We realized long ago that SharePoint is more a multi-tool than a power drill and that clients who need more power or integration often require custom programming. Since some of our initial clients naturally needed more than “out-of-the-box” SharePoint, our Software Development skills evolved vertically alongside our SharePoint capabilities.
Today, Total Solutions has achieved a strong custom software development competency in a variety of formats and methods. Our abilities include SharePoint development but extend throughout the Microsoft stack.
Custom Software meets Business Needs
If your business challenges go beyond the standard capabilities of industry software, you can count on us to help plan, develop and implement a custom solution.
Total Solutions has broad programming experience as well as a deep commitment to user-centric analysis and design. With a full team of professional software developers we have the right skills and language abilities to get the job done.
Total Solution’s coding skills cover and go beyond the entire Microsoft ecosystem – including C#, C++, ASP, .NET, VB and more.
Web-based Certification/Approval Provider Case Study
The Transportation Authority of a G8 nation required a database and workflow solution to support their testing and certification services for vehicles and vehicle parts. The Authority had locations across Europe, North America, and Asia and required real-time, standardized workflows made available across all locations. Furthermore, the Authority required increased visibility into the testing and certification process for both customers and management.
Total Solutions first conducted discovery for all locations via interviews, source code review, and existing documentation review. Once the “as-is” environment was defined (using both existing and new best practices) and compared to the existing requirements, we developed a new process that could be implemented across the globe. We reviewed that process with relevant personnel to ensure the process met the operational needs at all levels and across all regions. Once the process was defined, we designed a relational database to store all the necessary data from all of the authority’s offices. Finally, once the process and database design were approved by the authority, we implemented the proposed solutions.
Our database and workflow implementation at the Authority for Transport represented a move to a hub-satellite strategy. Thus, allowing the Authority to more effectively control, operate, and manage its core business operations. The standardized process and single database enables the Authority to compare operational data from office to office without having to account for process irregularities between regions. Standardized process realized savings in labor cost avoidance and process congruency assurance and allowed the Authority to execute its function in a more efficient manner, saving taxpayers money.
Web-based Compliance Management System Case Study
The Transportation Authority of a G8 nation required a single global application to track, coordinate, and facilitate functions associated with industry-specific audits and financial reporting. The Authority had previously developed individual applications across offices in Europe, North America, and Asia. In order for the new system to be successful, it needed to ensure process management and control across all locations, reduce costs related to administrative labor and inter-departmental discrepancies, and improve the professional delivery of service to the Authority’s customers.
To provide the Transportation Authority with the solution it desired, Total Solutions first conducted an analysis of the current process and IT infrastructure. Once the “as-is” state was confirmed with Authority management, we created detailed specifications that met the aforementioned requirements. To meet the audit requirement, we developed an Audit dashboard, used to manage the storing and requesting of auditor documents. For the financial reporting requirement, we developed a weekly reporting module that could be manipulated to produce predefined reports based on Authority requirements. Both solutions were developed in concert with Authority personnel to ensure suitability for both the function and Authority employees. Once the suitability was confirmed, we developed and implemented the proposed solutions to ensure a smooth transition to the new state.
Our application standardized audit and financial reporting processes across Authority offices, realizing cost savings (no need to account for separate processes), ensuring process control, and providing customers with a single location to access their information. Frequent contact with the client ensured our solution met customer requirements, and user acceptance testing ensured that the process met user specifications.
Custom Database Synchronization and Workflow Discovery & Design Case Study
A major US utility sought a mechanism to reconcile vital diagnostic data managed by multiple business units and stored in two different databases (one managed by a third party and one in SharePoint), as well as a workflow solution to manage the editing and approval of that data. The firm had previously relied on dual input and manual reconciliation, resulting in in inaccurate and incomplete data that required a significant amount of hours to manage. Total Solutions was hired to analyze the possible interactions between the two databases, coordinate with client and third-party management to define business requirements for the system as a whole, and create a functional design and migration plan for the proposed synchronization and workflow mechanism.
Total Solutions first coordinated with the client to analyze source code and document the current business environment by producing detailed system and process diagrams and narratives. TSI then met with the third party database management firm to decipher the methods with which a custom synchronization mechanism could communicate with the database, through API or web service. Once the synchronization capabilities were defined, TSI coordinated with multiple client business lines to clearly outline functional requirements for the system as a whole. Finally, we coordinated with client IT personnel to establish a migration plan to ensure all existing data would exist in the new system.
Total Solutions used information gathered from their meetings with client and third party personnel to develop detailed process and system diagrams of the proposed solution. These deliverables were general enough for the overarching business community to understand, but detailed enough for a software engineer to use them as the starting point for the system build. Discovery & Design engagements such as this one deliver tremendous value for TSI clients. Projects that begin without an understanding of the business process and IT environment or lack a clear functional design agreed upon by both prospective users and architects/developers carry a significant amount of financial and schedule risk. Features that clients believed to be simple may in fact be quite complicated. Unknown elements of the existing business environment can create the need for a different solution than originally envisioned. Reacting to these variables while building a system can carry significant costs. Utilizing TSI consultants to conduct a Discovery and Design engagements enables clients to isolate these variables and gain a clear understanding of the cost and time requirements for a project.