“The key is forging a link from the beginning to the end of the project between the user and the developers. All of this is possible thanks to Silk Central and the Micro Focus suite of tools.”
CAPTAIN YANN GUILLOU
Solutions Architect (Information Systems Division)
The Ministry of Defense protects the French people, the national territory and French interests around the world. Inevitably, this requires careful management of their disparate assets. Distributed across 250 sites and used by around 5,000 users, the SIM@T (Système d’Information de la Maintenance Terrestre) is a dedicated information system for monitoring the maintenance of land-based equipment. It is updated every five years, module by module. The current Java version meets three objectives: centralization, modernization and cost reduction.
Beyond managing inventories, the system helps in tracing technical interventions, supplies and procurement using an equipment repository. Captain Yann Guillou is a certified Solutions Architect and a key player in the development of the SIM@T system at SDSI/SIMMT. ”This system involves a lot of methods. Its success lies in appropriate change management.”
Because not all the SIM@T modules are implemented simultaneously, both the ‘updating’ and current systems must coexist without any loss of supply. They communicate via a transitional hub site to reduce risk and simplify maintenance. “Developments are continuously required, but the system should offer functionalities that are consistent with the roles,” says Captain Yann Guillou. For instance, an engineer works closely with a system architect to establish a system that works as a business class model as well as a data administrator.
To ensure that these vital updates take place while engineers are able to keep the lights on, the engineering team used Micro Focus tools.
Using some of the key products within the Micro Focus Silk Portfolio helped to reduce the testing period while assessing the impact of each change up to data field level.
“Thanks to Silk Test®, an end-to-end test can be carried out quickly. It will reveal, for example, the requirements that every attribute in each business class uses—and on which screen.” The team can ensure that blocks that always meet expectations are put in place using a preliminary model. “First of all, we use requirement management plans to describe what we want it to do. Then, the user participates in requirement development and will follow it until validation. The key is forging a link from the beginning to the end of the project between the user and the developers. All of this is possible thanks to Silk Central® and the Micro Focus suite of tools.”
Systems Architect Captain Gérald Assmann operates from the management team’s engineering department. He contributes to the project’s business modeling process: “By mastering the information system, we can assess, early and logically, the potential costs of any planned development of current components, right from the preparation of the blueprint to the execution. The real originality of the approach lies in tracing the impacts on business activities. Indeed, we never forget that even though our core role is controlling the computer system, we’re here to ensure user satisfaction.”
And by deploying Silk tools throughout the process, Captain Assmann is helping to create a better end product while ensuring the integrity of the system throughout the process.
Data Administrator, Captain Michael Lagouarde-Dupouy, remains convinced that a service, no matter how well-designed, depends on the quality of the information that the testing produces.
Silk helps Captain Lagouarde-Dupouy to ensure that the testing results are both actionable and of high quality:
“Improved visibility of application implementation means we can better control the data structure. Above all, by mastering the business processes, we improve data quality while modifying or just checking them.
“We can better identify the problems linked to the data quality, which often originate from interpretation errors during input and consultation. Therefore, instructions and reminders linked to input will be issued earlier and better targeted, both in terms of the recipients and their content. We are also improving user documentation and training.”
In conclusion, it is clear that the Silk Portfolio, and other products in the Micro Focus product range, are helping to ensure the ongoing integrity of this mission-critical system that is helping to defend a country and its people.