Consulting Projects

Novick Software Project Examples

My client list includes:

  • Arrowstreet Capital, LLP (Investment Management)
  • Advocates, Inc. (Medical Services)
  • Polycom (Manufacturing)
  • Grantham Mayo and Van Otterloo (GMO) (Investment Management)
  • New Star Financial (Investment Management Software)
  • Management Computer Services (Software)
  • Plumrose USA – (Ham)
  • Miele USA (Manufacturing)
  • Saylent Technologies (Banking Software)
  • Interval Data Systems – (Energy Management Software)
  • CAPS, Inc. (Investment Software)
  • Automated Business Development, later PNC Bank (Banking Software)
  • Anderson Software (Software)
  • Red Oak E-Commerce Solutions (Software)
  • Arbitech (Software)
  • International Data Group (IDG), ComputerWorld/CXO/CSO Magazines (Publishing)
  • Cambridge Systematics (Transportation Management)
  • Market Intelligence (Real Estate Valuation)
  • Sys-Ed (Technical Education – as instructor)
  • GENUG (Software)
  • ion Interactive (Software)
  • Gloucester Engineering (Manufacturing)
  • Applied Business Technologies (FL) (Software)

Financial Data Warehouse Dietician

This database had grown an lot bigger than it needed to be and was growing quickly. Reduced the size from 1.5 terabytes to 0.5 terabytes and slowed the growth rate. This was accomplished through a variety of SQL Server techniques, such as partitioning, compression, and better maintenance, as well as some application changes.  Then did it again for the same client reducing the size of a 1.7 terabyte database to 600 Gigabytes.

Financial Data Warehouse Application Development

Continuing to with the now slimmer data warehouses from the previous projects.  Recoded key modules to improve performance.  Techniques included:

  • Breaking problems down and using SQL Service Broker to attack the pieces
  • Function rewriting from scalar and TVF to inline
  • Query rewriting to achieve parallel execution
  • Using SQL CLR and C# where T-SQL wasn’t the right tool
  • Partitioning to eliminate blocking and improve query performance
  • Strategic use of minimally logged I/O

Was frequently able to reduce run times by 75% across a variety of ETL and extraction functions.

DBA/Developer – Data Warehouse Project – Manufacturing

For a midsize manufacturer developed a Kimball style data warehouse of customer information. Built interfaces to Dunn & Bradstreet, Peoplesoft, Salesforce.com, and Siebel data. Designed and build star schema, helped other developers optimize their code. Acted as the DBA for this two server 1.5 terrabyte SQL Server site.

Financial Data Warehouse Development

Some organizations just can’t get enough financial data. Working for this investment house I wrote ETL for a variety of sources including Factset, Russell, Thompson/Reuters I/B/E/S, XSP. Standard and Poors/Compustat/Capitol IQ, IDC. The data varied from ticker symbols, index constituents and performance, analyst recommendations and a few others. The work was all a mix of SSIS, C#, and T-SQL.

Database Partitioning, Data Management and Datawharehouse Development

When a database is slated to grow from 20 gigabytes to 2 or more terabytes database partitioning is required for both query performance and data management. This project involved designing and implementing a data driven SQL Server partitioning library and then implementing the library to support the customer’s data warehousing software product. The library allows the choice of Partitioned Views or Partitioned Tables, as well as retaining the option for unpartitioned tables. As the application’s ETL process executes it makes calls to the library to create new slices and then add them to the partitioned table or view. Maintenance tasks such as backup, restore, reindexing, defragmenting are taken care of without user intervention. Using the library creates an implementation of the sliding-window partitioning technique.

SQL Server Security Implementation

This project implemented security best practices in SQL Server where it supported a web facing application. Preventing SQL Injection attacks was a primary focus of this project.

Development Lead for a Windows Forms Accounting Application

As this customer moves from VB6 to .Net this project created the base application for the move. Using CSLA, a set of Business Object libraries were constructed. Added to this is a library of reusable code. On top of that a set of base classes was constructed for pop-up windows, main windows, child windows, and user controls. The base classes handle services such as cursor management, unhandled exceptions, and communications between windows. On top of all this comes the application, which does accounting in the customers line-of-business, which is publication.

A SQL Query Analyzer Replacement that Records All Changes

The client has several production applications that occasionally need manual data modifications. Given the current regulatory environment making changes with SQL Management Studio is no longer acceptable. An added requirement is to record all database schema changes. To satisfy both needs an application was constructed that accepts SQL DDL and DML statements, checks them for dependencies and the dependencies checked against a set of permissions. When a statement is allowed, it’s executed and recorded. The database of log entries is also made searchable by the application and through integration with the WebFocus report writer. Application constructed in VB.Net with SQL Server. Identity management was implemented by interfacing with IIS and Windows authentication.

