Expense Management System Redevelopment and Maintenance

CarlaMaestro TM Expense Management System Redevelopment and Support

  • Delphi-based application redevelopment using Java technologies
  • Long term engagement: system support and maintenance
  • Functionality uplift and user interface redesign

Context

Back in 2001 CarlaBella (named Dièse Finance at that time), a French software house, found out their expense management product lacked functionality and experienced serious performance and scalability issues. It didn’t take long for CarlaBella to realize the application was in dire need of redevelopment and functionality uplift to be able to safeguard its positions on the market.

Aiming to retain the valuable features incorporated in the legacy application while addressing technical problems and inefficiencies, the company turned to Itransition. CarlaBella requested to turn their LAN-based desktop product into an application available via web, thus, switching the software distribution model to SaaS (Software as a service). Besides, system functionality enhancement was required.

Solution

Arriving at High Scalability and Ease of Configuration

To convert the system to a web-based application, Itransition’s dedicated team redeveloped the legacy Delphi-based application using Java technologies. As soon as the enhanced web-based system was deployed to production, Itransition moved to the support and maintenance phase.

For 12 years till now, CarlaMaestroTM has been evolving under expert supervision of the Itransition team. In 2007 the SaaS-based application, nicknamed CarlaMaestroTM then, was rebranded.

Currently the revamped application is a highly scalable, easily configurable platform offering a range of online human resources and expense management services.

The application is used by dozens of France-based companies, Estée Lauder, Ferrero, Mercedes France, Euronews, and many more among them. Considering specific requirements any particular system user may have, Itransition is continuously complementing the application with new functionality.

Functionality Overview

For end users – financial officers and HR managers who input, control and manage expense and workforce data – the system offers the following functionality:

  • Input. There are several ways to input data: manually, automatically or by data import. To facilitate management of employee-initiated expenses, information is grouped by period. Analytical information is also managed in this section.
  • Control. Submitted expenses are transmitted to be either approved or refused by company’s managers. Refused data may nevertheless be handled by the accountancy module.
  • Accountancy. All the expenses under control are transmitted to the accountancy module, where account books are created. The system simulates accounting of both approved and refused expenses.
  • Payment. Upon creation of payment books, the paymaster controls and validates payment of expenses. The module also processes the data contained in the corporate credit card files and integrates with external bank systems.
  • Setup. The module contains company and employee information, configuration settings, etc.
  • Reporting. The system allows analysts to generate both standard and ad hoc (with customized queries) reports that can be subsequently exported to Excel.
  • Options. The options module allows managing users and their rights. A number of design options are also available (e.g. logo, preferred colors).
  • Import/Export. Import of input data and export of generated reports and accountancy results.

One of the advantages CarlaMaestroTM provides to end users is the flexibility either to use the system as an integrated platform or to choose and pick separate solutions depending on the type of the input data:

  • expense management
  • advance management
  • invoice management
  • order management
  • absence management
  • activities management, etc.

Technical Overview

The application’s business logic is fairly complex. CarlaMaestroTM is built on Java (J2EE) based framework. Service-oriented system architecture (SOA) provides for system reusability and ease of access to the services.

The application represents a tree-tier architecture model, with user interface, business logic, data access layers completely separate. The user interface was implemented using JavaServer Pages (JSP) technology, enabling to insert Java code in HTML pages and collect input from users. EJB was leveraged to develop the complex business logic component. The JDBC database access layer developed by Itransition enables to support multiple application servers (BEA Weblogic, IBM Websphere and Red Hat JBoss) and databases (MS SQL 2000/2005/2008, Oracle 9.0/10.0, Postgre).

The application integrates seamlessly with third-party systems, offering connectivity with the company’s payroll, accounting, HR systems, as well as with the services of external providers.

Results

For over 12 years till now, the web-platform delivered by Itransition has been enabling to optimize time, HR and expense management in over 100 companies of all sizes, offering a flawlessly operating service and maintaining ensured customer satisfaction. The companies using the system have created over 2 000 000 database records since the application was deployed in 2001.

In 2006 CarlaBella approached Itransition with another development project: the company needed a large-scale SaaS-based application – a tax management platform named WebTaxes. Currently, Itransition performs maintenance and support of the two SaaS-based systems, increasingly profitable for our Customer and productive for end users.

Screenshots

Highlights

  • Solutions

    Billing & Payments

    Enterprise Resource Management

  • Industries

    ISVs

    Banking & Finance

  • Technology

    Java

  • Engagement model

    Dedicated Team

Quick Start