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Case Studies - Energy Company

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Solving a Business Problems in Days!

The national sales arm of a large energy company needed to improve the new sales business process. Its existing paper-based process made it difficult to produce fast, accurate quotes, so an automated system was called for. The easiest way to keep everyone up-to-date was to make the data entry and reporting web-based.

The business process department had produced a design/implementation using MS Access, showing the information to be collected and the underlying calculations for the business rules. Turning this single-page, unstructured application into a multi-page, multi-user web-based system was the next step. The Business Process department could have done it-if they had support from the Corporate ERP department. But they didn't, so they couldn't. The much-needed new sales process was about to go onto the "requirements to be assessed" stack.

At this point, the sales director asked NT/e to run a short project to show what MDA could do. Working from the MSAccess forms, and using NT/e 's JeeWiz MDA tool, our business analysts produced a UML model showing the underlying tables and the relations between them, plus the visible pages and the intricate logic for page navigation. After only two days, and four iterations of the model, an operational web-site offering a first version of the required sales process was made available to the Business Process department for review and further refinement.

Although not a large application, this project developed a much-needed web-based multi-user distributed application in a very short time. In doing so, it showed many of the best characteristics of an MDA approach to system development:

  • Model-driven - the model determines the structure of the code, it is not just a sketch!
  • Fast design iterations
  • Code generation (over 98% in this case)
  • Solution for a real business problem
  • Easier embellishment and maintenance, using the model as the basis

You can see and use the working system.

A similar program, featuring short and sharp projects that deliver real results, is now offered under the auspices of the OMG FastStart Programme.

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