Case Study 1 - Publishing Plan of Ship Arrivals, and Real-Time Reporting of Loading and Unloading Cargo

Our client was one of the biggest ports on the Adriatic Sea, who started utilizing IT in their daily operations very early on. As a result, their monitoring software was pretty outdated, although their other IT infrastructure was at an advanced level. Since the monitoring system was the very core of their data collecting system, they could not change it overnight. They had to deal with old fashioned DBase and make it work with new and advanced Internet technology.

The challenge was obvious, and the usual answer our client was getting from other developers was, "Yes we can put your real-time data on the web, but we have to convert the database to ...". All of those "convert to" solutions had a huge price tag attached (it was year 1999, much before these free and express editions of various database servers), so that the simple task of publishing real-time data on the web had grown to a serious, enterprise-level project, that required major change in company's IT infrastructure. Of course, it was unacceptable for our client (our client said it metaphorically - "I needed them just to change the tiles in my bathroom and they wanted to demolish my entire house to make it compatible with the tiles"), so the project sat for a couple of months.

When we were presented with the task, it was very clear that client should not have to change the database type, and the task itself wasn't that important to have any significant budget allocated to it, i.e. we had to fit in existing budget and to work with existing technology.

Based on all these parameters, we decided to use WhizBase, a technological middle-man solution that was quite new and unknown at the time. It enabled us not only to blend our solution smoothly into existing infrastructure, but also to build a WAP version without exceeding the budget, so the entire solution was available for use on cell phones (something that was not so common back in 1999).

The Client was happy. We got a bonus. And our solution was in use for about 8 years until the port finally replaced the whole infrastructure and included this task as part of the integral solution.