Development Lead for a Suite of WinForms Applications

This project created an framework for building WinForms applications and in the process built 5 applications on top of the base. The framework consisted of custom code to manage typical application requirements such as:

  • Managing Database Connectivity and On-line/Off-line use with SQL Server and DB2/iSeries
    Replication
  • Error Tracing, logging, and publication to improve supportability
  • Reporting via Crystal Reports. Reports are stored in binary and downloaded on request so new reports can be added without adding a new code revision.
  • Code update via the Microsoft Updater Application Block
  • Object/Relational Mapping (ORM) via CSLA
  • Cryptography to protect project secrets
  • Hashing (CRC32) to minimize blob downloads from the database (Word Template Files and Crystal Reports)
  • Word Integration: Word process lifetime, save/print dialog control, and other common tasks.
  • Infragistics Control Suite integration: Handled common problems

Compact Framework/WebService Warehousing Application

Developing a Warehouse management application integrated with ACCPAC Professional.

The application consists of these parts:

  • IIS/WebService integrated with extended copies of the SQL Server, FoxPro, and DB2 versions of the database.
  • Compact Framework/Pocket PC PDA/Barcode scanner with the mobile UI
  • WinForms application with additional Managment/Supervisor and reporting functions

Compact Framework BarCode Scanning Inventory Management

This project only reached the prototype stage but it served as my first .Net Compact Framework project. Developed in VB.Net the forms based application ran in a Symbol BarCode Scanning 8100 series Pocket PC. The forms communicated with Web Services to get and save data.

Database Consultant for a ASP.Net Web Application

Provided database design assistance, stored procedure writing, and ASP.Net coding, in VB.Net, for a client with an on-line application. The database design portion of the project included normalizing the database, adding indexes and general cleanup. Wrote several complex stored procedures to support on-line reports, each with multiple result-sets. To complete the job, I wrote the ASP.Net pages that allowed the user to input parameters to the reports and then run the stored procedures and view thier results. Emphasis was put on maximizing application performance by minimizing ASP.Net to SQL Server 2000 round trips.

Creating the X Internet Experience

There’s only so much that can be done with HTML pages, even with the addition of DHTML and client side scripting. To create the best experience you need the X Internet. Basiclly, good old compiled code delivered in a browser. This project started with an existing application and delivered a graphical user experience in a web based application.

Kiosk Authentication Using .Net Web Service Remoting and Encryption

Distributing functionality has never been easier than with .Net. This project delivered a security authentication service executing as a Windows Service. All code was written in VB.Net including .Net based encryption and interface with active directory.

BlueExpress – An Electronic Document Filing Web Application

This project created a Web Application for transmitting the BlueSky Form-NF electronically using XML. The software project was a combination of a web site that received the XML documents, a database to store them and a Windows application that the document recipient could use to review and respond to the filing. BlueExpress is now in use by 10 state governments. 100,000 documents have been filed during the first 16 months representing 30 million dollars in electronic commerce. The web site is programmed using ASP, IIS and XML. The documents are XML. The database is implemented in SQL Server, Access and Oracle.

Project Manager for Distressed Conversion Project

The client was converting from Clipper to Visual Basic but the project wasn’t headed for timely completion. It was headed for a very long drawn out struggle for completion which would have been a failure for the company. I Assumed project management and technical lead roles, built a short-term team, upgraded methodology and tools, and meet the projects first deliverable on time. After that, management of the project was migrated back to the permanent staff which I assisted in completing their major milestones.

ActiveX Document Converts a Windows Application to the Web

Starting with a Windows based MDI application, this project converted it to an ActiveX Document that could be used as a Web Application and integrated into the client’s web sites. ActiveX Documents are a little used technology that have the same power as ActiveX controls but are easier to create from existing applications. This application was created in Visual Basic with ASP, HTML and SQL Server.

Broker/Dealer Registration Management for an Application Service Provider

This Web application assists broker/dealers in complying with the registration requirements of the NASD, stock exchanges and state governments. It was created to be delivered using the Application Service Provider model. System created in a combination of VB, ASP, COM+, XML, HTML, SQL Server, and Crystal.

Technical Market Analysis Projects

For a telecommunications provider, provided analysis of opportunities in the Voice-over-IP market for products that could provide varying service level commitments.

For a telecommunications equipment manufacturer, provided analysis of the potential for adoption of a preexisting technology for Internet access.

Development Team Coach

Advised a small development team on day to day issues of building Visual Basic and SQL Server applications and converting Access databases to SQL Server.

Application upgrade from the desktop to multi-user client/server

For a software company, upgraded a application written to desktop standards to work in a multi-user client/server environment.

Capitol Asset Management for Pavement

For a state transportation agency, developed a database based pavement management system. Was responsible for design, user interface programming, database development, reports, and delivery. Worked with a team of pavement experts to deliver their modeling expertise in software. System based on Sybase System 11/PowerBuilder

Interfaces – ACH, Positive Pay, Time-Clock, Factset, Thompson-Reuters, Russell, Morgan-Stanley, Dunn & Bradstreet

Over the years Novick Software has written various interfaces from Windows Programs to other systems. Some of the more interesting are:

  • ACH payments (BAI)
  • Bank Positive Pay (Possipay) with Fleet and PNC
  • Time-clock interface
  • Financial data feeds from Factset, Thompson-Reuters and Morgan Stanley and S&P
  • Address de-duplication interface with Dunn & Bradstreet