Projects I’ve taken online in 2012

This year has been an amazing year professionally. Together with my employee Martin, and a contractors I’ve been using for visual design and HTML, I’m proud to report we’ve taken the following features for the following customers online 2012.

 

mobilreport

Companies can give their employees mobile phones. Companies pay the bill for these mobile phones. Companies with thousands of such phones get PDF bills which would be inches thick if one were to print them out. mobilreport imports the data electronically and allows various reports over the data: which employee phoned the most? To which countries? During their free-time or during business hours? etc.

Programmed using Java Wicket, we use MySQL to store our data, which then gets exported to XML, transformed via XSLT to create the reports that you see in the browser, and which you can download as PDF, RTF or XLS. My colleague Martin Schmidt at Onestop Concept used Altova Stylevision is used to make designing the reports a case of WYSIWYG.

In 2012 we released:

  • Monthly emails. We send employees monthly emails informing them of how much their mobile phone has cost the company. These are also designed in a WYSIWYG fashion with Stylevision.
  • Complete new visual design. Design by Mandy, HTML from my people in the Philippines, implementation by Martin.
  • Login administration. Whereas which users existed were previously done by altering configuration files, now a full GUI exists to allow customers to do this themselves. Implemented by Martin.
  • More providers. Importing data from providers is a messy process! The files are not well-formed (e.g. CSV files where the “;” field separator appears unescaped in the middle of a cell, making the CSV file technically unparseable). We always supported A1, now we also support Telering AT, T-Mobile AT, A1 Landline AT, COLT AT, Vodafone DE, T-Mobile DE. (Want to see some nastiness? Check out EDIFACT. Want some changes? Apply to the UN.) Implemented by Martin.
  • Master-detail reports. For example: On a table e.g. to which countries calls were made. Clicking [+] by one country opens an expansion where all users who made calls to that country were made, sorted by the cost of those calls. Which data forms the master, which data forms the detail, and how they are connected, is specified by configuration.
  • Subsidiaries. Previously it was necessary to log out and log back in again as a different “customer” if one company had multiple subsidiaries. Aggregated data over all subsidiaries was this impossible. Now the model has been changed; each customer has 1-n subsidiaries.
  • PostgreSQL. Ported the system from MySQL to PostgreSQL; although this was finished, it never hit production. (The issues we had with MySQL were resolved.)

Offer Ready

I’ve been working for Offer-Ready on-and-off since March 2007. Operators can integrate this software into their workflow and find the optimal tariff for their customers. With this optimal tariff, documents such as offers can be generated.

This is great software that throws up a number of interesting technical challenges. We consider millions (no exaggeration!) of mobile phone tariff variations in well under a second, to find the optimal one.

This year we designed three new pieces of software from scratch, they are now all online:

  • Publisher. When a change is made to the configuration defining the mobile phone tariffs, this software takes those changes, and does what needs to be done so that the new configuration is online and available. This is a non-trivial process involving many steps and much wall-clock time, this software ties all those steps together. While publishing is happening, the old version of the configuration is online and can be used; in case it fails, the old version stays online.
  • Profile Editor. Data entry for the system. User may enter their usage data, which then calls the existing system (API) to work out the best tariff for these data. Programmed by Martin.
  • Document Viewer. Results of calculations may be displayed in the browser; options to download PDF, RTF, XLS exist.

HR Gamification System

New product, not released yet. Website should support Human Resource departments to use the talent already within the company to find new talented employees. Using appropriate current techniques such as gamification.

I will be providing the software development for this product. Currently supporting the customer with requirements, doing software design. HTML is being done by my employees in Philippines. Next year we’ll get on to the software development (with Martin) and taking the system into production.

United Youth

Between July 2011 and February 2012 inclusive I was the sole developer for a charity web platform called United Youth for Kurt Braunhofer. Although development was continued by a new team from March onwards, in December 2012 the new team took their platform online and included one piece of software from me: the Symbol Page.

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