De Voorhoede

Commtrac

Case study

Manage ship terminals worldwide in a web browser

Manage ship terminals worldwide in a web browser

Commtrac is a software package by DBIS that is used to manage shipping terminals. To be specific: terminals that process bulk and general cargo. Think of coal, corn, iron ore, automobiles, paper bales, et cetera.

The challenge: from Windows desktop to web

With Commtrac, planning for cargo ships is organised, as well as loading, unloading and storage of cargo at terminals. It also includes a dashboard that displays various stats and graphs.

The existing application had become outdated and was only available for Windows. Up until then, it had grown organically and consisted mostly of input forms built on top of large data tables. This impeded maintenance and development of new features. The user interface also suffered: the learning curve for new employees and its ease of use were not ideal.

DBIS wished to renew the application. Our assignment was to implement a simplified application structure. This way, the unique workflow for every employee would be better supported with clear overviews and intuitive input controls.

A crane operator, who is actually placing cargo in the ship’s hold, now has a tangible overview

The solution: visual and modular with a web application

By leaving the Windows desktop environment behind and moving towards a web application, we immediately met a couple of requirements:

  • All data is stored centrally
  • Employees don’t need to install software on their work station and will always be up to date with the latest version
  • The application can be used on a variety of devices, including mobile
Another advantage is that AngularJS makes it easy to store and retrieve information directly while using the application. This way, what’s on the screen is always live.

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