The Modernization team migrated all customers to the newest version of OpenEdge, and leveraged ConsultingWerk’s SmartComponent Framework.
“In the initial analysis phase, we investigated undertaking the modernization in Microsoft or Java, because of our lack of available Progress developers within our region,” Mcloskey said. “We decided on Progress OpenEdge because it enabled the incremental modernization, and saved us from completing a risky total rewrite at several times the cost.”
Progress assisted Britehouse with project design and architecture. The Progress team was involved in the assessment phase, and instrumental in setting up an offshore software development team. Throughout the project, the old UI remained operational, using the old DWP framework while new, modernized screens using SmartComponents were presented in the modern UI. Essentially, the old UI screens were embedded within the new SmartComponents framework.
The planning stage of the project was very detailed and took roughly five months. During planning, different technologies were considered for the re-write (Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and Java), however using any of these technologies could have taken up to five years, depending on the size of the team.
The DMS Solutions are now offered in two ways to customers—hosted and on-premises. In the hosted model, customers access the datacenter using the OpenEdge® WebClient, an ABL GUI client that enables them to deploy OpenEdge applications remotely. The configuration is a client-server model, with OpenEdge Database AppServers. This model reduces hardware costs, and monthly operating fees are roughly 50 percent less. The company realizes additional savings in redundancy/backup costs and resources to manage the process.
Thanks to the incremental modernization approach, Britehouse customers didn’t have to wait long to realize the benefits of the new version. “The framework integration, coupled with our incremental approach enabled a 7-month turnaround, so customers could start enjoying the benefits much sooner,” Mcloskey said.
First Rollout with Godrich Toyota
Britehouse Automotive’s first rollout of the modernized application was performed with Godrich Toyota in Johannesburg, South Africa. The first process modernized was the Stock Count section of the Parts Module in the Automate Evolve 2.0 DMS. The old process was so difficult that Godrich had resorted to perform Stock Counts manually, outside of the system, and any discrepancies were captured into the system using the stock adjustment feature. With Evolve 2.0, the Stock Count functionality is much easier, and Godrich can use the system to drive the process, eliminating time-consuming, inaccurate manual processes.
The Modernization Team simplified the previous interface from five tabs to a single screen, providing a more modern, cleaner look and feel. The dashboard has been completely revamped, making use of widget-based information clusters and the newly available technology stack. It also loads significantly faster.
“In the previous version of Evolve, users at Godrich would have to wait for the entire landing page (system dashboard) to load before they could start working,” Mcloskey said. “With Evolve 2.0 and Progress OpenEdge, they can begin work the moment they log in; the dashboard loads asynchronously in the background.”