We have been working on a new version of our web application simonlib® over the past two years, with the aim of meeting the needs of users and to adapt the application to new technologies in the field of web application development. The result is, that today simonlib® 3.0, while remaining true to its bottom-up philosophy, as required by its most careful users, it appears to be completely renovated into technological infrastructure, in user experience and capabilities. Now let’s see in detail each newness.
From the point of view of new technology, the greatest new, is without doubt in the replacement of the Application Server integrated within (FelixCat) App, that is already obsolete and lacking in safety features that today are essential with the latest versions of Tomcat and Apache. In this way, we aimed to simplify and improve the development process of the platform. The new architecture of simonlib® and its integration of the database, it’s ideal for the management of a typical three-tier web architecture which is based on the framework, according to the standards defined by the J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition).
The Standard J2EE require, as previously said, a 3-tier architecture:
On the first level, the main components are represented by a browser at the workstations of each client, from the Web Application Server Apache-Tomcat that runs properly and safely client data and able to translate information in a format suitable for a (HTML) client. from a java software layer.
The second software level, incorporates the App’s logical system that processes the data. Even this is achieved using java and is hosted by the Web Application Server. The code has been updated, assembled and run with latest release of JDK and JRE versions, in order to guarantee a high level of security of its customers information.
The third level contains the database and all the tools to access and process data (text searches, Data Warehouse,…).
Another innovation that without doubt constitutes an added value for simonlib® 3.0 is data access. The new platform, in fact, is able to present the data on the database through the use of web services, that will return the requested information in XML format.
The available services will be:
- Measure Form
- Questions Form
- Index results
- Biographic information
- User Information
Each service will be requested under enabled IP via http or https, with the same logic of calculation and analysis used by the software to represent the statistical data about the client, that returns through XML data structure with the requested information.
As briefly mentioned before, simonlib® 3.0 has a graphical interface, completely revised and much more attractive and user friendlier than the previous one.
Figura 1: new Home Page version
You can access to the different features of the application directly from the top toolbar, without passing through the menu that can make navigation difficult.
In comparison to the previous construction, the new tree is presented in a compact way in order to allow a more complete overview. The navigation will continue to be the same as well as the activated functions (statistic view, data aggregation, attribution new questionnaires etc.). It’s easier sorting the various points of the tree, although actually this feature can only be used by the superuser (XSYSTEMS).
It was increased the size in the “qualification” field and a tooltip that specifies the maximum number of allowed characters was inserted.
The old profiles have changed the definition, they were called questionnaires in order to be coherent with the detection form. Through a simple drag and drop you can order single items according to the specific needs of each user.
They have been compared to other types of indicators managed by simonlib®, so the new version should be, indexes and schemes for self-assessment, combined with a questionnaire like the measures. In the first place, this way there will be no duplication of data which made difficult the consultation of general information and very complex their printing. Secondly, it will be easier to create questionnaires specifically for the monitoring and evaluation of customer satisfaction. In the new version, it is also possible to create”daughters” questions starting directly from the main question by avoiding unnecessary steps.
You can combine different types of graphs to the measures and indicators. There was an implementation of the function that makes the exportable graphics in the common format .PNG.
The report relating to the prospectus/catalog has been made more approachable so that you can make a printed report of the questionnaire. The labels for the items to be displayed (questions, measures, indexes, variables) are self-compiled and can be modified in creating new reports or modifying existing reports. It was inserted the possibility of massive loading of structures and elements into a report. It was corrected the meaning of the identification of “unknown information” that caused problems in the compliance of reports. It has implemented the transcoding/ data conversion of predefined lists in exports to Microsoft Excel®.
The new manual is available and can be accessed directly from the application in wiki format.