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Dispatch System to Web Site Integration

Case Study

Nationwide Fresh Air Accessible Transportation Service

The Customer

Nationwide Fresh Air Accessible Transportation provides effective transportation solutions for the health care industry.

A division of a worldwide transportation company that has been in business for 51 years, the company works closely with Individuals, HMOs and other Health Plans to provide safe and sensitive transportation for clients with unique needs.

The Business Need

Fresh Air Transportation maintains a fleet of vehicles across the country, but also sub-contracts some services to local transportation companies. Trips are dispatched through their in-house software and the trip details are uploaded to the company's public facing web-site for contractors to view their bookings.

In order to reduce maintenance costs, Fresh Air Transportation wanted to upgrade their web site's server platform. They successfully migrated the site content to a new server, but, a critical part of the puzzle was missing.

A software module, which links the company's in-house dispatching software with the web site's interactive pages failed to operate on the new site. Yet, without this component, the site could not be commissioned.

Fresh Air Transportation needed to bridge this gap between their dispatch system and their web site functions.

The Big Problem

The problem module had been developed in the mid 1990s by the incumbent hosting company, whose staff (and even ownership) had changed over the intervening years. No resources were left who knew anything about the module, and the source code could not be located.

Solution Implementation

Following a brief survey, Avatar CTS was able to design and implement a replacement module to integrate the dispatch system with the web site. Implemented as a Windows Service, the replacement module monitors a designated folder for an output file from the dispatch system, performs basic data transformation on the input records, and uploads the data to the site's relational database.

“We knew that moving our web site to a new platform would reduce our costs considerably, but we were struggling to implement the final piece of the puzzle. Avatar CTS came in, examined the situation, and had a solution implemented before the week was out.”

Derek Sumner,
I.T. Director, Nationwide Fresh Air Accessible Transportation LLC, Phoenix, AZ

Knowing that the solution would need to be installed on a hosted server, Avatar CTS also developed a full installation program for the new module, allowing National Fresh Air Transportation's I. T. staff (or the hosting company's staff) to deploy the service with minimal fuss.

To protect against future upgrade issues, the solution source code (fully commented) was turned over to the customer at the end of the project.

Partners

MiscrosoftThe solutions described in this document were implemented using Microsoft technologies, including: Microsoft Access 2000; Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0.