PWC develops .NET app

Microsoft — in conjunction with enterprise early adopter, Public Warehousing Company (PWC) — is showcasing the region’s initial .NET application.

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By  Greg Wilson Published  October 16, 2001

Microsoft has been touting its .NET strategy for the last 18 months. But with key technologies still in beta testing, the software giant has lacked visual aids to show customers.

However, at this year’s show Microsoft — in conjunction with enterprise early adopter, Public Warehousing Company (PWC) — is showcasing the region’s initial .NET application.

PWC’s MicroClear application has been adapted from the ‘e-Mirsal’ customs software, which was originally developed by Dubai Ports & Customs. From May, work began to port the app to Microsoft’s .NET Framework.

“We acquired the [Mirsal] technology from [Dubai Ports,” says Tarek Sultan, chairman & managing director, PWC. “We have enhanced the application porting it to .NET and adding greater decision support and risk management.”

MicroClear integrates five web services to connect together a cargo community, including such parties as shipping agents, importers, importer agencies, different ministries and payment clearance.

“MicroClear communicates with these different groups to facilitate the movement of products,” says Ghassan Farra, director, strategic business solutions, PWC Technologies, part of the large PWC Group.

Work to migrate Mirsal to .NET has taken a team of 12 PWC developers, plus Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) approximately six to eight months. MCS was responsible for taking the original business concept and “delivering the technical solution,” says Farra.

During that time Microsoft has imported skills from Germany to train PWC’s developers — most of which had existing Visual Basic skills.

It took approximately two weeks of intensive training to ensure PWC obtained the necessary knowledge transfer.

“We brought people in from Germany that had developed the official curriculum for .NET,” says Haider Salloum, platform manager, Microsoft Gulf & East Mediterranean (GEM).

With the core of the solution already developed, PWC is poised to begin marketing its customs clearance solution to different agencies around the world, says Sultan. GO TO STAND: A6-1

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