“Responsive, business oriented, well-structured and with a good quality at each release, the dedicated Hexacta team has been a good partner to achieve our various goals on this project.
Thus, I want to thank everyone in Hexacta who has been involved in this success.”
Laurent Sainte Beuve, Project Leader, Bolloré
Brief description of the company
Bolloré is the leading integrated logistics network in Africa. Established over 50 years ago in 41 countries, they are key players in port activity, specialists in terrestrial transport as well as experts in tailor-made logistics solutions.
Bolloré decided to implement a custom system for supporting one of their core activities: Container Management. They initially worked with two French companies to implement Ipaki, the .NET web application that provides the functionality for the containers’ terminals’ management and the billing services to customers.
After some time, Bolloré concluded that the project was not going in the right direction and that a change of technology partner was necessary. They hired Hexacta to continue the project.
The main challenge for Hexacta was that the system had to be completed within a certain amount of time and several steps had to be taken:
- The architecture was too complex and it was difficult to follow the code flow.
- There were several problems with the code as well as missing features.
- The development of the billing module had not yet started.
After obtaining good results, and thanks to the quick response and adaptation of the team to the constant changes of the business, Bolloré decided to trust Hexacta once more with the development of a decentralized application for managing Active Directory contacts within the company, used by all its employees (>5000), which also allowed offline use. This application was called Contacts and has its own web and desktop version.
For its Clearing & Forwarding area (customs transit), Bolloré hired Hexacta to implement Diouti, a system that allows monitoring of customs procedures and thus minimize associated penalties costs.
Project: Bolloré Ipaki
To successfully finish the implementation of Ipaki (the Container Management System), the first step was to understand the state of the application at that point, its architecture and to split the team into small units to attack different fronts.
A review of the implemented architecture was performed and it was concluded that only the security framework was worth reusing. A simple three tier architecture was defined.
The team worked to rewrite some existing applications while, in parallel, the development of the billing module was in progress. The application was heavily modified to be more flexible and adapt to the needs of the different countries of Africa that would use Ipaki.
Hexacta continued making improvements and adding new features, focusing on performance. Thanks to the improvements and the creation of templates for reporting, the application is running in the sites.
Project: Bolloré Ipaki Mobile
This project involved the development of a rich client for Windows CE 5.0 for Motorola handhelds. The main requirement was that it should be able to work offline.
Detailed information on this project is available at Bolloré Mobile.
Project: Bolloré Contacts
To allow more than 5000 application's users work in a disconnected (off-line) way, a decentralized scheme for synchronizing servers has been defined.
The user interface was developed with WPF and Silverlight. A flexible tool and comprehensive search was implemented and the web version and desktop version are displayed in the same way. This application is currently used in more than 40 countries where Bolloré operates.
Project: Bolloré Diouti
The interface of this application was designed taking into account the sober corporate image and its navigation allows the user to quickly find content and services. The proposed solution included the following features:
- Tracking of payment of duties and taxes and minimization of penalties if they are not done in due time.
- Visibility of all customs deadlines to Bolloré’s agents and clients.
- Complete cover of the scope, from client’s orders reception date up to the end of the clearing process.
- Multilingual application (French, English and Portuguese).
- Integrated Active directory authentication.
- Role-based authorization.
- Scheduled delivery of monthly reports by email.
- Automatic generation of client reminder letters.
- Customizable templates of emails and client reminders.
- Bolloré Ipaki. It was developed with Microsoft .NET framework v4.0, C#, Aspx, iBatis.NET, SQL Server 2005/08 R2, VS2012/3, Microsoft Compact Framework 3.5.
- Bolloré Ipaki Mobile. The following technologies were used for Ipaki Mobile: Microsoft .NET, Compact Framework v3.5, Microsoft Sql Server CE, Visual Studio 2008, Microsoft WCF.
- Bolloré Contacts. To build this application, the following technologies were used: Microsoft .NET 4.0, C#, WPF 4.0, Silverlight 4.0, XML, SQL Server 2008, VS2010.
- Bolloré Diouti. It was developed with Asp .Net 4.0, .Net Framework 4.0, Fluent Validations, ORM Entity Framework 5, MS-Sql Server 2005, Quartz.Net.