Jurisdictions can use this information to generate compliance reports and act more proactively on compliance issues (e.g., hiring members of minority groups).
Public organizations can use the solution to search for certified vendors, partner with them, and manage projects.
Vendors can leverage the system to participate in tenders, negotiate contracts, invoice, bill, and report progress when working on a project. The solution features Web-based timesheets that enable employers to track the time contractors spent on each activity of the project.
The solution also provides vendor a certification system, a user-defined search system, mail merging, and other sophisticated features.
Early Morning Software turned to Altoros to develop software, which would enable public organizations and state administrations to find vendors for certain projects, negotiate contracts, check compliance of contracts with state legislation, and manage projects.
The system was to help public organizations reduce paperwork by providing an easy way of monitoring contract compliance and project execution involving online reporting and e-mail notifying. The solution was to provide powerful search capabilities, so that users could look for vendors, contracts, concession agreements, certification applications, and certificates.
The solution also had to support importing data from different sources, including Prism clients’ specific accounting system.
The first challenge our .NET developers faced was to provide accurate information on contract compliance for every state, as there are law differences across the states.
The database of vendors currently includes 450,000 companies and is constantly growing. Great amounts of data could affect performance of the solution, which was another issue the team had to look into.
Implementing the mail merge function was also difficult, as the growing database couldn’t generate multiple documents from a single template and a data source.
It was also challenging to develop the search module. The tables in the database are constantly growing and changing, which implies the necessity to change and customize search criteria.
To solve the problem with law differences across the states, the team decided to implement customization of queries. Pages for each particular state would look and work in different ways.
As this is a long-term project that to date has lasted for 6 years, the team could not change the structure of the database and had to look for another way to improve performance of the solution. Altoros optimized the database by editing tables and their content.
The team created a plug-in that enabled using the standard mail merge function of MS Word. The system monitors execution of contracts and automatically sends e-mail notifications to those contactors who fulfill contracts on time and within budget.
For the search center the team developed a sophisticated solution based on the dynamic SQL technology. The feature allows users to search the system by user-defined criteria. A search request is formed in a user-friendly fashion, e.g., drop-down menus help users to choose values.
It took one year to develop the first version of the system. Over the past two years Altoros has developed six new versions. Today, the project is growing and attracting more new customers.
Users of the system include: City of San Diego, City of Atlanta, Baltimore County, Cook County, University of Maryland, NYC, City of Cleveland, City of Hillsborogh, and others.
Windows Server 2003
Client platforms/Application servers
.NET Framework, IIS
WebServices, WinServices, ASP.NET, ADO.NET, LINQ, jQuery, Crystal Reports, XML, AJAX