Forward Advantage's Communication Director (CDS) is a Microsoft Silverlight based application that served as the host for several of Forward Advantage's other Silverlight based application plug-ins such as Monitoring, Routing and Faxing. The architecture included RIA services with Entity Framework, Managed Extensibility Framework and the MVVM pattern.
We where originally contracted to build a standalone Silverlight application being called Routing. After several design meetings we suggested that they unify the effort being made to modernize all of their applications under a single host application that could manage access to the satellite applications like routing, monitoring and faxing. This would give then a single logon and a uniform security platform
Forward Advantage accepted our proposal and charged us with the design of the overall architecture and the implementation of the Communication Director host application as well as the Routing application that would now be a plugin that the Communication Director would host through MEF.
Key architecual features of CDS are:
- Microsoft Silverlight with Page Navigation
- Managed Extensibility Framework
- Windows Communication Foundation
- Rich Internet Application
- POCO Classes combined with Entity Framework.
The design approach we undertook established a clear separation of dependancies between applications in that the CDS Application carried no dependancies on individual plugins. the only relationship with these plugins was an interface that allowed CDS to initiate secure access to resources by each plugin application that was loaded into CDS. The page navigator was a custom subclass of the standard navigator that used object references instead of pages for navigation.
The final product, Communication Director pushed Silverlight to the edge but produced an easy to use and maintain product core upon which Forward Advanatge could expand it's product line.
As part of the application suite being developed under the Forward Advantage's Communication Director, Routing managed the CDS settings that where used to route medical documents, alerts, and other life critical communications between health care givers, institutions and other entities who had an interest in the communications.
The original Routing application was an Access Database application that had been in use for more than ten years and was ready for updating. Forward Advantage had decided to update the application into a stand alone application based upon Silverlight, WCF-RIA and Sql-Server, all microsoft technologies. They contracted Malluf Consulting Services Inc, to develop the new Routing Application based upon a set of requirements.
After several onsite meetings at the client's site in Fresno, CA; we suggested that all of there recent initiatives should be combined under a single application host that would access the other applications through MEF. Forward Advantage agreed to this concept and modified all of the related applications being redeveloped should be refactored into MEF compliant plug in applications.
From this we developed Routing to be a MEF based component of the CDS host application using the following technologies:
- Microsoft Silverlight
- Microsoft WCF-RIA
- Microsoft SQL-Server R2008
- Microsoft VS-2010 using C#
- Microsoft Team Foundation Server