Customized software development
Customer-specific requirements may not always be efficiently matched with standard software. Sometimes, there is no suitable standard software on the market, which could fulfill all of the requirements. Furthermore, standard software may be oversized for the task, leading to additional costs and a more complex handling and operating.
Tailor-made solutions are an alternative to standard software. These solutions are specifically built for each individual customer and match the given requirements as precisely as possible – nothing more and nothing less.
ISACO has been involved in customer-specific development for years. Our portfolio includes the implementation of adapters for extending and integrating existing software as well as realizing complete stand-alone solutions. The ISACO team has a long-standing experience with software development and in-depth technical know how.
The collaboration of many different systems can become challenging.
More complex VoIP platforms consist of a multitude of components. It can become quite challanging to keep the consistency among the configurations of all components. This especially applies to cases where parts of the platform are being run and answered for by different organizational units.
A major telephone service provider needed a component for the central control of its dialplans and their distribution to all relevant target systems of its VoIP platform. Aside from the various dialplan format and interface requirements of the individual target systems, a complex role concept was needed to reflect the organizatory responsibilities and workflows. No standard software was available for these requirements.
The customer-specific solution by ISACO was to develop a central server for managing dialplans. The server implements a web-based graphical user interface from where a user can perform all necessary steps. The solution is designed to utilitze interface modules for connecting to target systems, allowing for a multitude of supported protocols (e.g. SOAP, XML-RPC, SFTP, LDAP, SMTP).
Using the solution by ISACO, the customer now can create, validate, distribute, and archive all dialplans of the VoIP platform with a central system. The work load was reduced significantly: the graphical user-interface supports its users during every step of their tasks and simplifies the training of new employees. In the same move, the quality and reliability of generated dialplans was vitally improved.
Automation is the key to efficiency.
Test automation is the key to an efficient and dependable quality assurance. This particularly applies to joint platform tests of complex VoIP systems, that may consist of numerous individual components for SIP signaling or media applications. A consequence is the very high number of different scenarios, which can not be adequately verified with a manual testing strategy.
A major telephone service provider had developed an automation test framework for its quality assurance, originally being limited to data provisioning tests. The provider needed to extend the test framework to cover also VoIP communication functionality, but without having to integrate a SIP stack directly into the framework. Thus, a component was needed, that would implement SIP communication functionality and that would be controllable from the test framework. No standard software was available for these requirements.
The customer-specific solution by ISACO was to develop a self-contained system for controlling the SIP communication. This system is capable to set up and conclude arbritary calls as both the caller and the callee, to send DTMF tones, as well as to play and to record audio files during ongoing calls. Additionally, the solution supports communication via ISDN and analog lines, so it may be used for testing gateway functionality of the VoIP platform. A well documented REST interface was provided for controling the system, which decisively kept the effort of the customer, to integrate the component into the test framework, at a minimum.
The customer is now able to keep using the existing test framework while additionally covering VoIP communication. While manual testing has been reduced noticeably, both the quality and the test coverage have been increased, allowing to extensively automate the testing of endpoint devices, the VoIP platform itself, as well as individual media applications. The telephone service provider can now cover even complex scenarios with automated tests, like e.g. the configuring of a call forwarding in the customer self service portal, followed by a verification of the result in the VoIP platform.
Save costs with flexible adapters.
The use of standard software sold by major vendors often has it disadvantages in long release cycles and cost-intensive customizations. In many cases, the consequence for smaller projects is to reduce the customizations to a minimum, or to avoid them entirely to remain economical.
A major telephone service provider employs the worldwide successfully standard accounting software of a major vendor. In a rather small project, the provider cooperated with another company for offering a video telephony service. This led to the requirement to preprocess the accounting data of the business partner for being able to process it with the employed accounting system. This was about much more than simple format conversions, since the quality of the supplied raw accounting data was rather poor: the raw data needed multiple steps of correlation and ample verification.
The customer-specific solution by ISACO was to develop a server for importing, correlating, and validating the external accounting data, and for feeding it into the employed accounting system. The component is operated via a graphical web interface, allowing the user to execute all necessary steps of the procedure. Data inconsistencies are presented directly in the web interface along with suggestions for correcting them. A multitude of customer-specific verification rules allow to assure the desired quality of the accounting data.
With this adapter solution by ISACO, the customer can now extensively preprocess and verify the external accounting data, allowing to process it in the accounting system. The customer saved the costs for project-specific customizations of the accounting system.
Emergency call handling
Interoperability problems with competing vendors.
Standard software sold by different vendors may lead to interoperatbility problems, which can not be fixed with standard solutions. A major telephony provider employed the products of two major, but competing vendors. A hosted PBX for business customers was to be connected to an IMS platform via the Ic interface of another IMS platform.
This bared multiple problems: In spite of using a defined interface, multiple issues with interoperability (some of them grave) occurred due to specification gaps. Furthermore, the hosted PBX did not support an emergency coding as required.
The customer-specific solution by ISACO was based on a database-assisted SIP proxy, which applies the necessary modifications. The high configurability of the solution and the flexibility of software development at ISACO were the reason, that occuring glitches between the two different platforms could be resolved quickly and satisfactorily for the customer. Critical milestones and deadlines were met because of our fast, flexible, and solution-oriented way of working.
Despite of the agile development, a very high software quality and robustness was ensured on account of automated functional tests, performance and stability tests, as well as CI. Although this project was a little larger, only two software errors occurred during the testing phase, of which both were promptly fixed. Since being in operation, not a single error has occured until today.