Ariba, the leading global provider of B2B and open commerce solutions, approached Adaptive Minds in Fall, 2000 to work with their core engineering team to design and develop 3 new product releases aimed at private and global marketplace site offerings of the existing Ariba public US trading marketplace.
Goals: The releases had multiple goals; first, the goal was to provide new Ariba customers with privately branded site offerings of their public trading exchange. second, the goal was to provide European and other international customers with a powerful trading site in their native tongue and currencies; furthermore Ariba wanted ALL languages to share a single code base to insure that future feature enhancements were automatically introduced into every language with no extra maintenance requirements. Thirdly, the goal was to offer major trading enhancements including entirely new popular auction models. Because release dates were previously published to clients, it was equally imperative that the releases meet aggressive deadlines without sacrificing quality, scalability or performance.
Approach: Senior-level Adaptive engineering resources met with core management and engineering resources in Burlington, MA over three weeks to refine the requirements and to design the architecture improvements to the JSP web-tier, WebLogic EJB middle-tier and Oracle 8i database. The technologies Ariba selected for these releases were consistent with their previous commitments to the Open Source platform, including WebLogic 5.1, Oracle 8i, Java 1.2, J2EE, EJB 1.1, JSP 1.1, DHTML, XML, Servlets, TopLink, ER/Win, BEA StructureBuilder (UML modeling), Homesite and Dreamweaver. A number of deliverables were derived from the design; visual page flows were created, UML diagrams were constructed to solve problems with best of breed patterns and Oracle 8i database object changes were engineered using existing ER/Win case tool schemas. As design was nearing completion, prototypes were constructed and iterated based on feedback from Ariba product management over a period of 1 week. Meanwhile, middle-tier interfaces and database changes were concurrently being implemented. Prototypes entered a queue as soon as they were approved in which Adaptive and the core Ariba engineering team members performed implementation. All code changes were performed simultaneously by multiple developers on a shared version control database (VSS). For middle-tier EJBs that were not yet implemented, middle-tier interfaces were rapidly constructed based on class diagrams and the web-tier was rapidly implemented to use these interfaces. This approach allowed the web-tier and middle-tier to be developed independently without later rework. The web-tier Model View Controller (MVC) framework implementation was enhanced to encapsulate support for private exchanges and internationalization. Adaptive delivered code changes to the version control system over a high speed 1.5Mb commercial Internet line during the heads down implementation phases, while providing weekly status reports to engineering managements. After the development of each release was completed, Adaptive was onsite for integration, QA testing, final changes and rollout.
Result: Ariba Sourcing launched 4 new releases in less than six-months including enhanced, private and global marketplace sites that exceeded their original objectives. All releases were launched on-time, to specification with all major and most minor bugs resolved prior to launch. Adaptive was on-site during normal and off shift hours for every release to insure smooth launches and to insure emergencies received immediate resolution.