Case Study: Platform For Corporate Audits Based On Microsoft Azure
Client: Quality Bridge, Inc., a company that provides quality improvement consulting, since 1995, targeting regulated mid-sized and large enterprises
Business goals: Delivery of a program for enabling improvements in employee engagement which can promote cost-reduction, happier employees, and accelerated innovation
Product: Cross-platform mobile application for corporate employees; Web-based admin panel; the back end is based on Microsoft Azure
Applied technologies and procedures: business analysis, UI/UX design + prototyping, Material Design, Xamarin.Forms, Microsoft Azure, MS SQL Server, ASP.NET Core MVC, ASP.NET Core API, push notifications, integration of Trello and Mailgun, manual testing, Burp Suite, Agile management framework
The client addressed us with a product idea that would combine a corporate social network and a tool to conduct polls and collect feedback from employees. This would be a solution for companies that want to gather and analyze actionable insights in order to improve their corporate atmosphere and motivate employees with a system of earning points. The idea went through the stage of business analysis up to successful deployment.
The stage of business analysis
We combined business analysis with UI/UX design. It saved time invaluably, comprising an extensive analysis of the client's business goals, tasks, and target audience. The next step was to create personas and form a cohesive prototype according to the contexts of use. After the scope of work was approved, we visualized our wireframes using Material Design practices; the application received a unique inviting style with custom illustrations.
Additionally, we developed related branding artifacts, starting with the logo and up to the overall stylistics of the product.
Microsoft Azure as the architectural solution
The selected stack for product implementation was based on .NET technologies. Microsoft Azure cloud proved to be the optimal architectural solution, where all instances—the server, the database, and the administration panel—are located in a single place. It is also easier to set up and support communication between instances, maintaining the optimal time of query execution. Additionally, the architectural style based on REST API helped us maintain structural consistency, as well as create stable and easily supported code. Deployment was automated with in-built Visual Studio tools.
The .NET stack was also used to create two applications: an administration panel based on ASP.NET Core MVC and an API application that became the intermediate link between the front end and the server side. The latter includes integration with Trello and Mailgun, push notifications, and Azure Functions for work in the background mode.
Xamarin-based cross-platform mobile apps with 80% of shared code
Our suggestion to use Xamarin.Forms allowed to cover iOS and Android with more than 80% of shared code. This became a massive economy of budget and effort. Additionally, Xamarin enabled dynamic switching between languages, which would be a hard task for native apps. With full access to the native SDK, we easily set up such native features as authentication with fingerprint scanning and push notifications.
The Quality Bridge platform—named after the company—has recently been deployed in its beta phase, and several companies have already signed up for use. It will undergo further evolution, with once shelved features and feedback suggestions appearing on subsequent releases.
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