Timbertruss drive all of their business flow through their MAJIC system. MAJIC is a manufacturing, job information and costing system responsible for maintaining a client job from its initial request, through quotation, manufacturing and delivery.
The existing MAJIC system is a VB6 windows application, which while meeting it’s purpose, is becoming more difficult to maintain. Not only will the development environment (VB6) soon be no longer supported, but finding people with the relevant skills to support the system is also an ongoing concern.
Add to this the ever changing requirements to enhance and modernize the solution as the business grows, then the need to upgrade the system has become more prominent.
HordernIT business analysts and project leaders worked alongside Timbertruss business representatives to map out a path forward for the MAJIC system. The solution was to upgrade the existing system to a newer technology that is well supported as well as making use of well-known practices used in the software development field to allow the system to be easily enhanced as new requirements are fleshed out.
Key considerations when designing the upgrade procedure were:
- A simple way forward for converting the existing system onto the newer technology platform.
- Improve any known issues with the existing system during the upgrade phase.
- The new system needs to be easily used across multiple sites both in Australia but eventually internationally. Needs to be a distributed system.
- Limit the amount of developer intervention to perform day-to-day tasks
- Make the screens intuitive and consistent
The solution provided addressed these considerations accordingly:
- The existing system was analysed and documented. This analysis was then checked with the business to make sure it still met their needs. Once agreed upon, the functionality could then be translated into the new technology.
- Areas around duplication (data or coded), or methods for better achieving the specified goal were assessed.
- Using an MVC web application allows the new solution to be more easily deployed as well as accessible in multiple locations and on different devices.
- Anywhere where data is “hardcoded” into the system is problematic in that it will require developers to step in and make changes. The better the database design and the accessibility to this data, the less requirement that is required of the developer.
- If the screens are familiar to common users, then they are more likely to understand how to use them. If the screens are also self-documenting then there is less reliance on others to show how the screens should work.
Products and Services Provided
- Business analysis
- Architecture Review
- Database design and administration
- ASP.NET development
- Project management
- User acceptance testing coordination
- Software installation
- IIS configuration
- User Training
- Documentation (test plans, training material, user guides, system maintenance manuals)