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Machine Learning : Case Study

Trading Desk Application's UI Completed Using Visual WebGui

"Developing an application with Visual WebGui is a charm"

Montrusco Bolton Investments is a Montreal firm with over 60 years of investment experience.

MBI offers a range of equity, fixed income and alternative investment solutions and supported by two solid institutional partners: Affiliated Managers Group and Solidarity Fund QFL.

The company uses a trading desk application to send trade information to brokers and to different departments within the company by email and printouts. The Trading Desk application is used to determine the transactions needed in the portfolios that the company manages. It is an interface that creates transactions into another table in the database for another department and sends emails to the brokers with the transactions to process in attachment (a pdf file that is created with Crystal Reports).

Business Needs
The company had a VB 6.0 application that didn't meet the requirements anymore as the trading process was too long and complicated.  As a result, it was decided to create a new trading desk application which would be simple, easy to use and reliable. It should be used by the Money Market traders and must allow them to get the trading job done in a few hours instead of the whole day with a nearly automated process.

It was also needed to create a web application that would not have a much different UI than the Windows application that the users are accustomed to. Other requirements were that the new solution can interact with the database so it can access and rapidly update data from the database, as well as send emails.

With that being said, the application must also be coded and deployed in a very short time frame. The project was divided into two parts; the first one was to generate the transactions and the other to distribute these transactions.  The whole project was to be done in a few months. The first part of the project was done in .NET and took almost 2 months to do so the second part had to be completed in only a few weeks

The Solution
The company originally developed applications in VB 6.0 and switched to C# a few years ago as well as from Windows applications to web based applications because of the ease of the deployment and maintenance processes (no more problems with missing DLLs). For this project, coding in C# seemed as the only solution available.  "Then one day I read an email from Microsoft describing Visual WebGui and I decided to give it a try. I fell in love with it!"  Said Ghislain Préseau, Analyst Programmer at MBI.

Visual WebGui Rich Internet & Cloud Platform provided a development environment with a visual form designer that is very simple and intuitive which means faster development time and no need to learn new skills. Visual WebGui narrows down the development process into a single layer enabling easy UI design and avoids the need to use HTML or JavaScript. All the validations, event handling, processing, etc. are done in one place and one language on the server.

With Visual WebGui the team was able to create an application where the data is saved automatically to the database without any special action from the user.  When the user modifies something in a grid, information can be saved right away.  Using any other conventional web programming solution would have lead to using AJAX or other means to send the information to the database, which is much more complicated to do and would have resulted in poor user experience and UI performance as the user would be waiting for the control to come back to the client.

Thus, using Visual WebGui for this project contributed to delivering an application that is easy to use, intuitive and responsive in a short period of time. "Developing an application with Visual WebGui is a charm.  UI design is done in a snap and coding is as easy as building a Windows application."

Benefits
Visual WebGui enabled MBI to replace the old VB 6.0 with a modern web application that presents an enhanced user experience for the trading desk system. With the old VB 6.0 based system the trading job took a whole day to complete, but with Visual WebGui the process takes only a few hours and is nearly automatic.

Visual WebGui allowed to speed up the process while creating an application that looks like a Windows application that the users are familiar with which was completed in a few weeks. "Had we done it in .NET it would have been completed in a month or more and would not have been as easy to use."

The rapid delivery of the trading desk application was mainly due to the significant cut in time spent on writing the application since the Visual WebGui Drag and Drop form designer allowed the fast UI design without the need to code in HTML or JavaScript. The Visual WebGui on-server paradigm focuses on one programming language, so there was no need to mess with 3-4 different languages. In addition, there was no need to use JavaScript for validations as it is all done on the server. This also leads to a stable and reliable system that was easy to deploy: "Just copy and paste the files to the server and voilà."

More Stories By Marissa Levy

Marissa is a technology writer based in Jerusalem, Israel covering the local software, wireless, and start-up markets. Prior to her coverage of Israeli hi-tech, Marissa worked as a reporter in several English language news outlets. Her writing has been featured in prominent publications such as USA TODAY, FOXNews.com, and the Jerusalem Post. She holds degrees in Journalism and Political Science from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. She can be reached at [email protected]

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