Case Study: Rewriting 3 Apps, Updating 50 More & Unifying a Fragmented Legacy Codebase

(While thousands of People Were Still Using it.)

The Challenge

One of our clients is an award-winning leader in logistics and provider of business intelligence, TMS, and supply chain consulting services.

Their company has offices around the world. As the largest privately-held freight bill audit and payment services provider in the world, they needed to keep a lot of customers happy.

To do that, they needed a complete overhaul of their TMS system, which is a portal-like app that links to 50 or so “sub” apps.

When Clear Function first peeked under the hood, we discovered that some of the client’s apps used Classic ASP (v1).

They had transitioned others to ASP.NET (v2) webforms.  A third group was built with ASP.NET MVC/Angular frontend (v3).

They needed guidance on the UI/UX front. They needed a clear product and technology roadmap. They needed to upgrade various versions of apps and supporting technology while minimizing “downtown” and disruptions. The Clear Function dev team accepted the challenge with the help of a UI/UX design team we’ve worked with in the past.

The Process

Clear Function’s work encompassed four distinct phases:

Phase 1:

Clear Function put a new “skin” on the client’s TMS system without requiring a complete (and expensive) upgrade to their code. We also made other critical updates and transitioned the apps in the TMS from an outdated control vendor to a newer, mobile-first vendor.

This switch allowed the client’s apps to work well with modern browsers. Clear Function also worked side by side with our design team partners to make key CSS changes and implement them in the production code for every application.

Phase 2:

Next, Clear Function rewrote the menu navigation system in Angular.js and implemented new designs from the design team.

Phase 3:

Finally, Clear Function rewrote multiple apps in Angular.js and rolled out all of those big changes.

The Outcome

Unless you’re familiar with logistics and TMS systems, some of this story may sound like Greek to you. Here is the key takeaway: Developers never work in a vacuum.

We’re often asked to build new software from old parks – a.k.a, legacy code. Or we’re asked to put duct tape on the old system to keep it going while we work to replace its pieces on by one.

When we work with an established company, we have to keep their customers in mind and meet their needs. We can’t just shut down a piece of software that is essential to their businesses.

Software problems have many facets and this project was no exception.

It was really satisfying for our team to deliver a completely overhauled TMS system.

We fully rewrote and redesigned the UI/UX for three apps, retrofitted old tech with a modern look, and made all that work seamlessly across various platforms. We also updated the look and feel of most of the 50 sub-apps.

And the best part? The client was thrilled with our work.