A product built on partnership and rad technology
Kingslake’s developers approached the solution on two levels. First, they had to find the right technology. Then, they needed a partner that would provide the kind of local, reliable network and infrastructure they needed to have it run right for local users. Both the aPaaS platform and the host would have to function well together for SmartApps.lk to succeed. “We knew going into this that victory would emerge from attention to detail, and a focus on the nuances of the platform in every way,” said Dr. S. Dharmavasan, the founder and CEO of the Kingslake Group of companies. “A brief delay in a screen refresh, an interface setup tool that was not simple to understand — these could kill our efforts before we even started.”
After reviewing various options, Kingslake decided that Progress Rollbase would be the optimal platform on which to build the aPaaS product. Rollbase is a rapid application development (RAD) tool that combines PaaS with application hosting. It offers users an intuitive, Web-based interface for coding-optional application development. Kingslake chose Rollbase because it provided the best mix of features and value for an aPaaS solution. With its central dashboard and an integrated, model-driven authoring environment, Rollbase combines a user-friendly, drag-and-drop, point-and-click interface with the industry’s best application integration and data connectivity. The platform also offers a comprehensive tool set that enabled the team to add a range of pre-built, customizable application templates to SmartApps. These include out-of-the-box integration with Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Maps.
Rollbase was ideal for SmartApps.lk, as the aPaaS site was known, but its default hosting was not suited to an aPaaS product in Sri Lanka. Rollbase is hosted in the U.S. and Europe. Kingslake’s longstanding relationship with Progress allowed the team to explore a new approach: hosting its own cloud instance of Rollbase locally. After ascertaining that it was possible, Kingslake needed to find the right hosting partner in Sri Lanka. It turned to Dialog Axiata PLC, which operates Sri Lanka’s largest and fastest-growing mobile telecommunications network, offering best-in-class 4G LTE broadband connectivity in addition a wide spectrum of corporate clients and the island’s second largest fixed-line network.
Dialog offers broadband, leased lines and customized telecommunication services to corporate clients. The ISO 9001 certified company also operates several large-scale data centers that meet the latest ISO 27001:2013 security standards and is the only Sri Lankan service provider to do so. Dialog was recognized as a great fit to further the program, plus, Dialog offers the network capacity and data center facilities for reliable, high-performance cloud hosting of the aPaaS product in Sri Lanka. Dialog also had a wide range of corporate clientele who served as potential customers to SmartApps.lk, plus, a corporate sales team and the billing infrastructure to deliver the product as a natural extension of its commercial phone and broadband business.
The Kingslake and Dialog developers went to work jointly on SmartApps.lk, each concentrating on their part of the product. Kingslake developed SmartApps.lk on top of Rollbase. Adapting Progress Rollbase into SmartApps.lk enables users to create sophisticated Web-based business applications quickly, while paying a fixed, low-service fee for access and usage. SmartApps.lk provides seamless integration with the user’s current applications, enabling them to keep the existing business logic intact, while adding value to these applications. This capability extends the lifetime of existing systems and allows clients to reach out to a larger customer base.
Dialog developers collaborated closely with the Progress team to install Rollbase at its data center, running on RedHat Linux servers. Rollbase APIs integrate the platform with the Progress® OpenEdge® 11.3 database, as well as Dialog’s billing systems and mobile APIs. Since deployment the Dialog administrative team has been able to manage and monitor the solution with confidence and customer engagement.