Success After VB, C, C++, Straight Java would not do it
Who is Orscheln Industries? Orscheln Industries is a group of highly diversified businesses with major investments in more than a dozen different companies, partnerships and joint ventures, and employs nearly 3,000 in numerous manufacturing and distribution facilities and in more than 145 retail outlets located in the Midwestern United States. Operations outside the United States include those located in Europe and India. Manufacturing companies in the Orscheln group produce parts for the OEM automotive, off-highway, agricultural, industrial, construction and aircraft industries. Orscheln retail groups offer agricultural, hardware, lawn and garden, and animal care products for farmers, home owners and other consumers. Orscheln’s real estate group specializes in real estate management and development.
What was the Challenge? Sheila Rowe is an IT professional at Orscheln. Like many business software developers, she had a few projects that were always "on the back burner" - and when there was time she kept trying to upgrade those old business applications. One such project was an application for planning, scheduling and billing services of their internal corporate airplanes. The original application had been written in a 4GL. It needed upgrading - and when she had time, Sheila started researching ways to re-do this application.
Try, Try, Try Again? Sheila notes that she spent some time training herself to learn other programming methods. First she tried VB, then C, C++, Visual C++ and then straight Java. "It seemed that I always hit a wall and was unable and unwilling to complete this nagging project," she states. Researching options yet again, she ran across Servoy on the Internet. By now, she had a few other projects lined up that needed her attention. Sheila: "I also wanted to find software that could help us solve these issues without a huge learning curve and at a price our company could justify."
Success at Last: "I downloaded software and tested for weeks and when I found Servoy, I was certain that this would work for us. I was so excited to finally find something that was fun to work with and would actually do what we had been searching for! I had a prototype of the nagging project done in just a few weeks. The project has since been completed and is now on our users’ desktops. It has not even had a hiccup and the reports run perfectly since we included the Jasper Report plug-in available for Servoy."
According to Penny Hicks, Asst. V.P. of Accounting, Servoy has been an important upgrade for her department too. "We had one, old application running on very old technology. With the new Servoy product, we were able to finally get rid of an old VAX machine. Plus Servoy’s application linked with our MAS 500 General Ledger accounting product (from SAGE) - thus reducing data entry and making less chance for error. The new Servoy user interface is so easy and user friendly. New employees or new users of our Servoy application can do it almost automatically. It’s MUCH more people friendly."
What Did You Like About Servoy the Best? The Servoy Forum has been very helpful. If I couldn’t find a solution in the documentation or on the forum, I posted a question and within hours someone had helped me solve my problem.
Now Servoy Used In Many Apps, Big Project for Future With the success of her first project, Rowe tackled several other applications - for the monthly back up of payroll (in the past, Rowe had to do this for the payroll department). With a Servoy app, the payroll office can do it themselves and in the manner and timeframe that fits their needs better). She has finished a couple of other pilot applications and is looking to tackle a large project next.
"I can’t wait to finish my current project (in another platform) so I can get back to Servoy!" she said. "We have a large project that needs to be converted from Access. I will use SQL Server for the backend and Servoy for the front-end. This project will be deployed as a web-client utilizing a browser - and the possibilities are really exciting. The subsidiary that will use this program helps keep track of patents and the process for registering for the patents."
Penny Hicks, Asst. V.P. of Accounting - "The Servoy product allowed us to implement a newer, quicker version for our billing system AND it integrated with our existing general ledger program, eliminating the need for data re-entry. It is MUCH more efficient - we no longer have to manually book our GL activity. Plus, our previous billing system was not user friendly and it was not easy to navigate. Servoy is both user friendly and easy - even for new employees or users of the application.
Sheila Rowe, Application Developer: "Servoy was the best solution to my headache project. Now I’m using it for MANY projects. It’s the best."