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Magna Carta College Oxford

Automated College Management System

Project Background

The client turned to Asapy to solve a serious business-related issue that required a comprehensive and weighed approach. The goal was to create a complex management suite that would cover a wide gamut of the organization’s activities and offer students and personnel a number of efficiency-boosting and time-saving tools. The client represented Magna Carta College.

Magna Carta College (also known as MCC) is a private business school based in the historical city of Oxford, United Kingdom. As an innovative organization with a long history of success, MCC strives to offer top-quality education by offering on-campus and remote education services. The college thoroughly analyzed several off-the-shelf solutions provided by market leaders, but opted for the development of a custom cloud solution, which would later be offered to other educational institutions in the UK. This was made to accommodate a set of college-specific requirements and those stipulated by the British Board of Education.

The client hired Asapy as an expert in the e-learning domain with a proven track record of developing complex, high-load cloud solutions and ISO-certified professionals capable to delivering software products of the highest level. In the course of the project, Asapy demonstrated its very best to meet the clients expectations and flawlessly handle every aspect of the project: from analyzing the client’s business processes and gathering project requirements to organizing an efficient development and quality assurance processes.

Solution

Asapy proposed the concept of an ACMS – Automated College Management System – that would cover the initial set of requirements and address a number of other typical tasks, routines and processes inherent to the day-to-day operation of the college.

The architecture of the solution ensures round-the-clock availability, top performance and scalability required for the growing number of services and college applications. In the course of the project, ASAPY leveraged its deep expertise in the field of high-load enterprise platforms to create a uniquely integrated environment for applicants, students and staff.

The main purpose of ACMS is to fully automate the academic process, from providing information about the college to prospective students and submitting an application to managing human resources and getting analytical reports across the college’s various departments.

The solution covers the following activities, among others:

  • The process of filing enrollment applications - enrollee information is entered into the system and is made available to members of the admission committee
  • Approval process – approval/dismissal of an enrollee, collection of documents, processing of the enrollee’s personal details, automated report generation
  • Employee notification: delivery of notifications via email and SMS messages
  • Scheduling process, time tracking, curriculum planning
  • Academic activity management process - curriculum planning, communication with students
  • College management process - task management, HR management
  • Analytical and statistical reporting
  • Financial management (calculation of college receipts and expenses, accounting

ACMS also offers multi-language support and is available in English, Spanish and Russian languages.

Development process

ACMS is a PDO (product development outsourcing) project currently underway. Asapy used Scrum as the key methodology to be able to adequately react to changing priorities and quickly implement suggested features in the course of development. Daily meetings were conducted to ensure the quality of the product and organize the work process in the most efficient way.

The project started with a comprehensive system analysis and modeling phase that lasted for 6 months. The scale and complexity of the project required a temporary relocation of MCC’s CTO to Asapy’s European office and tight cooperation with the company’s team of business analysts to deliver complete project documentation, prototypes and architecture designs.

Asapy did a lot of consulting with the client to gather project requirements and document them in a software requirements specification (SRS). Complete documentation created by Asapy’s business analysis team ensured a smooth an uninterrupted development process.

Asapy made the system highly scalable on 3 levels:

  • SSL/cache proxy servers
  • Static content and Application Servers
  • Index and database servers

Technologies

Asapy utilized the latest technologies during development:

  • GUI: JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, JQuery
  • Server: Spring MVC, Apache Tomcat
  • Security: SSL
  • Rule engine: Drools
  • Search: distributed index roles
  • Data storage: Hadoop
  • Database: Hbase
  • Request processing: Message Queues, Server, Apache Camel)

Results

Asapy successfully managed to complete the most difficult initial phase that focused on collecting comprehensive project requirements from multiple stakeholders and creating complete project documentation. This required active interaction between the company’s BA team and representatives of MMC on different levels. The system is currently being developed and will soon become available as a SaaS solution offered to other educational institutions in the UK.

The client has expressed deep satisfaction with Asapy’s progress towards set goals an announced plans for new features to be available in future releases of the system.