Scotiabank on AJAX Development

Antradar was among the first developers who took advantage of the symphony of XHR, DHTML and server-side scripting to build rich web applications. When the term AJAX was coined in 2005 to describe this unique and powerful blend of technologies, which further seeded the Web 2.0 craze, Antradar had been developing AJAX applications for two years.

In 2006, Antradar participated in a pilot project that was initiated by the Automation Group at the Scotiabank. Enclosed is a letter from Keith Mckie, who lead the project from conception to deployment in merely 2 months.

August 2006

My name is Keith Mckie and currently I'm employed in the IT division of Scotiabank in Toronto. My title in the organization is Full Designate Technical Specialist. I oversee a high performing group whose mandate is to provide internal and production automation solutions on various platforms including the .NET Framework.

Our group was asked to replace an existing desktop application used to estimate workdays associated with a project with a robust and scalable web application. It was decided that the new application would be built using the Visual Studio 2003 IDE. After meeting with the users it became evident that usability and collaboration were paramount. As we embarked on our development design it became clear that usability issues would present major challenges, most of which we had no immediate solution. A proof of concept prototype was developed to confirm our analysis. The main page of the application was constructed with several dynamic datagrid controls to display data with corresponding html tables that would allow for data entry. We soon realized that due to the number of columns and bytes of data that we were expected to display or input, scrolling both vertically and horizontally would be required. Also on the page load event the bind method of the datagrids resulted into a performance penalty.

We required an application that is lightweight, scalable, flexible, dynamic and robust so we decided to consult with Antradar in an attempt to circumvent the usability and performance issues we encountered. During our collaboration with Antradar a new technology AJAX, was introduced to our group. A proof of concept phase began to demonstrate the power and efficiency of this technology. It was quickly demonstrated that this technology would provide an easy to use and flowing UI. Functions were created to perform calculations of column sizes and the amount of data bytes displayed in a cell. The various display sections of the page were now contained in collapsible sections and only loaded on demand which significantly increased performance.

Our group was sold on this technology and we proceed to build the application on the .NET Framework using AJAX calls. The per-page request rendering by the web server is outstanding which provides us with bandwidth savings. As a result the number of concurrent users that can be served exceed our expectations. The application is also VPN friendly which allows users to collaborate from their home office. Antradar's methodologies have sped development schedule, and the subsequent code revisions also take short amount of time because of the flexible/scalable architecture. As a result of this initiative, AJAX and the Antradar methodologies have become part of our development infrastructure.

Keith Mckie
Full Designate Technical Specialist
Scotiabank, August 2006
Permlink: case-studies-scotiabank-on-ajax-development

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