A large banking client contracted Astor Wells to migrate a single user MS Access database to a multi user web application. The users were manually downloading 40,000 records from their Oracle database server into Access daily for review, edits, and subsequent re-processing.
The re-processing entailed numerical calculations across the entire database. The process once took an hour, but after two years of use, the database grew and re-calculations would require an entire business day. This was not sustainable.
The most logical approach was to keep the data in Oracle, but allow the users to easily edit the data on the server as easily as they could in MS Access. Though desktop applications would have richer user interface capabilities, management decided to use a web-based platform for easier maintenance.
- Analysis & Design
- Reverse engineering
- UX User interface design
- Data management and lineage
- Data flow diagrams
- Support & Training
- Testing & QA
Using a web application to manage a database was a challenge due to latency in retrieving data from the server. Furthermore, without the use of Adobe Flash or MS Silverlight, the controls available in the user interface is relatively limited. To overcome these issues, Astor Wells used a prototyping tool called Axure RP to allow the users to “test drive” the application before the programmers write one line of code. The prototype could demonstrate robust search and quick editing capabilities which quickly won over the stakeholders. When the application was released into production, the users did not require training because they had already used it for several weeks.
To minimize the learning curve, the application design was modeled after a typical Windows application with drop down menus. Configuration and settings are on the left. Editing and the most common functions are in the middle. Reports and summary functions are on the right. Changing the Value date allows the user to work on that day’s records, system wide.
The application was released with no incidents. No changes, corrections, nor adjustments were requested by the stakeholders. And in systems development, no news is good news.