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Remote Task Management Application for Logistics

A task management solution providing engineers and other service staff operating in the field with a set of tools designed to simplify their daily routines. It increases work efficiency and reduces dependence on key specialists by providing an easy way to manage all orders and related items with the help of PDAs.

The solution uses AJAX and real-time synchronization with multiple devices to help dispatchers manage and follow all the staff working in the field. The system tracks time and mileage of freight carriers, while the Web application displays the exact position of each vehicle on a map, thus, giving the staff at the office full control over shipments.
The software is also a platform that can be used for creating future logistics apps with similar structure and business logic.

The customer, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of logistics solutions, needed mobile software for service engineers and other technical specialists or representatives working in the field. The company also wanted a platform for rapid development of logistics applications by combining several software modules.

It was very challenging to design architecture for a platform that would enable creating applications with such high standards.

Another challenge was communication and synchronization between the server and mobile devices, which included data exchange and synchronization, working in online and offline modes, the secure data delivery blocks, detection of synchronization errors, and automatic elimination of those errors.

The team also had to design a Multithreaded GUI, so that the mobile software would function as several different applications represented by modules. The system was to switch between the modules without changing their states and dynamically update information on the PDA screen every time new data would be received from the server.

The team implemented the Multilayered Architecture that distributes tasks and responsibilities between different layers. The solution features communication, business, presentation, application, and application data layers. It has a system kernel, an API core, a GUI core, Server and Client API modules as well as Windows Mobile GIU modules.

The Multilayered Architecture enabled the team to build a modular solution that combines Web, Mobile, and Windows Server Services and also serves as a platform for making new logistics apps.

The team of our Windows Mobile programmers also managed to achieve full synchronization and flawless communication between the server, the application, and mobile devices.

The entire project was managed by Altoros. All working processes were tuned, so that the customer could easily create and maintain future applications based on the FieldService platform.

The customer received a mobile platform with a precise and predictable structure. The software helps to optimize daily operations of logistics companies and can be used for building other applications with similar business logic. New apps can be developed, maintained, and customized for end-customers quickly and with minimum additional costs.

Technology Stack

Server Platform

IIS, MS SQL Server 2005/MS SQL Server 2008

Client Platform/Application Server

Windows Mobile 5.0+, IIS

Technologies

.NET, .NET Compact Framework

Programming Language

C#, SQL

Database

.NET Compact Framework 3.5, MS SQL, SQL CE

Database Design Tool

SQL Management Studio

Modeling Tool

Microsoft Visio

Development Environment

Visual Studio 2008

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