NVOCC Customer Portal
A customer portal for container business.
Apache Tomcat
A portal that provides a unified view of bookings to the customer. There are more than 2000 customers onboarded by Unifeeder (erstwhile Avana Logistics) that has 1000s of bookings created through the platform since 2018. Searching the schedules, requesting a booking against the vessel schedule, booking statuses, and tracking and shipping instructions are some of the critical features provided by the customer portal.
Problem statement
Our client used to accept container bookings from their end-customers over email / phone calls. The client was relying on Oracle-Forms based legacy application to maintain transactions; without any customer-facing portal for their customers. The lack of self-service portal used to result in a lot of work for the back-end team.
A customer portal for container business.
Many of the bookings that the customers did were repeat bookings. So a copy booking feature was imperative in order to save time on booking creation
One of the most complex features that were supposed to be implemented as shipping instructions. Shipping instructions are the details entered against each container with respect to the goods that are supposed to be shipped. An elegantly designed user interface to ease the laborious entry of data was extremely important.
Many of the customers of our client used to place blanket orders of several containers. Once the container was allocated, they used to then split the allocated containers across multiple bookings. It is a complex business process that was supposed to be meticulously designed and implemented
Tracking, booking statuses, filtering, customer onboarding and access rights - were the other significant features that were supposed to be part of the solution.
One of the architectural challenges was to integrate the application with their database-based ERP; a legacy ERP that was hosted on the private data centre. Yet another key ask was that - once the client moves its operations to OTM (Oracle Transport Management) the same customer portal must seamlessly integrate with OTM APIs.
The application was supposed to be highly-available, concurrent, reliable and fast and also, was supposed to adhere to the standards and principles of modern-day dev-ops.
As the companys CIO, this was the first project I gave to Infomover Technologies. They did a wonderful job and then, there was no looking back. We have been hiring them for various projects since then.
The Solution
We architected the application such that it could be deployed as a monolith as well as micro-services.
Our ux-design partner provided elegant design for split and copy booking. We designed & implemented the backend logic that worked like a charm
We wrote sophisticated queries to reduce round-trip to the ERP database thereby enhancing the performance by leaps and bounds.
We architected and implemented a custom oAuth2.0 based authentication & authorization mechanism
The application was built iteratively and incrementally that facilitating early feedback.
We wrote CRON jobs to integrate with legacy ERP. The CRONs get the latest status updates from the ERP and also push the bookings from the customer portal to the ERP. The integration layer is designed in such a way that it can be switched to OTM with negligible effort.
The implementation of split bookings is the most interesting thing we did which created new bookings on the fly against a given blanket order
The deployment architecture included clustering of ec2 instances with load balancers in front.
Uploading of KYC documents, user management etc. were all designed and implemented with precision.
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