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MicroBlue Software, LLC
Selected Deployed Software Projects
Modified Notes client time and expense reporting system for web access.
The application was composed of two data bases, one for tracking client, project, and employee information and the second to track the timesheet and expense reporting. It was not originally designed to be used on the web.
The requirements stated that the Notes client and the web access were to have the same basic user interface and functionality and that both timesheets and expenses be created, edited, and submitted for approval in either interface seamlessly.
Some data contained in the Clients/Projects data base were accessed by the Timesheet data base via a Notes profile document stored in the Projects/Clients data base. Notes profile documents are not reliably accessible on the web because the Domino sever caches these documents and does not apply changes unless the Domino HTTP server is stopped and restarted. This problem was solved by means of a LotusScript agent in the Clients/Project data base that created a configuration document in the Timesheet data base if it did not exist or replace it if it did. The agent was designed to run automatically every time the profile document was edited and saved.
All existing Notes/Domino security was incorporated into the web application, namely no editing of approved timesheets or expenses.
Total time from design to deployment was 11½ weeks. No errors were found in customer acceptance testing except for a minor change in the text of one user information message and one button label.
Designed, developed, and deployed a sales agent application for a major world wide financial services company.
The application employs selective replication to sync the Domino server database to the Notes clients running on laptop computers. Three hundred sales agents are using the application.
The application gathers information from prospective clients and creates dynamic legal contracts based on the data entry. Signatures are captured via a signature tablet and are stored in the legal documents. The application makes use of user defined validations and edits to ensure correct data entry. This technique employs extensive use of Script libraries and LotusScript to perform the validations. Further, no programmer interventions is required if the validations must be changed.
The application also contains a workflow to approve the prospective clients after background and credit checks.
The application was designed to ultimately exchange data with an IBM DB2 Universal Data Base on an AS/400 using IBM Enterprise Integrator (LEI). This feature was to be implemented in a phase two development effort undertaken by the customer.
Designed and developed Notes applications for internal use at a major telecom company.
Primary development effort was a complex workflow application with a high level of security. Extensive use of LotusScript and manipulation of both front end and back end classes was employed for field level edits and document routing.
It was used by 5,000 customer service representatives to provide customer refunds and adjust billing errors.
Was assigned the technical project manager and development lead on this development effort. Microsoft Project was used to manage the development tasks, people and due dates.
Created the unit and system test scenarios for the internal quality assurance group. The scenarios were built by using the client requirements document to ensure that the business functions and validations were properly coded.
The application was a complex workflow application working on Notes clients and Domino servers. The purpose of the application was to correct billing errors and to clear the books of uncollectible accounts for telephone service. There were six different workflows in the application which were based on the amount of money written off as uncollectible or correctable billing errors. The default approval level each person in the reporting structure was maintained in a lookup data base governed by job title and department. Also, different amounts for a title/department were maintained for uncollectible and correctable amounts. The approval hierarchy was five levels from the customer rep to Vice President. An override for the default approval amounts was maintained within the application by job title and department to allow flexibility for addressing unique situations. The workflow was built using Info Image Interactive Object Tools.
The application contained 40 forms each unique to the type of bill adjustment and incorporated regional differences. Input validation by field and its relationship to other fields based on business rules was coded in LotusScript using both the front-end and back-end classes. Common scripts were put into a script library for easy maintenance. Edits were put into place to allow region specific adjustments based on telephone area code and prefix.
Extensive use of agents manipulating the LotusScript back-end classes allowed the remote printing of the adjustments at various locations to keep a hard copy of the adjustments for internal and Public Utilities Commission (PUC) audits. These remote locations were maintained in 20 views with a mechanism to reroute documents between locations.
A client administrator function was built into the application so that all documents could be recovered to an unprocessed status after printing and/or archival. The area code and prefix data by region and the destination locations were placed in lookup views. These data were maintained by the client administrator. The documents were moved from views termed "Printing Required" to archive status when the hard copies were created using agents coded in LotusScript. The administrator function also defined the above reporting structure and approval amounts so that both the structure and approval amounts could be changed by the client department without IT involvement.
The system was designed to accommodate an automatic interface into the main frame billing system via IBM Enterprise Integrator (LEI) when the client department deemed that money was available to finance the enhancement.
No web access to the application was permitted. A common look and feel defined by human factors engineers was built into the application by using navigators and subforms. Extensive context sensitive help was incorporated in the application using pop up dialogs.
The workflow allowed the originator to approve adjustments at origination if within their authorized amounts. If the amount exceeded their authority, the adjustment entered the approval steps. An e-mail with a document link was sent to the next management level after the previous level had approved it. The adjustment amount was checked for sufficient authorization at each stage when approving. If at any point a manager had sufficient approval authority, the adjustment was marked fully approved and routed to the print queues described above. If the amount exceeded the approval maximum at that level, it was routed upward in the chain via an e-mail document link. If at any level the approval was denied, the document was rerouted back to the originator with a mandatory rejection reason in free form text. When corrections were made, the document was then resubmitted to the approval workflow using the original approval steps. A history of who approved and/or rejected the adjustment was maintained for the life of the document up to 99 entries. The application also had reminders and escalations built in which used client defined intervals if a document was not handled by an approver within that interval.
Key elements of the application were that all variable rules and data were maintained by interfaces into the application with no hard coding. This concept gave the client the ability to change the business rules and parameters of the system without programmer intervention. Security in the application was a prime factor since the application had a direct impact on revenues by being able to adjust customer bills.
All administrative and general user access functions were defined with ACL roles to which groups defined in the Public Domino Directory were assigned. Hence, the volatile customer service representative population was easily maintained by System Administration and the client population could not grant special privileges without a System Administrator making the changes in the Public Domino Directory.
Use of a look up data base to maintain the reporting structure and default approval amounts allowed changes to work groups to have no impact on the workflow application. It also allowed these data to be used in other applications. A centralized location for maintenance transparent to all applications was made possible as well.
The project duration from conception to production deployment was 13 months. A complete set of technical documentation was provided so that the application could be be maintained by company IT personel staff. This documentation was created as the project progressed through the various stages of development from requirements gathering to deployment.
Designed, developed, and deployed an intranet corporate portal for Notes client users.
Content is modified without programmer intervention.
Designed, developed, and deployed a web based extranet corporate portal
Content is modified without programmer intervention.
Designed, developed and deployed document library and control applications.
These libraries contained document approval for publication workflows and document versioning.
Designed and implemented trade show data base proof of concept.
Trade show data base proof of concept was designed and implemented in Microsoft Access for vendor booth assignment, product descriptions, contact and billing information to be deployed on Microsoft SQL Server. Reports generated included a product to vendor reference, keyword to vendor reference and booth locations by product reference.
MicroBlue Software, LLC Internet Site.
Company web site and e-mail server, including spam and virus control, designed and deployed using the Domino server service provider option. HCL Domino Xpages technology was used to develop and deploy the company web site.
This site was implemented using HCL Domino xPages by Ken Behrens, HCL Domino Application Developer.
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