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Product Analysis: Imported Java

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  • The Project

    NWC Inc. is a small manufacturing business headquartered in Green Bay, Wis., with production facilities in Syracuse, N.Y. Our customer-order systems let users buy "widgets" that are built in Syracuse. The widgets we make may be figments of our imagination, but all the systems required to run the business are real. Internally, we can track item delivery and show when and how our products shipped. However, we had no mechanism for support personnel to track all orders for a customer or to check the status of an order.

    Our order-entry system is based on Oracle using JSPs (JavaServer Pages), and our shipping/order tracking system is based on Microsoft SQL Server using ASP.Net. We asked Patni to develop software that used both of these systems to show all orders, their shipping status and how they were shipped for a given customer. We built a requirements document and asked the company to bid on the project. Our proposed time line was about six weeks, and the system would require several JSPs to be written that would access both Oracle and SQL Server. The project required writing code to access and update databases the developers had never seen and would use development tools determined by our Web development environment, which incorporates Oracle's version of Apache with the Tomcat Java Application Server. To simulate the changes that happen in real projects, the final target was Oracle9ias. Although the project was challenging, we didn't specify a complex system, mostly because of tight deadlines. See "What We Sent Patni" for more on our original requirements document.

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