Infomark Software Corp., Chet Leighton


Over the past eight months Michael Steffano of Austin Programmers Group has worked with me on a web-based customer service application. This is part of a custom application in credit reporting for mortgage brokers. This is being developed for one of the top-five mortgage credit reporting companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I am the software application and database designer for the project. Michael has done all the programming for the web application, using a combination of Cold Fusion 3.1, Javascript 1.2, and HTML. The web-based systems uses the same SQL Server 7 database as an in-house customer service request processing system that is written in PowerBuilder 6.5.

The web-based application allows mortgage loan processors to check the status of their customer service requests from a web-browser. A service request may take anywhere from a few hours to ten days to process. By using the same database as the in-house system, loan processors see up to the minute information on the status of their requests. This is critical in cases where a mortgage loan closing depends on resolution of credit issues.

This is the first web-based application the credit reporting company has tried to produce. It started out as a prototype development project. Customer reaction to the prototype was so positive that the prototype was quickly converted into a production application. The design specifications I provided Michael were minimal database design documentation, static HTML examples of web pages with a brief description of which fields appeared on which pages, and a flowchart to illustrate navigation paths between the web pages. Michael was able to work with this minimal documentation to produce a complete application. Michael has been very flexible in making the many user interface enhancements that were needed as the software progressed from a prototype to a production system. The few bugs we found were fixed very quickly. The initial reaction of users is that the software is both reliable and easy to use.

I have reviewed the combination of Cold Fusion, Javascript, and HTML code Michael has written. The code is well documented. This mixture of scripting languages can easily become spaghetti code. However, I have had no problems working with the code in researching potential bugs or in designing enhancements. Austin Programmers Group has set up a development environment that duplicates our production system, so there have been no major implementation issues when the software is delivered.

Overall, the web-based customer service system has exceeded the client’s expectations for the project. Currently, the application lets customers view their service requests. In the next phase of development customers will be able to enter service requests through their web browser. I am looking forward to getting started on this next phase of development with Austin Programmers Group.

Chet Leighton

Infomark Software Corporation
376 Raven Way
Petaluma, CA 94954