The client’s company helps utilities and consumers make the most of finite water and energy resources. They deliver advanced measurement, data collection, analysis and control products and solutions that help their customers improve operational efficiency while reducing their environmental impact.
The client wanted to develop a consumer-facing solution to be sold to their utility provider customers, which then could be offered to the end-consumer, including residential home and commercial businesses. This solution would be a portal that would provide visibility into the end consumer’s usage and consumption, including:
- Current usage and historical and trending data
- Budgeting information and threshold creation and management
- Billing information
- Alarm alerts for over-usage, leak detection, and others
- Single or multiple accounts and many meters with simple switching and aggregate data within the user interface
- Communication of outdoor watering schedules
- Very intuitive user interface with various charts and graphs used to communicate usage and consumption
To develop the solution, the company looked to long-time partner QAT Global.
QAT Global’s Approach
The solution delivered was a Rich Internet Application(RIA) in the form of a Single-Page Application(SPA), supporting a wide-variety of devices including mobile. In addition, the application could be customized based on the customer’s direction; including look and feel as well as “advanced” features that would not normally be available to a residential consumer but would be of great benefit to a large business consumer. The application is completely internationalized with the ability for the user to select their language.
The customer had already determined several of the core technologies that would be used for this solution. QAT Global was able to adapt its jDaptive and webDaptive frameworks as they are designed with the capability to be adapted and transformed based on user/solution requirements, as well as workforce and practices to quickly leverage these technologies and begin the project.
The data being used was provided through a pre-existing data-access library and framework. In this case, QAT Global was able to review the source code and database structure to learn about the data, and in many cases, we developed new methods and updated existing methods within the customer data-access library and framework.
This portal was designed to run alongside another web solution used by the internal customer that was also currently being implemented making integration critical and challenging. For this solution, the development team consisted of both QAT Global employees as well as client developers. This highly integrated team made it possible to work through these types of challenges.
QAT Global assisted the customer in the requirements gathering and documentation process. Many meetings were held in order to brainstorm and develop wireframe mockups of the web pages. Over time, requirements were gleamed from these meetings and design and implementation was under way. In effect, QAT Global co-designed the solution alongside the customer. Along with the customer, daily SCRUM meetings were conducted where project statuses were reviewed along with various demo’s showing progress within each sprint. The end result was a solution which is:
- Highly intuitive and fully responsive including on most portable devices
- Highly scalable and supports cloud type installations
- Enabling the data visualization of customer usage data
- Interfacing with a mongo database backend and several micro-services
- Leveraging open-source technologies
- Completely internationalized
Upon presenting “beta” versions of the software to customers the solution was received with great enthusiasm and several customers wanted to purchase the solution. In addition, based on customer demand, the solution was quickly adapted to support multiple types of devices, instead of the single type originally planned. This enables the end-customer to manage all their devices using the same web application.