Enterprise Intranet App

Bartlett wanted to update its antiquated application that was running on 10-year-old technologies.

 
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Pillars

Strategy

Design

Development

Overview

Francis A. Bartlett founded The F. A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company in 1907. His mission: to provide preventive care that would assure good health, longevity, beauty, and safety for his clients’ trees. By 1927, Bartlett had enough scientific work in progress to warrant the establishment of the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories, located first in North Stamford, Connecticut, and since 1965, on a large property in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Business Objective

Bartlett wanted to update its antiquated application that was running on 10-year-old technologies. An important part of this effort was to streamline their processes by unifying data from more than 80 locations into one centralized database. The system needed to be easy to maintain, as each satellite office does not have computer support on site. In addition, the solution needed to be both highly intuitive and easy to use since the user base consists largely of novice Internet and PC users.

SharpHat Involvement

Bartlett turned to SharpHat, Inc. for help in developing an enterprise- level Intranet solution. The application automates many aspects of their business including customer information, proposals, work orders, employee information, and timesheet information. There are 350+ users of the application, located in over 100 offices across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. “Because of our large numbers of remote sales offices, we wanted to centralize the database to ease support issues, bringing the number of databases in the organization down, and centralize the application code to ease the burden of modifying the system to our ever changing needs,” said David Andry Bartlett Vice President of MIS. “The decentralized approach we have been using for the past 10 years has become a burden to our management team and its ever-evolving approach to arboriculture. The new office system achieves all of these goals perfectly.”

The Results

SharpHat, Inc. was responsible for all phases of the application, including defining a business process, requirements gathering, application design, development, quality assurance, implementation and support. By following a strict design methodology ingrained from years of real-world experience, the SharpHat team ensured a quality product.

The solution is based on a scalable 3-tier architecture. The user interface was created using Javascript, HTML, DHTML, XSLT and XML. The middle tier was developed using Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual Studio .NET. SharpHat used a proprietary XML based messaging system to call ASP components from an Internet Explorer web browser. The Microsoft .NET Platform provides a cleaner implementation of this architecture because it embraces open Internet standards. In addition, the .NET platform greatly simplified the installation process. SharpHat also designed a fully normalized enterprise-wide Oracle database that is currently used by multiple production applications and an existing legacy system.

Technologies

  •  HTML
  • DHTML
  • XSLT
  • XML
  • Visual Basic 6.0
  • Visual Studio
  • .NET
  • ASP
  • Oracle Database