NetDev takes the intelligent route with Tier 2 Consulting

Tier 2 Consulting was appointed following a rigorous exploration of their agile working methodologies, married to its specialist technical delivery and consulting skills in JBoss, Hibernate, Seam, web services, and advanced web user interface techniques, such as AJAX.

In 2007 NetDev went in search of expert web application development skills to overhaul and improve the client interface of their ‘Provisioning Engine’. As a technically experienced organisation, NetDev was unsure as to whether the ‘wish list’ of requirements could be delivered and made to work in the mission critical environment of their call routing software package.

About NetDev

Formed in 2003, but with expertise in NGN IN services spanning back to the early 1990’s the development team’s experience includes implementing and supporting ground breaking IN services for World leading telcos and service providers.

NetDev is a new breed of applications developer: expert, innovative and nimble. Small enough to be agile, responsive and accountable, yet big enough to develop, deliver and support the largest global converged services projects for an international market. They specialise in developing and integrating next-generation, carrier-grade applications and services for the communications marketplace.

NetDev’s expertise lay in creating applications and services for fixed and mobile network operators, service providers and global systems integrators.

All applications are feature-rich, scalable, open and built to industry standards and can be deployed on legacy and disparate systems, as well as the evolving multi-vendor networks of the future.

The Provisioning Engine

The NetDev Provisioning Engine allows companies to setup and manage their subscriptions and call-flows via either a graphical user interface (GUI), or a set of web services.

Once the data is provisioned, the call flows are executed by NetDev’s call routing software, based on the JAIN SLEE application container, a java-based application server specifically designed for routing and monitoring telecoms traffic.

NetDev customers can maintain their subscription information and routing plans stored in the database via the Provisioning Engine. For example, they can:

· Organise their own customers into accounts and subaccounts

· Create and maintain routing plans for each account, and the features within those plans (e.g. connects,announcements, time-dependent routing etc.)

· Simulate call flows.

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Agile web development for the enterprise

Enterprise Web Technology

The JBoss Enterprise Application platform was chosen to provide the levels of performance, scalability and enterprise support required by Netdev. The richness of the user interface required advanced development skills with extensive use of AJAX and jQuery to create:

· Data maintenance wizards using modal pop-ups

· URLs that can be bookmarked

· Dynamic routing plan definition.

Agile Web Development

Tier 2 managed the process of re-developing the Provisioning GUI with a series of iterative deliveries based on NetDev’s priorities. Each iterative delivery mapped to a logical section of functionality as defined in the detailed scoping analysis documentation presented in response to NetDev’s initial requirement set.

The agile nature of the project delivery – designed to deliver higher quality software faster and in a more cost effective manner – was facilitated via:

· A close, highly-skilled team

· Regularly client collaborating

· Elaboration and build done in bite-size iterations

· The early release and re-working of each iteration as and when necessary.

Summary

Tier 2 exceeded the expectations of the management team by creating advanced graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and therefore a superior client experience for the web based processes involved. JBoss Seam, a framework designed for building Web 2.0 applications, was used to simplify the integration of JSF, AJAX and GUI JavaBeans, and provide powerful state management for the user interface.

The project was delivered using an agile web development approach supported by industry standard project management, analysis and design techniques – the perfect match for the operational culture of NetDev.

“Tier 2 has continually demonstrated a clear and precise understanding of the complex environment in which we work. By combining excellent technical expertise with agile working, I am confident that Tier 2 will become a major contributor in assisting NetDev drive forward our next generation product portfolio.”

John Logsdon, NetDev

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