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The client is one of the Ministries of the Canadian Government. They have approximately 4000 staff members responsible for delivering the core businesses of the Ministry. The client’s principal functions are to provide advice to the minister and the government on taxation, fiscal and economic policies, manage the provincial finances, develop the provincial budget, and administer the province’s major tax statutes and tax assistance programs.
The ministry’s branch is responsible for auditing the retail sales tax collected by licensed vendors in the hospitality industry. Vendors in the hospitality industry collect taxes based on sales of alcohol, food, admission/cover charges, cigarettes, accommodations, and other miscellaneous sales such as gifts, t-shirts, movies, etc. Typically an auditor from the ministry’s division will be assigned to audit a specific hospitality vendor. The auditor will meet with the vendor and analyze the vendor’s financial statements. To assess the tax a vendor should have paid during the audit period, the mark-up on items sold must be determined so that the total projected sales can be established, and in turn, the tax collector can be determined.
Currently, the Auditors of the Ministry are using an application developed in Clipper to log their audit findings. The application is locally loaded on their laptops, and at the end of their audit, findings are dumped into the main database. The Ministry approached Kumaran to give a distributed web-based solution that has centralized control of the audit data, and utilizes relational databases.
Kumaran analyzed the ministry’s requirement and suggested reengineering their existing Clipper application to a thin client-based Java application. Kumaran reengineered the clipper application to JSP/Servlet/EJB/Java Bean and modeled the DBF database files to DB2 objects. The solution was deployed in the Web Sphere 4.0 Application Server and uses WSAD 4.0 as IDE for maintaining the code. Highlights of this solution include the reengineering of the client/server-based Clipper application to J2EE-based web-based 3-tier application. Kumaran was also able to move the existing non-relational-based clipper database to a relational-based DB2 database. Another key component of the Kumaran solution was the reengineering of the character-based clipper application to a GUI-based java application. This re-engineered application works based on Jakarta’s STRUTS framework and can now support multiple languages.
Centralized Database – Simplified data access and management with an efficient database server and
proven data access methodologies. A one-time update is enough, as the data is maintained in a single centralized database.
Ease of Maintenance – Produce clean, compatible code, which conforms to the latest technological
standards, along with helping future maintenance and enhancements.
Scalability – The Application is scalable to allow large numbers of multiple concurrent requests to be handled. Generally, web Solutions are highly scalable.
Distributed Access – It has been built on the three–tier distributed application model and hence enjoys all the advantages of a distributed system over the existing client/server model.
This was the first Clipper to Java re-engineering project taken up by Kumaran Systems. Because of its expansive workforce and years of experience in migration technology the transition from a character-based Clipper Application to a GUI-based Java application was smooth and exceeded all the ministry’s expectations. The solution offered by Kumaran reduced the staging effort of audit data in the main server and also offered the auditors access to the application from every location in Canada.