Blue chip professional skills from an independent

CODA table link bulk import

What was needed?

Our customer was upgrading their CODA solution, and at the same time needed to improve an interface that bulk imported transactions overnight.

The current process was heavily manual. There was a bespoke software portion but it was old and inflexible; the business had changed around it, and there were several manual processes to accommodate the changes. The right place for such changes was the interface. We provided a proposal for re-writing the interface, including fully automating it to run overnight with no manual intervention.

How did we deliver?

We developed the interface and the specification concurrently. We have deep experience of such projects, and know all the standard pitfalls. We build all of this hard won knowledge into each interface we write. In this case it allowed the customer to focus on just the key requirements for their business. Of course, all the 'standard' interfacing functionality is crucial to project success, so we went through this in detail, for example:

  • configuration details;
  • mapping data entry and maintenance;
  • security;
  • audit files and report;
  • automated emailing of results.

We then delivered the interface and worked closely on site to implement and test it. There were very few changes - which validated the initial scope and design phase. And the changes that were needed were delivered very quickly, which validated our clean software design and development methodology.

This is a fairly high volume environment, typically more than 50,000 transactions per night; for a batch interface, and for CODA, these volumes are dealt with very comfortably. Typical processing time on a modern server was less than 10 minutes per night.

As part of the (standard) tests we run, the software has been stress tested with up to 1,000,000 transactions per night without showing any signs of problems or performance degradation.

What was the result?

We supported the customer through go live, and the first month of running, which included a month end run, where the volumes are typically three to four times the daily numbers. This all went smoothly, and the customer is currently happily relying on the interface to deliver their core operational data to the finance system each and every day.

How can this help you?

Finally, it is worth noting our proposal was less then half the cost of competing bids; also, our customer felt our plan provided better risk mitigation - we are always happy to include a few weeks of free support after 'go live'.

We want the overall project experience to be positive; in reality the project lasts for as long as you use the software, which should be many years into the future. In practice, most of the issues in software show themselves quickly after go live. It seems wrong for the interface to be delivered and to then immediately need to pay more money to correct problems with it - we back ourselves to get it right first time and if we don't we do not want you to suffer.

After the initial bedding in period the customer reverted to one of our standard support contracts.