SEH Computer Systems Inc., Tavistock, ON, 2001-2003
This project entailed the port of the SEH computerized insurance and accounting system from its existing legacy environment (MS-DOS + Borland C + B-Trieve RDBMS), to an up-to-date Win32 MFC (Visual Studio) based development environment, utilizing the 32 bit B-Trieve RDBMS engine for Win32.
The SEH system contains over 300 individual applications designed to interconnect and forms the backbone of a small to mid-scale insurance system. Solution Tech Systems undertook a 4 month analysis and recommended an MFC based "plug-in" architecture to allow for the sharing of insurance data between ported modules that would be activated from one common Win32 GUI (graphical user interface) application. Standard requirements and design specifications were provided to SEH for approval before any new code was actually written.
The ported system would be able to run in single-user or multi-user environments. SEH required that the new Win32 application suite continue to incorporate identical keyboard access as did the original DOS legacy system, to ensure a smooth transition for their user base (small to mid size insurance companies throughout Canada) into the new system, without having to relearn data entry techniques.
Solution Tech Systems provided the system analysis and converted all original source code from Borland C compatibility to full Microsoft Visual C++ compatibility. Solution Tech Systems architected and implemented a series of library objects that would facilitate the SEH requirement to maintain consistent DOS look and feel and keyboard compatibility, while still being able to take advantage of the rich GUI capabilities within the Win32 desktop environment. These libraries formed the backbone of the "plug-in" concept for all of the applications that were to be ported. All library objects were multi-threaded in their design, which ensured that CPU intensive computation routines could be off-loaded into secondary worker threads. This ensured the main GUI would remain responsive and be able to perform multiple tasks, compared to the single-tasking nature of their existing legacy DOS application suite.
Solution Tech Systems undertook the initial port of the legacy application suite, and supplied SEH with a custom application ("PortWizard") to automate the porting process from the original legacy DOS source code into Win32/MFC compliant source code ready for compilation and testing.
Solution Tech Systems provided SEH with a number of on-site C++ training sessions to bring SEH staff up to speed on C++ development in the Visual Studio environment. In addition, Solution Tech Systems provided 2 months of on-site training and assistance at the end of this contract to bring SEH personnel up to speed on the porting process, and ensure that SEH would be able to continue the development of their system once the Solution Tech Systems contract expired.
Solution Tech Systems had ensured that all database access, which is currently handled through the Pervasive B-Trieve 32 bit database engine, could be easily converted to other database engines such as Microsoft SQL, MySQL, and so forth, by simply adjusting the code within the database access layer of the solution.
PatientKeeper Inc., Brighton MA USA, 2001-2003
Solution Tech Systems was involved in the creation of low level libraries and front end GUI porting work for PatientKeeper to transform a medical application suite from the Palm OS running on Palm compatible devices, to a full multitasking application suite running in Windows CE operating system environment. PatientKeeper is a recognized leader in providing mobile medical solutions for the US marketplace.
Solution Tech Systems was recognized as an early knowledge base for WindowsCE development, and was contracted to provide PalmOS to Windows CE porting services because of this knowledge base. PatientKeeper supplied to Solution Tech Systems a number of basic functional specifications and existing Palm OS applications (running under an emulator on a Windows desktop), and Solution Tech Systems undertook the conversion of background Palm RDBMS functionality into compatible Windows CE RDBMS functionality, by developing a cross-platform compatibility layer for Windows CE. This ensured that the bulk of business logic could be ported without modification from the Palm to CE environments.
Solution Tech Systems was also contracted to provide front end GUI ports for a number of PatientKeeper clinical applications. This involved the creation of numerous GUI compatibility layers to ensure that Palm OS capabilities would be either implemented feature for feature using native Windows CE capabilities, or emulated as closely as possible in the CE environment. These libraries formed the backbone for the initial launch of the PatientKeeper application suite for Windows CE.
All code was developed using the Visual Studio C/C++ compiler for Windows CE, as well as interfacing with Metrowerks C compiler for the Palm OS to study how the Palm applications were designed and developed to assist in the porting process.
All source code was checked in on a regular basis using CVS (Concurrent Version System) hosted at a PatientKeeper server, and accessed using a VPN connection as required to merge or extract new revisions of code from the development branch.
Solution Tech Systems provided documentation services for early versions of the PatientKeeper 3rd party Software Development Kits (SDKs), and assisted in architecting many of the low level library modules used within this system.
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