Intetics ODT customizes task management solution for Flowzone

Intetics ODT customizes task management solution for Flowzone

Objective

Create a remote development team for product support. Roll out technical updates for a product to improve customer experience.

Challenge

Flowzone is a solution for managing projects in the creative sector. Combining Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Project Management, it allows organizing assets into projects and automating tasks, monitoring the task completion. The client wanted to concentrate more on the business-critical tasks, thus they were looking for a remote team to cover the support and development of the solution. In line with that, the team was to run technical update the solution as per defined roadmap. The Intetics team was selected for its technical expertise and the efficient business model compliant with remote cooperation.

During the project the Intetics team encountered the following list of challenges:

  • Introducing a new web application framework

The existing Client’s web framework was good enough for the project start. Later on, the application required a new one that would handle a big source code scope. Migration to the new framework should not interrupt a sequence of the planned releases.

  • Introducing a new design

The current application design was old-fashioned and had inconvenient UI. Application redesign stood among major changes in the roadmap.

  • Usability of the application

The initial version lacked usability. The team needed to analyze the typical usage scenario to improve the usability of the application.

  • Project Management features

The Client wanted requested to add several features related to Project Management including Activity Management, Timeline, Approval Process to make the solution more competitive on the market.

  • Permissions

The current permissions’ system was too difficult for maintenance. Though being flexible, the system was inconvenient for users. The objective was to make permissions easier for configuration and keep the existing flexibility.

  • Digital Assets Management (DAM) System

Flowzone used Extensis Portfolio as a DAM system and were highly dependent on the third-party software. The result was a restricted pricing strategy. The client required to develop a custom-tailored system to increase the business value of the application.

Solution

Team building and development process

To meet the project objectives, the Intetics team opted for Agile development process based on Scrum methodology. The team used various XP methods. Among those were Unit testing, TDD, CI, Task Board, Acceptance Testing, CRC-sessions and pair programming. Twiki was used as a project collaboration tool, covering both documentation and scope planning issues. Intetics used Mantis for bug tracking, and SVN – for managing source code changes.

Technical solutions:

The team had to cope with numerous challenges on the project. First of all, the team started with the web application framework. They chose Wicket web application framework. It has a strict division between the presentation layer and the service layer. This allows separating HTML code from Java code. Using Wicket, the team ran the integration testing of pages avoiding the application deploy into a web container. That considerably accelerated the development process. The Intetics team configured the application in a way that all page requests get handled by Wicket, whereas non-migrated pages are processed by the Spring MVC framework. It was not necessary to migrate the whole application to Wicket at once.

System redesign was one of the Client priorities. For effective task completion, the Intetics team followed these steps:

  • AJAX technology was utilized for indicator loading and showing\hiding various pans.
  • The team introduced sorting, columns and table customization, list splitting, context popup menu with a list of actions and multiple file upload.
  • The team added filtered searches.

Another challenged concerned planning and project management functionality. To power it up, Intetics:

  • Created new activities and relocated the existing ones to the timeline
  • Create a mobile view of the task schedule
  • Created pop-up notifications and alerts
  • The implemented color scheme to see what is running on time and what is behind schedule
  • Set up a powerful and flexible permissions system and empower role-based access.
  • Implemented a project documents’ view in a Flat Plan.

As requested, Intetics developed for the Client the proprietary Digital Assets Management System. The system was platform-independent and could be used in both Macintosh and Windows environments. It worked with a wide range of file formats, including Quark, Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, jpegs, gifs, Microsoft Office and RAW.

Results

Today Flowzone is used by a large number of companies in the design, advertising, print, and publishing sectors. It is a simple and intuitive project planning and collaboration tool which facilitates employees work helps to save time and increase the team productivity.

Partnering with the Client, Intetics created a well-organized and cooperative team and established a mature development process. Effective task distribution system and resource allocation approach allowed developing several smaller projects for the client who is now eager to outsource other development tasks to Intetics as well.

Case Study

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