Public Sector

Case Study – San Mateo County

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Project Overview
During the real estate crash of 2007, the county of San Mateo (and many other counties around the country) were experiencing a fast drop in the value of properties.  Since county revenues were driven mainly by property taxes, this drop in values was affecting the budgets of many of the cities and townships in the county.  The treasurers of the various governments would call the county tax collector every few days to see what the latest budget numbers were for the county.  This quickly became difficult to manage so the county decided to build a website that would calculate the net property values and publish them each day.
Solution
We designed and built a system that would take a data feed each night and process the numbers to produce budget numbers for all of the different entities in the county.  The calculations were quite complex because each entity could get their funds from a different part of the county, and sometimes these parts would overlap.

This page was available to the county treasurers, as well as the general public.
Technical Details
Due to the large amount of calculations that needed to be done, and the fact that the data was only updated nightly, not continuously during the day, we designed a system that would process and calculate the numbers each night in a batch job that was scheduled to run on the SQL server.  This job would look in a specific place on the network where an AS400 would dump some data for pickup.

Each night the data for the application would be wiped clean and recreated from scratch to ensure that all the data was correct and up to date.
Benefits

Provided Fast Access to Data for Outside Departments
The different […]

Case Study – Decade Software

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Project Overview
Decade software is a company that published one of the most popular of the public health inspection maintenance systems used in the public sector. This is a very complex system that maintains all the regulations for county inspectors to ensure local restaurants, gas stations, and other establishments do not break any laws regarding public health. Inspectors would take these systems into the field on laptops and use them while doing random field inspections, recording all the information necessary to either pass or fail a particular location.
Solution
We were asked to assist the internal team at Decade Software to update their system to run faster and with more advanced technology. We also introduced the latest quality approaches to their development team, ensuring the team would internalize the new procedures and continue with them throughout the rest of the project.
The system design required that the laptops be able to run and execute the application while disconnected from the network, then update all the information when they returned to the headquarters.
Technical Details
Since the application would often run while disconnected, it was necessary to build it as a Winforms application instead of a web application. We introduced Dependency Injection and other software patterns in an effort to break the existing system up into smaller pieces that were more easily managed.
Benefits

Improved System Performance
We were able to improve the speed of the system by using the latest technology and patterns to break the system apart into smaller pieces. Only the pieces that were necessary to run the current piece of the application were loaded into memory, thus resulting in better utilization of the hardware and a faster system.
Faster Time to Market
The improvements in architecture we made enabled the development team to […]