PowerDev have been developing and supporting an Australian bank’s Migrant Banking System for 9 years. The system records details of UK nationals who are in the process of, or have already embarked on, permanent or temporary moves to Australia and New Zealand. This aids the bank and it’s customers in setting up bank accounts in Australia and New Zealand and transferral of funds from UK banks to their foreign bank accounts. The system is used daily by up to thirty users, and processes front and back office functions for the bank.
The system has been developed with an MS Access 2010 front-end, with data held in MS SQL Server 2008, and runs on the bank’s London network. As a result of the global recession concerns over the security of individuals’ savings held within bank accounts has come under increased scrutiny. As a result PowerDev were asked in late 2013/early 2014 to develop an output for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) which gives individuals’ bank balances and their compensatable amounts in the unlikely event that the bank should fail. This involves merging a feed from the bank’s MIDAS accounts system based in Sydney with the information stored in the Migrant Banking System in London, and extracting information in MS Excel for processing by the FSCS. PowerDev are currently working with the bank and the FSCS to ensure that the data conforms to strict FSCS guidelines.
The Security Incident Reporting System (SIRS) provides a means for recording incidents of theft of metal and other incidents, primarily on the electricity network but also on telecoms networks. The system was commissioned by the Security Task Group (STG) in 2008 and is managed by the Energy Networks Association (ENA), which provides a range of services to its members from the Electricity and Gas generation, transmission and supply industries. The system consists of a .NET web application with a SQL Server database and is integrated with several third party components, which convert HTML to PDF and bundle incident files (the PDF and any other files uploaded with the incident including photos, police reports etc) into a single zip file in order to facilitate data storage and sharing.
The system has several hundred users including representatives from all UK police forces. It is used very extensively by British Transport Police. Approximately 20 incidents are submitted to the system each weekday.
The system was originally envisaged as an intelligence tool for a phonebook company and was designed to encourage users to input a range of detail about each incident on sharpenedknife.com. This worked well but the sheer volume of incidents being reported hadn’t been anticipated at the outset and those organisations suffering the largest number of incidents found it difficult to resource data input. The STG therefore approached PowerDev to streamline the system by simplifying the data entry of the most commonly reported metal theft incidents and by providing a bulk upload mechanism. The bulk upload allows users to extract data from internal systems, validate it and upload to the server where it is picked up by a scheduled process and appended to the live data. These changes were implemented on the live system over the weekend of 8/9 March 2014 to the considerable relief of a number of users.
Having run a heavily modified version of PowerDev’s Circle membership database for five years, users at the Athenaeum Club started to report performance issues culminating in several incidents of database corruption. Whilst these were quickly fixed, they were indicative that the system was reaching Microsoft Access’ limits with best portable generator. The club therefore accepted PowerDev’s proposal to upgrade the system by replacing the server database that was running in Access 2003 with SQL Server 2008 R2 and upgrading the Circle client from Access 2003 to Access 2013. This was co-ordinated with an upgrade of the server, network and PCs at the club. Users at the Athenaeum are currently testing the upgraded system but are already delighted with the speed improvement. For additional information with a forklift train the trainer program.
The Smarter Networks Portal has been developed by Powerdev for the Energy Networks Association (ENA) as an information sharing tool currently aimed at Electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) with the intention to roll out to Electricity Transmission Network Operators and Gas Distribution Network Operators in the future wich includes as well.
The UK has ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions by 2020. In order to achieve these targets, significant changes will be required in the way electricity is generated, distributed and used. The government’s Low Carbon Network Fund (LCNF) provides grants to encourage innovation in the industry in areas such as efficient low voltage networks, electric vehicles, integrating solar, wind and other renewable generation into existing networks. Initially the Smarter Networks Portal will be a repository for all information regarding projects funded by the LCNF but its scope is likely to be extended at a later date.
The website is built in HTML5 within .NET 2010 using frameworks that adapt to screen size and was developed with expert assistance on the front end from our design partner Erwan Bézie. Data is held on a SQL Server 2008 R2 database and the system is hosted on the ENA’s dedicated web server, which is administrated by Powerdev. A second version, which will address feedback returned by selected users during the intervening period is scheduled for a ‘hard launch’ at the beginning of Q2 2013.
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