I’ve had a busy few months recently, mainly working with a freelance Drupal developer. We were tasked with putting together a responsive website for the UK largest business service provider. I was tasked with managing the development of the website, creating the responsive HTML/CSS and managing the resources of the Drupal developer to ensure we could deliver the completed project on time. I’ll always be honest and say that frontend work isn’t my thing, but there are times you have to grit your teeth and get on with it, the bills need paying.

Thankfully, the end of the July and through August sees me working on a number of projects where I’m more involved in the backend development of an application rather than the frontend. Let me tell you about them.

Money Transfer Comparison Tool

The first project, is a money transfer comparison tool. It’s an easy to use website which will allows users to specify how much money they would like to send, and to and from which currencies. The system will get in touch with the various money transfer providers, get a quote and collate them in an easy to comprehend view, allowing the user to select the provider which best matches their need. To future proof the system, I’ve created an architecture design that splits off the responsibility of generating the comparison results to a web service, with the web application being a client. Why not integrate the comparison login into the web application? For a start, it’s restrictive and doesn’t provide flexibility to add additional clients to the architecture in the future. The client might want an iOS app at some point, or they may want to provide 3rd parties with access to their comparison results.

My responsibilities on the project are to oversee the development of the system, design it’s architecture and come up with the system design. I’m not finished at that point, I’m responsible for building the web service, outsourcing creating of the websites responsive HTML/CSS, building the web application, it’s administrative interface and integrating the results from the web service.

I’ve selected a number of technologies for this project. MySQL for the database, to store information relating to each money transfer provider, their API credentials and matrices information. Java and Spring Boot have been selected for the web service, and PHP/Laravel have been selected for the web application. Hosting wise, we’re aiming to deploy the system on AWS.

All in all, I’m envisaging this project to take around 12 weeks.

Manufacturing Plant Reporting Tool

Another large project I’m working on is a tool that will read data from various machines on a production line, and make a report of the data available on large screen TV’s along a production line in a factory which produces airbags for various automotive manufacturers. To begin with, we’re concentrating on one particular production line within the factory, with a view to expanding to other lines and potentially globally across the parent companies other factories.

I’ve decided the break the system up into smaller applications, the first, a data parser, responsible for reading the data from various machines on the production line. Next, a web service, which will receive data from the parser, and also be responsible for returning report data to a web application which will handle generating the UI and providing administrative functionality to allow management to change settings, allocate shift times etc.

I’ve estimated this project to take around 10 weeks, and we’re going to utilise technologies such as Java/Spring Boot, MySQL, and PHP/Laravel, all to be deploying on-site in Windows based VM’s.