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LASTING Software is excited to announce the launch of the development of a new project, following more than one man-year of business analysis. The goal of the project can be considered quite audacious: to model the forecasting process of a huge, multi-site manufacturing corporation.
After more than ten years of tedious Excel based business forecasting, the processes became unmanageable. Data quality dropped dramatically and the cost to maintain the information increased drastically. Thereby, the project of developing a planning process which would be accessible by various entities and flexible was born. The projects’ objectives being very appealing, one site’s initiative turned into a scalable, regional approach, planned to be extended globally over time.
In functional terms, the scope of the project is for the forecasting processes to be implementable in a heterogeneous manner in each site. Based on local constraints and custom organization the application should be adaptable. Corporate level consolidation is nevertheless, performed on standard dimensions. The processes focus on delivering P&L, Balance Sheet and Cash flow forecasting, therefore integrating all aspects of the business.
In terms of non-functional requirements, the set objectives become a lot more challenging. The application needs to be operational for many users simultaneously. The users may have different profiles finally, the application should offer features from systems of different nature. Scalability is a very important aspect, as more than 1000 users per site are involved in the process, with peak usage levels during certain periods of the forecasting cycle. In addition, implementing the solution in a new site should be seamless for the others in terms of performance and throughput.
The customer being very proficient in Excel, the solution will include benefits from both worlds: the extreme usability of Excel and the consistency of a relational database.
Role management is also a key feature, as more than 20 user profiles have been identified.
The need for user input responsiveness required LASTING Software to be innovative. The solution came with a revolutionary design approach. The levels of availability needed for the different information were identified and the computation was split into two main process engines. One of them is dedicated to real time data, used to make the user input experience as “online” as possible while the other delivers just-in-time data, which presents information as quickly as needed thanks to an intelligent scheduling and a very heavy computational activity, performed in background.
Data changes very often and the overhead may, at some points, bottleneck the user experience. Therefore, a level of caching has been designed to eliminate from the equation the unnecessary database persistence activities. The persistence itself is done asynchronous, with an algorithm to ensure data consistency in case of hardware or software failures.
At the customer’s request, according to its IT strategy, a .NET/C# with MsSQL 2008 platform was selected for the project. The latest features of these technologies are employed in all aspects of the development. Version 1 has been split into three major milestones, in a custom agile setup. In the early stages user feedback will be gathered, as usability is the key success driver. The first step is for LASTING Software to create a UI prototype and the core module which will handle the business logic. The second one focuses on the reporting and access management and the third is the completion of the UI elements, in terms of provisioning and integration with the other software solutions of the company.
About LASTING Software:
LASTING Software is a Romanian outsourcing company that offers high quality software development services at controlled costs and risk. The experience acquired through a variety of near-shored and off-shored projects in the last 15 years guarantees a reliable partner. Some companies might not need to outsource a complete project, therefore LASTING Software adapts to their requirements proposing partial project development.
LASTING Software specializes in: