Hanu Software Solutions Inc. (HSS) is a global consulting and IT service company providing end-to-end software solutions for a variety of industries, including publishing, finance, insurance and retail. Headquartered in Monmouth Junction, NJ, and with an offshore development center in Gurgaon (New Delhi), India, HSS offers a unique value proposition to our customers. The company believes in providing the highest quality software solutions at a very cost effective rate.
HSS offers a wide range of services, including business process outsourcing, on-site technical advice, offshore software development and product lifecycle management. By combining domain expertise with low cost offshore development, the HSS Offshore Delivery Model delivers customer solutions with up to 45% cost savings, with improved productivity and faster time to market.
HSS’s technology-oriented solution center delivers exceptional customer value by using innovative and specialized tools and processes that are unique in nature. This article illustrates how Faster.NET, a development framework developed by the HSS .NET Center of Excellence (COE), enables the company’s technology-focused service organization to deliver exceptional value to its business and technology customers, enhancing their competitive advantage .
.NET COE: Deliver Agile solutions on a Microsoft platform
The HSS COE for .NET is aligned along the Microsoft platform and tool sets, providing mission-critical solutions for a variety of technology and business domains. This COE has collective IT experience of 200 person years and .NET experience of more than 75 person years. Other important facts are:
Number of projects implemented 30
Location Gurgaon, India
Faster.NET – The HSS Development Framework for .NET solutions
HSS’s continuous improvement work with .NET COE has led the company to create a framework for offering scalable, on-demand .NET solutions to customers in a variety of industries. HSS calls this Faster.NET. The main elements are:
Pre-assembled, reusable software components
HSS has developed a library of over 100 software components commonly used in .NET applications. These components have been tried and tested with proven designs and free from critical bugs. The components can be reused as is or with modifications. Reusable components include data layers written in all .NET based languages, a variety of GUI controls, and security model objects.
In the design phase of a new project, HSS engineers determine which components are suitable for the project. Only code unique to the application has been completely redesigned and written. Building existing, high-quality software in a new application in this way saves the customer time and costs and helps to guarantee the quality of the deployed application. HSS does not believe in developing a new solution for every new project.
A reusable technical toolset for higher speed
The HSS development tool set is an important part of the company’s ability to provide solutions for many different life cycles, budgets and timelines. The HSS tool kit includes:
Migration tools such as VB to VB.NET, C # to VB.NET, PHP to C #. NET, SQL to Oracle tools and others.
Database tools such as SQL equation and data scripts.
Design tools, reverse engineering tools, data migration tools and many others.
The unique, reusable tool kit allows HSS engineers to complete projects quickly and with good quality.
Solution Blue Prints (SBP) – A reusable set of architectures
HSS has a reusable set of architectures called Solution Blue Prints (SBPs) ready for common business, technology and service domain issues. Like HSS software components, these architectures have been tested and proven in the company’s projects. The architectures contain associated prototypes. Using SBPs saves significant effort in software solution development, prototyping and testing. For example, one SBP was used to design a property management system that the client has successfully used for over a year.
Qualified and certified engineers
About 60% of HSS programmers have internationally recognized certifications, including MCP, MCSD and JSCP. This percentage is constantly growing, a direct reflection of the company’s commitment to employ the most skilled, qualified and certified engineers. What this means for the customer is superior quality scalable solutions, delivered quickly.
HSS recruits the best technical talent from the best universities and leads them through six weeks of rigorous classroom and hands-on training. HSS also offers ongoing advanced programmer training for all employees.
With these elements, the HSS Faster.NET framework reduces the typical application development time by about 20% to 40%. The time saved depends on the project, where it is in its lifecycle and how extensively the customer wants us to apply the Faster.NET development methodology.
The Faster.NET Framework in Action: A Case Study
For a project for which time-to-market is a critical goal for the customer, HSS evaluates the project using the Faster.NET toolset to determine which tools will be most effective. HSS has measurements for the effectiveness and impact of the tools. These measurements enable HSS engineers to determine the most effective tools for a particular project.
For example, with one migration tool, the company can migrate an existing VB / ASP application to .NET with a productivity of 900 to 1,000 lines of code per programmer per day. With this measurement, HSS can estimate the length of time required to migrate the application.
By using its tool sets, HSS can achieve development savings at every stage and for every task of a project. The following case study illustrates this.
A company approved HSS because the web application, written in ASP, was not stable enough. The ASP code had to be migrated to .NET standards, for which the application had to be redesigned to .NET standards.
Using Faster.NET Tools
The HSS development team extended the time-to-market for this project by applying Faster.NET tools as follows:
Step 1: HSS engineers used the migration tool to migrate the software to .NET before changing the architecture. The estimators have determined that the migration would take approximately 200 person days, which means that a team of four could complete the migration in just two months or, if necessary, a team of eight could complete the effort in one month .
Step 2: To maximize the efficiency of the project’s re-architecting phase, HSS chose a related existing architecture from the Solution Blue Print (SBP) library. In this case, the target architecture was layered with support for a double presentation layer (both WAP and HTML). The lowest level of this architecture was the database interaction layer.
Because the SBPs have already been tested and proven, using this SBP instead of developing an entirely new architecture saves time in prototyping and testing, reducing the development time from the nearly 150 person days that a re-architecting effort typically takes in the industry requires.
Step 3: Next, HSS engineers assessed their library of pre-assembled components for components suitable for reuse in this application. They chose a data access layer written with VB.NET and C # .NET. This particular component provides transaction support, stored procedure execution, as well as embedded queries, data reader, and data adapter interactions. In addition, it has robust exception handling. This part consists of approximately 5,000 lines of code.
Reusing it reduced development effort by 100 person days, assuming an average of 50 lines of code per person day with typical coding productivity.
Step 4: Simultaneously with the software development, HSS QA engineers determined that using the NAnt script-based automatic build setup could save significant compilation and build problems. Accordingly, the Visual Studio Build engineer created an automated build setup using the scripts. Scheduled to run automatically, this automated process proactively provided information about incorrect checkins, build issues, and integration issues.
Step 5: The HSS development process involves thoroughly documenting the lower level design (LLD). HSS saves a significant amount of time in its documentation efforts by using a documentation tool called Ndoc that automatically creates CHM or MSDN-like code comments. This tool has saved as many as 50 man-days that would otherwise have been required to create a 200 to 300 page document.
Step 6: The HSS QA group took the existing test scripts and adapted them for the features and functions of this application. The QA test group also created an automated test bed using the Mercury and Nunit tool kits. HSS was able to run the test cases multiple times without significant additional working days, ensuring the quality and reliability of the software when released from QA to the customer.
Completion: The end result was that HSS successfully migrated and redesigned the system with an effort of only 12 human months. The company implemented the software at the customer within 3 months.
Exceptional added value
Just as important as the development time savings described in the case study is the exceptional added value that HSS offers to this customer:
1. This customer was under enormous pressure from the users to do something about the unstable application. The customer’s data center provider also pressured the company to update the application to .NET. HSS immediately helped the customer manage this situation and came up with a competitive product and services that met their customers’ needs.
2. The quality and stability of the improvements were tremendous – thanks to the inherently increased stability of .NET architectures, as well as the proven proven components and architecture that HSS used for this project.
3. In the course of this project, HSS has been able to inform the customer about the lifecycle of software development and development processes, training that will continue to benefit him.
4. The user interface (UI) developed by HSS was very popular with the customer’s end users and attracted many new customers.
5. HSS provided these services at a very attractive rate. The .NET COE operates from India and the engineering costs are fairly economical. Development cost savings were close to 70%. These savings were used to improve the application with new features, giving the customer significant advantages over the competition.
HSS is committed to devising, developing and implementing internal processes and systems that deliver exceptional customer value. The Faster.NET framework is an example of HSS’s ongoing journey in implementing this obligation. The company’s technology-focused COEs – using internationally recognized software development processes – can deliver significant competitive advantages.