Yellow Pages Group: Sisu RAD with Oracle APEX

Sisu Rapid Application Development delivers for Yellow Pages Group, rapidly supplying a solution that exceeds business expectations with Oracle Application Express.

Client

Yellow Pages Group was formed in 1988 and publishes New Zealand’s Yellow and White directory books. Yellow Pages Group is responsible for printing and distributing 18 regional editions of both directories across New Zealand as well as publishing a number of other publications, and also provides New Zealand’s national and international directory assistance service.

Challenge

Yellow Pages Group was sold by Telecom New Zealand in 2007. One outcome of this sale was that Yellow Pages Group was required to separate their infrastructure from Telecom. This meant that a number of key systems needed to be migrated away from the infrastructure previously shared with Telecom.

Some of these business-critical applications were found to be running on an old, unsupported version of Oracle Forms. Running these applications on an utdated technology platform exposed the customer to risk due to the uncertain vendor commitment to platform maintenance and support. Further risks were found as the applications had evolved over time and suffered from an absence of organizational knowledge or documentation of business rules and processes.

The customer had a very short timeframe and restricted budget in which to find and implement a solution. Vendor consolidation was desired to minimize licensing costs (with Yellow Pages Group already making extensive use of Oracle technologies). It was also desired that the solution would scale well, allow ease of maintenance and enhancement, and support new applications that are expected to be built in the near future.

Solution Provided

Sisu used their platform upgrade roadmap and processes to:

  • Accommodate budget & timeframe constraints to deliver a best-fit solution.
  • Extract the business rules from the legacy platform – business rule mining was required as many of these rules were undocumented, and only available from the code.
  • Validate the business rules and processes with the customer to ensure that the solution accurately implements the desired functionality.
  • Evaluate and select a suitable platform to carry the applications into the future, meeting the customer’s needs for:
    • Rapid development – both of the current applications, and anticipated future developments.
    • Low cost of ownership and ease of maintenance.
    • High availability, reliability, security and scalability.
  • Migrate the functionality to the selected platform - Oracle APEX.
  • Ensure smooth transition and handover for the customer to minimize interruption to the business.

Oracle APEX was selected as the best fit to the customer’s requirements. It enabled Rapid Application Development utilizing existing Oracle licenses, security, availability and scalability frameworks and minimizing the required time to up-skill in-house development and maintenance team to support and further enhance delivered solutions.

Results

  • Assisted Yellow Pages Group to choose best-fit solution and implement it before time and on budget.
  • Provided a checkpoint - validating that the business rules and functionality implemented are appropriate for the current business environment.
  • Rapidly redeployed the business solution on Oracle APEX – a strategic platform for the customer, meeting all the business’s requirements whilst fitting well in their enterprise architecture and existing vendor relationships.
  • Established a style and working arrangement that best suited the customer and particular requirements of this project – delivering the results of development on a phased basis in order to reduce the overall delivery time (by allowing testing in parallel with development).
  • Met requirements for high availability, reliability and security for enhanced service to its users.
  • Provided a future-proofed technology platform base offering rapid development and deployment for future extensibility, along with low cost of ownership. The APEX platform has a long support life and will meet business needs well into the future.

Yellow Pages Group was very pleased with the results. Christo Crafford, Yellow Pages Group Programme Manager, said:

In just a few weeks, Sisu understood our need to a replace legacy client-server system on a restricted budget with tight timeframes. They proposed a very affordable solution, and created a bespoke administration system (before time and on budget), that was clean, efficient and accurate.  A license free solution meant a very quick return on investment – alternative solutions had significant license implications that were close to the entire cost of development. The solution provided by Sisu reduced the total cost of ownership, and increased the business satisfaction considerably.