applications, databases and documents. POSMAN has been customised to the specific needs of E-Plus.
VISS mainly assists the E-Plus sales staff in supporting their retailers. Therefore, VISS provides the sales staff with reporting functionalities for activation data and sales call reports. VISS is currently being used by around 300 sales assistants.
The POSMAN application has been implemented in VB6.0. In order to extend the functionality, third-party products such as Sheridan ActiveListBar, ActiveTreedPlus, ActiveToolsbarPlus, DataWidgets are used. Furthermore, adesso employed self-developed OCX for the support of the presentation layer (PL). Microsoft SQL-Server V7.0 is the applied database.
The existing architecture was a challenge in advancing and maintaining. adesso decided to insert new, clearly delimited functionalities, so that the intervention into the system was marginal and the result was maximised. Moreover, the efforts for a possible migration of Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 to Microsoft .NET by using the Code Advisors for Visual Basic 6, a support tool to simplify the migration, were kept low. The maintenence and advancement of a trend-setting strategy was assured by this.
The VISS application can both be used as LAN online as well as on a standalone laptop computer in offline mode. The technology underlying VISS is based on the so-called WebToGo concept by Oracle. Both the application itself and the data are stored in a central Oracle database with the WebToGo technology ensure that the application and the data necessary for each sales member can be replicated to a laptop and used in offline mode.
The preferential goal in the development of new components and of the extension of existing components for E-Plus was to create an architecture that is as open as possible for future migrations. In order to achieve this, adesso, E-Plus and a partner company developed a technological vision which defines the direction of future development activities within the business unit IDS. This vision means a step-by-step migration of the three applications POSMAN, VISS and DCS to a component-based technology base, such as is provided by .NET.
In order to cope with the requirement of high availability that characterizes the applications POSMAN and VISS adesso and E-Plus developed an adequate support strategy. This strategy defines that adesso provides call-in support both within and outside normal business hours, and that adesso also provides telephone consultancy. These measures guarantee both a quick telephone and on-site support in case of an error situation by qualified software architects or developers.
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