Britt Data Services

Britt Data Services is a line-of-business application designed for a Calgary-based land management company. It manages nearly all business operations data, and offers an extensive list of features implemented specifically for the client over a period of many years.

Data Services

Overview

Britt Data Services manages clients, projects, contact data, and other related information. It tracks employee time and submitted expenses, generates invoices based on this data, and offers an extensive library of reports and other business intelligence. Document management services and event tracking are also offered.

The solution involves a Windows client application used simultaneously by 30 – 40 users (including remote connections), an externally-accessible web site designed to allow clients to monitor project status, and a web service to control and coordinate database access.

Notable features include:

  • Browsing and near-instant search results of approximately one dozen different types of interconnected data
  • Alberta Township System (ATS) address parsing, searching, and sorting
  • Links to online mapping and satellite data services
  • Extensive project history and version tracking
  • Event and reminder notifications
  • Extensive employee time and expense tracking and reporting
  • Automatic invoice generation based on project data and related time / expense information
  • Detailed reporting available throughout the application
  • Fluent User Interface (Office-style Ribbon and document docking / tabbing support)
  • Spell check throughout the application, with custom dictionary synchronized between all users and supplemented with certain database records.

Technical Details

Most data is stored in a SQL Server database, but certain documents are saved directly to disk and simply managed by Data Services; this approach allows standard applications and tools to integrate with the Data Services solution.

The only component having direct access to the database is a .NET-based web service hosted in IIS. All other components – including the internal Windows client, the external project status web site, and other tools – access the database through this web service, which coordinates and controls data access, allows communication between clients, enforces security policy, and provides logging and health monitoring.

Notable technical features:

  • Impressive performance with modest hardware requirements for databases scaling up to millions of records and dozens of concurrent users.
  • Role-based security settings with Active Directory integration
  • Full administrator control of application settings and configuration
  • Fully automated ClickOnce deployment

Data Services is built using a modular architecture, and shares many components with other line-of-business applications built by Sigil Solutions.

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