STAGE 1 – CONSULTANCY
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM Regulations) 2015 regulations are extensive, it was important that our developers fully understood the client’s expectations and scope of the software development. Over a number of meetings our software consultants along with the client drafted a technical specification. We soon identified that the systems infrastructure would need to be flexible to allow for rapid potential growth. The Microsoft Azure platform was the obvious choice for both the database and the application. Microsoft Azure would enable our developers to provide continuous deployment during the development stage and the azure SQL database servers are compatible with our auto database deployment frameworks. This ensures both database and software are kept synchronised.
STAGE 2 – DATABASE DESIGN
Once we had agreed the specification and the client was satisfied, we had a detailed knowledge of their requirements. Our software designers began to build the database structure for this we use a database modelling tool built in house. The database is described in code as separate objects and our framework generates the required databases, indexes and relationships. Building a database this way provides flexibility, and allow our software developers to make rapid changes to the database structure and also deploy the database to many database engines.
STAGE 3 – SOFTWARE DESIGN
The system was built using ASP.Net. The look and feel of the software were very important to the client, who wanted to keep the same style as their website. The overall experience needed to be as simple as possible, and yet still remain flexible in the event of a regulation change. To accomplish this our software developers created a system in which sections and questions could be added and removed by the client. The client also wanted to be able to exploit all the new features we could provide, so the solution incorporated our extensive range of data analysis, interactive dashboards and reporting tools to enhance the software. Our report writer and business intelligence tools allowed the client to extract and visualise their data in a way they had not been able to in the past. Our development cycle allowed the client to access, test and suggest changes at each stage of the process, this reduced the development timescale whilst giving the maximum flexibility to the client.
STAGE 4 – TESTING & DEPLOYMENT
Testing is such an important part of any development we undertake, In the case of the CDM portal a custom testing procedure was drafted between the developers and the client, this was in the form of a document which was shared between all parties and updated on a daily basis. The client allocated a single point of contact for the testing process which proved very successful. Once the client was happy that the software was stable, our developers delivered a release candidate. This stage is the final handover stage with all the functionality and user interface as per the final version. The client tested with the help of their customers for a number of weeks before a final production release. A support agreement in place which provides a priority service for training and general support.