Portland Financial Management Group, LTD.
PFM Helpdesk
"I saved one month and $15,000 with Iron Speed Designer."

- Dean Pepper, Developer of Dot Net Architect

PFM Helpdesk

Portland Financial Management Group, LTD.
London, UK

PFM Helpdesk is the IT support application for Portland Financial Management Group (PFM Group). PFM Group is a financial, asset management and property management company based in London and Geneva. The application is used by PFM Group employees and Dot Net Architect support administrators.

Employees login to PFM Helpdesk and add support tickets and feature requests for their primary finance application. Administrators process each ticket individually, approving and implementing simple feature requests (that do not require database changes) and allocating complex requests to Dot Net Architect experts. Administrators resolve, pause, and close feature and support tickets entering detailed notes for other team members' review.

An email template function sends emails based upon a customizable template.

Dot Net Architect experts resolve advanced support tickets and implement complex feature requests during non-business hours. Experts also use the application to provide feedback to employees and PFM Group.

Reporting services pages allow administrators to view support tickets quickly.

Application size and scope

PFM Helpdesk utilizes two Microsoft SQL Server databases; the PFM Helpdesk database and the central security database. The application is comprised of 17 tables, four views, and 64 Web pages; there are 17 tables and seven views in the security database. The Feature Request table is the largest with nearly 150 entries. It is estimated that the table will grow by 50 records each month.

Administrators view support tickets with custom reporting services pages.

Sixty-one users access PFM Helpdesk processing approximately 200 transactions each month.

The project

The whole project took me about four weeks to develop and test. I spent two weeks on Iron Speed Designer development.

Code extensions and customizations

I wrote 500 lines of code customizations over the course of two weeks to extend the application. The main code customizations were written to send email notifications using a custom email template function which Dot Net Architect has implemented. This function sends emails based upon a customizable template which is stored in the email template table and can be easily changed via an Iron Speed Designer edit record page.

A Microsoft Reporting Services component (integrated report browser) was created for this project allowing users to browse and run reports. The reports are created in Microsoft Reporting Services and deployed to the report server where they are automatically made available to the integrated report browser

A third party menu control was added called ComponentArt Menu.

Page layout customizations

We used the standard Matterhorn page style in Iron Speed Designer.

Iron Speed Designer impact

We saved one person-month of development time using Iron Speed Designer. We saved about $15,000 in development costs using the tool. The project would have taken two months without Iron Speed Designer. I believe the project would be feasible without the tool; however, it would have required more time and money.

About the developer

Dean Pepper holds a First Class Honors Degree in Computers and Networks from the University of Essex and is an experienced .NET developer. Dean programs in C# and VisualBasic.NET and has risen to the challenges new technology presents. In his spare time, Dean enjoys mountaineering and ten-pin bowling.

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