With the release of Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch RTM, the LightSwitch team has published many great samples including some simple end to end solutions, all showing off the incredible potential of this new Rapid Application Development (RAD) tool.
One thing that I appreciate about LightSwitch is that while it does make forms over data an easy target, it is not just some simple tool for the non-skilled developer. Running in standalone mode while accessing the file view can expose hook points for developers to easily extend their solutions. Now, if you already have Visual Studio Professional or higher installed then sky’s the limit on what you can do with LightSwitch.
Well it’s time for me to get my feet wet and I have the perfect Line Of Business (LOB) requirement that is sure to prove challenging. Let me explain, I am a skilled developer who mainly codes for my own needs (that will change with this project) but of course I still have to get my money on (right?) so I also am a Independent Contractor in the logistic industry and move across North America daily tendering freight to some of the worlds Corporate Giants. Right now we just left Ceva Logistics (c/o Office Depot) in Carson, CA en-route to Denver, CO then off to Columbus, OH., So as you can see my plate is full and I still manage to bang out some music on my mobile studio from time to time but enough about that.
Let’s talk OpenAPSIS CMS. What is that? You Say, well OpenAPSIS stands for Open Automated Public Safety Information System and originally has it’s roots as a conceptual application designed to provide an open source CAD, Dispatching and Records Management System (RMS) for the Public Safety Community as they have been largely ignored by the OSS Community. I liked the name and may indeed one day get to that part of the mission however today we will be talking Logistics and keeping our name (it’s original) we shall use LightSwitch and Visual Studio Professional to develop an end to end Carrier Management System or OpenAPSIS CMS.
This solution is designed for the logistics industry mainly Carriers, Brokers, Fleet Owners and Contractors. It tracks loads, drivers, compliance, routing and maintenance, etc. End users can use OpenAPSIS CMS to provide customer service, book new loads, generate freight bills, manage fleet assets, and provide proof of delivery for customers and that is just to start.
OpenAPSIS CMS is aimed to showcase what you can achieve with LightSwitch and Visual Studio Professional. It demonstrates how you can customize on top of the intelligent defaults LightSwitch gives you to suit your business needs and workflows while showing you that this is not any toy and can be used across corporate branches for simple or critical deployments.
In this introductory post, we will focus on learning what OpenAPSIS CMS does from the end-user’s perspective. We will walk through some basic user scenarios and features. I will continue to publish a series of supplement posts to go into development details.