Software development: Custom solution for high volume data processing and validation

Customer profile

Our customer, a global leading mobile broadband specialist, had to implement a system for localization services that would improve public safety by reducing localization time for 911 calls at a leading US mobile operator.

Business challenge

The BSA processing tool’s role was to deliver essential information regarding each cell in the operator’s network such as: operational status, geographical position, number of antennas, their radius, signal strength and other important details. Thousands of cells with multiple antennas, each one having from tens up to a couple of hundreds of attributes provided an enormous data to be analysed. Adding to the project’s complexity, the data couldn’t be sent in a unified format because of the different protocols between the technologies deployed over the operator’s network: CDMA and LTE. 

R Systems contribution and solution

The project was considerably delayed as the initial provider failed to deliver the Base Station Almanac (BSA) processing tool. As such, the customer, based on the already existing long-term partnership with R Systems, requested our support to avoid project delay and a major negative impact on the relation with the end customer, the US mobile operator. 

R Systems was requested to build the solution from scratch, our client expecting us to deliver in less than 4 months what their previous supplier couldn’t deliver in 2 years.

After 3 months from our takeover, the end customer requested a complex demo (covering almost 80% of the functionality) that was prepared in record time by our team. The demo’s success boosted our customer’s confidence in R Systems’ ability to implement the project in the short time available.

The project was split in two phases: phase one was focused on the delivery of a GUI for cell info visualization and the second phase was dedicated to the integration work.

R Systems managed to successfully deliver phase 1 of the project from scratch in less than 4 months. We delivered an ergonomic and user friendly GUI and also an accurate data processing engine capable of validating all the cells parameters and export them in a unified format compatible with the legacy localization system.

Even though the second phase of the project was not backed up by detailed requirement documents, we delivered it in record time: 2.5 months. While most of the work was done off site, due to the national security regulations that allowed the usage of real data only in the operator’s network and strictly on the country’s territory, all testing activities had to be done onsite in this timeframe. In terms of technologies we used Java J2EE as main development language for Oracle Database and Vaadin that uses Google Web Toolkit for GUI framework building.

Another challenge of the project was the fact that due to security regulation, R Systems team didn’t have access to real data for testing, therefore we had to compile a complex suite with all possible testing scenarios. The client placed the solution into a friendly user testing phase after the deployment of phase 1.

To add to the difficulty of the project, the requirement was that all processed data using the phase 1 release should remain intact and completely usable after the phase 2 deployment.

R Systems team had to build scripts for all types of data formats and testing scenarios. The tight deadline brought also significant challenges in terms of project management as there was no time for solution design documentation. This put an additional burden on the team who had to perform their tasks based only on detailed functional specifications and close monitoring of the designers.

“You performed a miracle here, it was the smarter move we could have done to change the supplier on the last 100 meters”, stated our customer’s technical counterpart. The 2,000-manday project was delivered with a team of 8 to 12 people in only a few months.

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