Consulting: Application Architecture and Development
SYR Systems Inc. has had a continuous record of success in
application systems development, an area where many clients are disappointed and
many suppliers have been mediocre at best.
In our approach to systems development, we stress a number of critical issues
with our clients, of which the following two are most fundamental:
- Systems development leads to a change in the way an organization will
perform its business. It is imperative to fully analyse and confirm that the
change is not only 'a technically better way', but preferably 'the best business
way'. Management commitment to change and the active involvement of the affected
user community through all stages of development is paramount.
- Confirmation of the critical system components through interactive
prototypes is the most effective approach to ensure active user community
contribution and buy-in prior to finalisation of system design.
In short, we emphasize the development not just of a computer system, but of
a complete business re-engineering strategy.
We believe that our development reputation has been established based upon
the following key areas of expertise:
Project management practices that engage the client organization through all
stages of application development ensure awareness of progress and issues for
all stake holders.
To achieve effective project management we utilize tools such as:
- Project planning systems
- Resource loading techniques
- Financial tracking and control
- Effective project and team meetings to ensure inter and intra team
- Project status reporting
- Steering committee organization and running
- Critical review meetings
- More focused projects
- Better tracking of status and issues
- Direct involvement of all stake holders
- Building a cohesive team
- Active participation by all required levels
Business and Application Architecture
Comprehensive business understanding upon which an application architecture
is established to address the essence of business operation as envisioned by the
We develop a comprehensive understanding of your current business
We challenge ourselves to understand the full business better than any
individual in the client organization.
We challenge your business - its focus, its structure and its processes.
We do business analysis - not bandage solutions.
We seek opportunities to rationalize and simplify.
We help you engineer the "business vision"
We work with senior management to determine a meaningful business vision.
We re-engineer new procedures and systems versus automating existing
We determine the business system
We ensure "usability" in the design and system interfaces.
We assess the functional and bottom line value of the system.
- A renewed streamlined approach to driving the business
- Improved responsiveness of your service units
- Improved efficiency of your operating units
Data and Process Architecture
Data and process architecture is the backbone of a successful application
system and the basis of the client investment in computer systems that continues
in spite of any future evolution of technology.
We strongly believe that data is one component of the business application
that is used not just for the day-to-day running of the business but is the
basis of all major business decision and the source of competitive advantage of
We pride ourselves with a unique ability to effectively model the business
through its data and processes.
We develop comprehensive data architecture using up-to-date data analysis
techniques, especially normalization processes.
We have interfaced with many Data Base Management Systems, from Sequential to
Indexed Sequential to Network to Hierarchical to Relational. This makes us aware
of the different physical aspects of data storage and retrieval.
- A comprehensive representation of the business through data
- A fully normalized logical data model
- A highly efficient database design considering the characteristics of the
- A strong backbone to the application - building for the future
Even with an approach that focuses on the business rather than technology, we
do not lose sight of the fact that technology is a major component that is the
most venerable to evolution and change.
We use a large variety of the most advanced proven technology platforms
- IBM Main Frames: OS, MVS, CMS, ...
- Fault Tolerant: Tandem, Stratus, System 88
- UNIX based systems: NCR, DEC, HP, SGI, RISC 6000
We apply the latest design techniques
- Analysis Tools: Deft, Excelerator, IEW, Prototyping, Use Case
- User Interface: CICS BMS, MANTIS, JAM, Visual C++, WebSphere
We use a large variety of Data Base Management Systems
- Index Sequential: VSAM, CISAM, ...
- Network: Total
- Hierarchical: System 2000, IMS
- Relational: SUPRA, DB2, Oracle, Ingres, Sybase, Informix
We are experienced with a variety of communication methods and protocols
- Host applications: direct connect dumb terminals
- Client-Server: RPC, DCE, Message processing
- LAN/WAN: Ethernet, TCP/IP, Token Ring, NCR Star Link
- A high performance system
- A system that can be well maintained and opened to evolution
- A system that has a high level of availability
Development is a team effort that requires cohesive dedicated system
engineers that are guided by a set of standards and reviews to ensure consistent
and maintainable end product.
We have experience with traditional, Client-Server and Web-Based systems
- Language: COBOL, PL1, CICS, C, C++, VB, J2EE, Java
Solved mission critical systems issues:
- Code control and distribution
- Effective communication between the N tiers
- High performance On-line Transaction Processing (OLTP)
- Applications with independence from 6 components:
- User interface
- Client Operating System
- Server Operating System
- Communication Protocols
- Hardware of the Client machine
- Hardware of the Server machine
We develop and tailor development standards for the environment
to coincide with the customer objectives.
We use a development kit that insures:
- Speedy prototype development
- Consistent adherence to development standards
- Effective utilization of the more junior resources
- Channeling expert resources to the more important development
We encourage the participation of a nucleus of systems staff as members of
the development team:
- Develops an understanding of those who frequently will have to support the
system following implementation.
- Ensures adherence to any established standards within the client's
- Systems that satisfy user requirements for a long period.
- Systems easily ported from one environment to another. Protecting customer
- High quality systems that are maintainable by in-house staff, with no
dependency on our resources.
- Modular systems with building blocks for future requirements.
- Systems easily integrated with third party products.
This is a role independent of the development team, well suited for the
business analysts and end users to achieve results envisioned through the
We employ users as integral members of the project team
- Resolve the communication gap between the business language and the machine language.
- Users communicate directly with system engineers during prototype development.
- Users are directly involved in the development of user interfaces.
- Ensures user sign-off based on detail understanding of deliverables.
We use a structured approach to system and acceptance testing:
- Utilise test plans, test cases and expected results for the verification not
just of the end product but during the prototype development.
We ensure that application functions of highest importance are developed
- Enabling a longer period of verification and change for core business
- Ensures that the supporting functions are complementing core business
We ensure that involved users are fully trained and participate in the
development and delivery of training to user organization.
- Earlier implementation and attainment of expected benefits
- Lower system development cost
- Substantially higher return on investment over the life of the system
- Higher acceptance levels by user organization
- Lower inherent risks of development projects