In 2016 at the Nuclear Information Technology Strategic Leadership conference (NITSL), Rolls Royce presented their SDS website. Met with outstanding success, they generated a strong impression and much interest among clients. However, this also created expectations to present a more feature rich mobile version at the 2019 edition of NITSL.
The initial version of SDS started as a desktop responsive website that allowed users to access Power Plant sensor data. While promising, it was still missing some of the essential features needed to release a final product for customers.
An upgraded version of SDS was envisioned as a mobile application (mSDS), including new features and real-time access to system monitoring. The main goal involved taking advantage of the latest industrial technologies, in order to add market value while being accessible on mobile devices and tablets.
Rolls Royce also recognized that their technical organization and software development practices were outdated and ready for a transformation. This presented the perfect opportunity for BairesDev to propose a solution using our Delivery Team Approach.
Through our extremely strict process that selects only Top 1% Talent in the market, BairesDev’s staffing team worked to quickly select the roles and skill sets required to ensure best practices in code, software quality and enhanced user experience.
During an initial 2-week Discovery Phase at Rolls Royce offices with a Project Manager and Tech Lead, the project’s tech stack, scope, and backlog were defined in conjunction with RR’s product owner. Development started with Front-End React, QA and UX engineers joining the delivery team right after the discovery phase concluded.
mSDS included a new set of intriguing features to access real-time sensor data and diagnostics. A few worth mentioning include the ability to select and group different data points where users can access sensitive power plant data, create local alerts and receive mobile notifications when specific nominal values fall between a customized range. Groups and data points can be customized and classified by administrative users, who can also create global alerts to notify all users at the same time.
A dealbreaker for mSDS version 1.0 was time-to-market and adding immediate business value. With this in mind, the team decided to create a Progressive Web Application (PWA) as an MVP in order to use the same code base for both web and mobile versions, retaining the benefits of a native-like-app while achieving faster time to market. Once the MVP was complete, BairesDev led a successful onsite knowledge transfer.
During the initial phases of MVP development, a proof of concept was developed using React. After finding several restrictions with iPhone notification support as well as taking into account major objectives going forward, our team made the decision to develop the application in Xamarin instead. As a result, engineers were able to utilize the same code base across web and mobile versions, while offering a seamless experience to the end user. As mSDS evolves in the future, native versions for release 2.0 using React Native will be implemented.