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Case Study: Highly extensible, DNN-based Enterprise system for an EHS consulting company

The client

The client is an EU-based consulting company which provides EHS (Environment, Heath, and Safety) regulatory compliance support to their global customers. Headquartered in Brussel, the company has more than 500 employees and 10 subsidiaries in different continents.

What the client wanted

The client intended to develop a management system which helps many global enterprises which especially located on EU to assure regulatory compliance in worldwide.

This management system is required to contain several modules such as Audit, Training, Help Desk, and Stategic EHS Management. We developed this system based on DotNetNuke framework.

Why DotNetNuke

The CTO of the client company is a veteran programmer who has more than 30 years of programming experience. At the initial stage when he had to choose the implementation methodology for this system, he has a few options including SharePoint, ASP.NET MVC and DotNetNuke. He finally chose DotNetNuke out of several facts:

  • DotNetNuke is free. For framework, SharePoint was also an option. However, for enterprises of their size, they have to pay $40,000 per year for license. It is not an cost-effective solution.
  • DotNetNuke supports plugging design. Each function is implemented in a module model, which enables easy plug in and plug out. This is especially suitable for enterprise application integrations.
  • DotNetNuke has lucid framework and highly standard coding convention. It can unify different coding styles and enhance the code quality and project maintainability. In consequence, when a developer leaves the project, it will not take long for his successor to take over the project.

Solution

Technology Adopted

  • C#
  • DotNetNuke 5
  • LINQ/ORM (LLBLGenPro)
  • Unit Test (Include Test Driven Development)

System Architecture

Development methodology

Nova works with the client using agile development in this project. Business analysts from the client's side are responsible for writing stories ¨C every story describes an independent function, then our development team would design and develop DotNetNuke module according to associated story.

Fogbugz - project management tool - is used to record the stories, changing requirement and bugs in client's side, and Nova team would take the tasks from the "Fogbugz" to do development and bug-fixing work.

Nova team often provide valuable suggestions on agile management, improving process, problem solution, third party tools and design solution. Our powerful ability and diligent work attained the recognition.

Challenges of the development process

The biggest difficult is the clarification of requirements. Fuzzy and not clear requirement seriously influence development efficiency. From long cooperation experience summary, Nova team positively custom the story template again and again in order to let requirement keep uniform style and clear. In this way, the development efficiently is greatly enhanced.

Communication in time is very important. Much misunderstanding and distrust may come from inadequate communication. Nova attaches much importance to this part. Our developers stay online on Skype through the day and respond to any email within 1 hour. The client felt the cooperation is very transparent and they were willing to share any of their thoughts and concerns with Nova.

  • The client has a web site cluster that totally meets his requirements.
  • The web site runs very well at present and the internet traffic has been increased.
  • The website has become much more attractive.