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Case studies
Software Outsourcing - Job Tracking System

Job Tracking System

The Client

The client was a leading software consulting company in US. One of its customers was in pressing need of a system that could keep track of the progress of work

Challenges

The Job Tracking System as a management tool would be used to establish, track and manage jobs or projects. Moreover, it should be able to distribute different levels to different roles. Abstract Technology was required to participate in the entire lifecycle of the development from framework design, UI design, coding, implementation, and test to complete technical and user documentations.

According to the customer's requirement, the system was comprised of several components in terms of security levels. The operation in each component function was dependent on the security level of the user.

The core of the system was job component, in which users could create new jobs / projects, assign tasks, maintain job information, close assigned tasks etc. Each job could be separated to different phases and each phase to different tasks. Some special users could change job status and add/review notes as well as working hours. Other components included administrator component, homepage component, report component, search component and contact component. System administrators were able to make changes through administrator component instead of modifying program code, for instance, they could distribute user levels, modify system parameters, set data grid etc. Some features in other components included job progress reports, keywords search and so forth.

Additionally, many functions would be expanded or added in future releases.

Approach

The system used .NET Framework 1.1, C#, SQL Server 2000, and ran on a Windows 2003 Server. Other technologies included ASP.NET, XML, and JavaScript etc.

In the process of development, we strictly conformed to the RUP (Rational Unified Process). Our developers completed detailed architecture design and class design after thoroughly analysing the requirement. We utilized the popular design patterns like Facade Pattern, Single Pattern, Factory Method, Abstract Factory etc. These design patterns realized a conceptual solution to fulfil requirements. Considering the security and maintainability of the system, we recommended 5-layer hierarchy for the system, which contained UI, Controller, Business Logic Layer, Data Access Layer and Data Layer. In the design of UI, we conceived complicated role-based user interfaces by which different users with different security levels could access to different components to realize the role-based control. The controller was responsible for the communication between UI and BL, which was a good approach effectively separating UI and BL. Data Access Layer utilized the framework DAP (Data Access Process) designed by our developers to efficiently implement the O-R mapping and access to the database.

Our QA department was involved in the test process. They tested the system from functionality, compatibility, load to regression respectively to ensure the quality of the system.

The features of the approach

Depending on the extensively practical experience on system development and maintenance, we have a deep understanding about the significance of system maintenance and scalability, hence we suggested our client to adopt the 5-layer architecture to assure the flexibility and security.

Abstract Technology created a new framework DAP with its extensive knowledge of .NET. DAP is an object-relational database (O-R) mapping framework through which records in database table can be easily mapped to objects. Furthermore, it is an extensible and reusable package that can be freely configured in any project developed with the programming languages that conform to Common Language Specification (CLS). It also provides the interfaces that end users can customize to map objects to other persistent storage such as xml file, plat file etc.

Benefits

  • Intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces were available
  • The well-designed and reliable architecture guaranteed the security of the system
  • A highly easy-to-maintenance and scalable system
  • The use of DAP made the access to database more effective and convenient
  • The comprehensive test excellently assured the quality of the software
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