Case Study: Property management system project
A UK based Software Company asked us to create an Asset Management and Estates analysis
This is part of ongoing development of the client's software system. The part we
undertook included two parts: a web site for data collection &presentation purpose
and a windows Form application for administration purpose.
The requirements can be broke into three parts: data collection, basic information
management and data report analysis.
- Data Collection: Currently the data on the clients' side was gathered from a variety
of sources and stored in spreadsheets.
- Basic information management: This part includes user information maintenance, permission
maintenance and basic data maintenance.
- Data report analysis: This part combines the above two parts to generate relevant
data through the background and show them on the website.
- .NET Framework 2.0
- SQL Server 2000
- Visual Studio 2005
- ASP.NET 2.0
As per the requirements, we needed a windows program to manage the basic information
as well as the work flow; and a web program to manage the relevant Service data
for the organizations and institutions. We divided the system into three parts:
Web Site, Web Services and Windows Form based application.
Web Site was designed to allow users to input data easily from the client in any
place without any support. In order to enhance the user experience, we used Grid
constructed by jQuery and Ajax , accordingly the users could use it as easily as
they use Excel.
Windows Form was designed for managers to input data and import data from cvs files
automatically and setup permission, backup data, control the startup of business
processes, audit data, export data, print, generate sheets.
Web Service provided data services for Windows form; accordingly we could deploy
the windows form program flexibly.
Challenges of the development process
- One important thing is the integration and interaction with the whole system as
this is a part of the whole system.
We found out that all the data used in the system came from the other systems and
facility after communicating with the client. Accordingly, we designed our database
and architecture based on the data structure provided by the relevant systems and
- Currently the data on the customers' side was collected from a variety of sources
and stored in spreadsheets. This process was time-consuming and potentially prone
To address this issue, we at one hand developed a data input program, which enabled
the client to manually input or modify the data; on the other hand, we developed
a data import program, which enabled the client import existing data to the system.
- Since the data collection process used to be handled via MS Excel and the client
wanted to inherit the customers' convention, we had to provide similar functionalities
of MS Excel on the web site. But the client didn't want to use any of the third
We had to create our own control to present the similar look and feel of MS Excel
on web site, this was the most difficult part of the technical solution, but we
managed to solve this problem before we really started coding, thus the risk was
eliminated at an earlier stage.
- Another problem we encountered was the unclear requirement of this project. Due
to the tight timeline, the client only gave us rough requirement, and many features
were not described in details.
For the rough requirements, we made a prototype before implementation, and adjusted
our design based on the client's feedback to the prototype.
Benefits to the Client
- The customer now has a product which totally meets their requirements and helps
them automate the data collection process. This reduces a lot of manual work.
- With the deep-set trust between the two sides, the client can now focus their energy
on the customers and don't have to worry about the software development and team
- The parts we implement cooperate well with the whole system, saving the client's
time to modify the whole system.