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isCompliant – A BIG System

Obviously not everyone want to know the technical side of the system; you just need to know it works. However, if you have an inner geek and you want to know how the system is structured, please feel free to read on!

isCompliant does a lot of stuff.

Most of it is visible to all our customers. These are the primary business functions that the system provides, represented by the modules on the dashboard. Some features are for consultants and partners only.

In raw numbers, that means about a hundred unique web pages, and about 300,000 lines of code. It’s taken three years, and cost us several million pounds to produce.

How does it work?

isCompliant is a cloud-based product. Our technology model is to provide the system in browsers. Many cloud-based systems are provided as apps, which users install from app stores like the Apple Store or Windows store. We’ll produce some apps in the future, but the web is our preferred medium, purely because of the size of the system.

Steve visio

We use mainly Microsoft technology.

The isCompliant software is hosted on a single (very powerful) Windows server, which sits in a secure data centre in sunny Slough, just outside London. That server hosts a suite of Hyper-V virtual machines.

Everything is stored in an ISO 27001 certified data centre; backed up, duplicated and secure, so we know it’s safe

The system is architected as a four-tier web application. The pages you see are one part of the user interface; the rest of the UI runs on the server. The UI talks to a library of business objects, the business objects talk to a library of data objects, and the data objects talk to our SQL Server database. Each of those tiers is hosted on its own Hyper-V virtual machine.

When you press a button, your request makes it way along this chain of command to the database, and a response then makes its way back to your browser. We aim to have this happen in just a few milliseconds, although of course we’re all hostage to broadband speeds and network traffic. A typical page response on the Internet is between three and five seconds.

Most of our code is written in the C# programming language, with a serving of SQL and a soupҫon of JavaScript. Our web pages are written in HTML5.

In addition to our live system, we have test and development websites, and a snazzy support hub provided by Zendesk. In total, that means we have about 300 web pages in play at any given time, and about a million lines of code in various stages of development.

And it’s all there to make sure that you get 15 traffic light tiles on your computer screen.

We provide about fifty business diagrams, documents and templates as free content to our users, plus a comprehensive user guide, and context-sensitive in-system help.

It’s a BIG system. And we hope you like it!


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