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Case Study: Hospital Information System

Highlights

  • Developed a complex system for a client who has no experience of software outsourcing and no any document
  • Thorough communications for requirement, questions and project management
  • Powerful, high extendable and high customizable Hospital Information System

The client

  • Based in Trinidad & Tobago, the client provides various medical & diagnostic services since 1995. They have been the most famous agency in the local industry, and this is the first time of the client to involve the software outsourcing.

What they wanted

  • Our client was looking for a software vendor who can provide a complicated, extendibility and customizability product by solid experienced developers with a competitive price.
  • The target product is similar with a hospital information system, which provides patient and doctor information management, entry test & diagnostic result and especially customizable functions (Such as, customizing layout, adding entire new tests with custom fields and customizing report). It contains both Winform and Webform versions.

Challenges

  • Due to this client was fresh and lacked experiences for outsourcing and project management. Without any requirements except only an existing working application, our client was not good at clarify required functionalities also could not reply questions very timely. so that after this project started, we had a hard time to collaborate and move this project on, since our tasks were vague and parts of them were wasted.
  • Another challenge is the complexity of customizable application. This customizibility need actually brought many troubles and headaches.

Solutions and results

  • We assigned a project manager who is good at requirement analysis and communication to this project. Our client was guided to know how to participate project management activities like how explain his needs and how to review our questions. Also a collaboration "mode" between client and us was built, like this PM would gather requirements, design functions and share understanding to other team members, we gathered our questions together and when client had enough time then we went through them with he. After several iterations, this project finally back to a normal state.
  • For these specific customizable features, we spent lots of time to research, attempt and compare the possible solutions, and design low cost and workable mechanisms for them such as using EAV solution to solve custom field function, using DevExpress layout control to implement customizing layout and using DevExpress report designer and our solutions to match custom report needs instead of using report services of SQL Server.

Benefits to the Client

  • Due to proactive and sufficient communications, the development process has been under control and the product was successfully delivered with pervious chosen features.
  • The client gained continuously improvement applications and successfully increased the end user's confidence.
  • Due to cost advantage of Nova compared with local development company, the client saved 60% on development cost and saved lots of time.

Screen Shots

Reference

Technology required

Development methodology

.NET Platform

.NET Framework provides a comprehensive and consistent programming model with a common set of APIs spanning Microsoft platform. Our developers who have years of experience effectively built the application based on latest proven best practices in .NET platform.

WCF & Entity Framework

Using the two technologies can easily build a flexible, extendibility and service-oriented application in multiple client applications without complicated and time-consuming codes.

SQL Server 2008 - FileStream

FILESTREAM enables SQL Server database engine, and the NTFS file system as a whole. Transact-SQL statements insert, update, query, search and back up FILESTREAM data. FILESTREAM uses the NT system cache for caching file data. This will help reduce the FILESTREAM data might have any impact on the properties of the database engine. Because does not use the SQL Server buffer pool, so that memory can be used for query processing.

DevExpress Controls

DevExpress provides lots of useful and beautiful controls with easily using. That makes us work out many gorgeous and powerful features very quickly, such as custom form in winform, and save more time for other important things of whole development process.

XtraReport and SubReport

XtraReport is a powerful report control. Using this control, we can quickly implement to many complex reports and set beautiful styles. Such as custom report, cross-tab report, drill-down report, drill-through report, master-detail report, label report and so on. XtraReport supports PDF, HTML, MHT, RTF, XLS, XLSX, CVS, Text and Image files output format.

XtraReport provide end-users, this may be useful with the capability to create and customize reports using the End-User Designer, and you can store report definitions in a database in any other custom location. If it is necessary to have a common target for saving and sharing all reports. User can modify styles and data source by their ideas.

Using SubReport, we can reuse reports and creation of master - detail reports or, invoice reports with hierarchically linked data.

MVP design pattern

Using the MVP design pattern is to separate the responsibilities of the application in such a manner as to make the application code more testable, maintainable and extensible. Also keep sharing more code for different client applications.

EAV solution

Since client required the system needed to support custom fields for many scenarios, so we chose the EAV solution to implement custom field.

Download reports as ZIP file

Using SharpZip implement to compress multiple files into one ZIP file, then using HttpHandle technology to download it.