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CRMCompany Extends WinForms-based CRM to the Web Using Visual WebGui

June 04, 2009

CRMCompany, is a provider of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions and is also in to consulting. The firm focuses on adding value to businesses, thus enhancing their profitability, by applying its knowledge and experience. This is done by the use of information technology in commercial and administrative processes efficiently and effectively with associated metrics.
 
CRMCompany’s customer is in the construction industry and manufactures and supplies roof vaults. The Visual WebGui (VWG) based application was built for the Roof Vaults department and enables dealers and roof vault sellers to maintain customer information, the sale process and the configuration of the roof vault.
 
The business requirements to be addressed included the integration of the customers’ Website with roof vault configuration capabilities to the existing CRM solution. The existing CRM solution was available as a Windows application and the end solution needed to be Web enabled.
 
CRMCompany analyzed the 'simple' product configuration available through the Website with some of its CRM forms. Performance factors also had to be considered with about one to 20 concurrent users and also to use existing resources to build a library which could be utilized by WinForms as well as Web.
 
As a part of the solution offering Visual WebGui was chosen unanimously as other solutions were not feasible. The Roof Vault application included a roof vault configuration tool in which a two-dimensional drawing of the roof vault is displayed which can be manipulated by parameters and was developed using HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) /AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript). The remaining fields were done in Visual WebGui and the data bound to SQL Server through a business-slayer.
 
The initial challenge was to build the application to smoothly operate over Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS). However in the Netherlands, not all areas are covered by UMTS. So the team had to build a standalone version of the VWG application using a .NET (News - Alert) WinForms application with a built-in Cassino Web server using SQL Server replication.
 
The obvious benefits using Visual WebGui implied that the development team didn't need more than the WinForms experience it had already possessed in order to use the VWG framework. Also the Visual WebGui framework is cross browser compatible. Choosing Visual WebGui resulted in significant savings for CRMCompany in this project. Time was also saved since the business layer didn’t have to be built using the Web session object.

Shireen Dee is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Shireen's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jessica Kostek

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