Hanu Software Solutions Inc. (HSS) is a global consulting and IT services company that provides 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 clients. 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, onsite technical consulting, offshore software development and product lifecycle management. Combining domain expertise with low-cost offshore development, the HSS Offshore Delivery Model delivers customer solutions at a cost savings of up to 45%, with improved productivity and faster time to market.
HSS’ technology-focused solutions center delivers exceptional customer value by leveraging innovative and specialized tools and processes that are unique in nature. This document illustrates how Faster.NET, a development framework developed by the HSS .NET Center of Excellence (COE), enables the company’s technology-aligned service organization to deliver exceptional value to its business and technology customers, enhancing their competitive advantage.
The .NET COE: Delivering Agile solutions on a Microsoft platform
The HSS COE for .NET is aligned with the Microsoft platform and toolsets, providing mission-critical solutions across a variety of technology and business domains. This COE has a combined IT experience of 200 man-years and .NET experience of over 75 man-years. Other important facts are:
Started in 2002
Number of projects carried out 30
Location Gurgaon, India
Faster.NET – The HSS development framework for .NET solutions
The continuous improvement work that HSS has done with the .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 are tried and tested with proven designs and free from critical bugs. The components can be reused as such 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 that is unique to the application is designed and written from scratch. Building existing, high-quality software into a new application in this way saves the customer time and costs, and helps to ensure the quality of the implemented application. HSS does not believe in developing a new solution from scratch for every new project.
A reusable engineering tool kit for higher speeds
The HSS development toolset is an important part of the company’s ability to deliver solutions across many different lifecycles, budgets and timelines. The HSS toolset 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 comparison and data scriptors.
· Design tools, reverse engineering tools, data migration tools and many others.
The unique, reusable toolset enables HSS engineers to complete projects quickly and with high quality.
Solution Blue Prints (SBP) – A reusable set of architectures
HSS has a reusable set of architectures called Solution Blue Prints (SBPs) that are ready for common business domain, technology domain, and service domain problems. Like HSS software components, these architectures have been tested and proven in the company’s projects. The architectures contain associated prototypes. Using SBPs saves a lot of effort in developing, prototyping and testing software solutions. For example, a property management system has been designed with one SBP that the customer has been successfully using for more than a year.
Qualified and certified engineers
About 60% of HSS programmers have earned internationally recognized certifications, including MCP, MCSD, and JSCP. This percentage is constantly growing, a direct reflection of the company’s commitment to employing the most skilled, qualified and certified engineers. What this means for the customer is scalable, superior quality solutions that are delivered quickly.
HSS recruits the best technical talent from the best universities and puts them through six weeks of rigorous classroom and on-the-job training. HSS also provides ongoing advanced programming training for all staff.
With these elements, the HSS Faster.NET framework reduces typical application development time by approximately 20% to 40%. The time savings depend on the project, where it is in the 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 where time-to-market is a critical goal for the client, HSS evaluates the project against its Faster.NET toolset to determine which tools are most effective. HSS has measurements for the effectiveness and impact of the tools. These measurements enable HSS engineers to determine the most effective tools to use for a given 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. This measurement allows HSS to estimate how long it will take to migrate the application.
By using its toolsets, HSS can realize development savings at every stage and for every task of a project. The following case illustrates this.
A company approached HSS because their web application, written in ASP, was not stable enough. The ASP code had to be migrated to .NET, which required a redesign of the application to .NET standards.
Using Faster.NET tools
The HSS development team increased 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 determined that the migration would take approximately 200 man-days to complete, meaning a four-person team could complete the migration in just two months or, if necessary, an eight-person team could complete the effort in one month .
Step 2: To maximize the efficiency of the re-architecture phase of the project, HSS selected a related existing architecture from its Solution Blue Print (SBP) library. In this case, the target architecture was layered with support for a dual presentation layer (both WAP and HTML). The lowest level of this architecture was the database interaction layer.
Because the SBPs are already tested and proven, using this SBP instead of developing a new architecture from scratch saved time in prototyping and testing, reducing development time from the nearly 150 man-days that a re architecture effort typically costs in the industry.
Step 3: Next, HSS engineers reviewed 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 specific component provides transaction support, stored procedure execution and embedded queries, and data reader and data adapter based 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 man-days, assuming an average of 50 lines of code per person per day of typical coding productivity.
Step 4: Concurrent with software development, HSS QA engineers determined that using the NAnt script-based automatic build setup could save significant compilation and build hassles. Accordingly, the Visual Studio Build engineer created an automated build setup using the scripts. This automated process is scheduled to run automatically and proactively provides information about any wrong check-ins, build issues, and integration issues.
Step 5: The HSS development process includes 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 saved as much 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 modified them for the features and functions of this application. The QA test group also created an automated test bed using the Mercury and Nunit toolsets. HSS was able to run the test cases multiple times without significant additional man-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 just 12 man 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 value added by HSS to this customer:
1. This customer was under tremendous pressure from 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’ requests.
2. The quality and stability of the improvements were tremendous – thanks to the inherent increased stability of .NET architectures, as well as the tried, tested components and architecture that HSS used for this project.
3. During this project, HSS was able to inform the customer about the software development life cycle and development processes, an education that will permanently 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 competitive rate. The .NET COE operates from India and the engineering cost is quite economic. The savings on development costs amounted to almost 70%. These savings were used to expand the application with new features, giving the customer significant advantages over the competition.
HSS is committed to inventing, developing and implementing internal processes and systems that deliver exceptional customer value. The Faster.NET framework is an example of the ongoing HSS journey in implementing this commitment. The company’s technology-aligned COEs – utilizing internationally recognized software development processes – can deliver significant competitive advantages.