Case Study - Trelliscience By AAAS - A Web 2.0 Professional Networking Platform for communication and collaboration

App store trellis

Trelliscience.com is a large-scale web platform by AAAS (www.aaas.org).

Client

AAAS (www.aaas.org) - American association of science. AAAS is a 165 year old International organization headquartered in Washington DC, USA. It is the single largest general scientific society in the world.

Atlogys was hired by AAAS to single-handedly and dedicatedly manage (from scratch) the end-to-end software development and deployment of its latest web-based professional networking platform - Trelliscience.

It is a LinkedIn type professional networking platform - A community for scientists and other scientific stakeholders to connect, discuss, and collaborate for facilitating enhanced research productivity. Trellis is a responsive web app for phones, tablets and PC’s with a rich & intuitive UI.

It is a cutting-edge, web 2.0 platform built on a scalable API based backend & using state-of-the-art technology to support heavy traffic

Atlogys Scope and Contributions:

  1. Creation of Technical Requirements Specifications (SRS) [Business  IT Conversion]
    • In-depth conversations with client to understand business objectives and strategy. Discuss all Trellis usage scenarios, suggest appropriate workflows, validate assumptions, perform technical evangelism & technical feasibility analysis.
    • Creation of Technical Architecture Document (HLD)
    • Define and Document all backend API calls and methods, json response formats
    • DB schema design, Account for Performance, security, scalability
    • Architect Algorithm & workflow for recommendation. Caching, permissions engines
    • Conceptualize Load Balanced Hardware Deployment Stack for Staging and Prod
  2. Complete HTML/CSS development - Responsive for three platforms
  3. Full Project Planning and Distribution into Sprints - Complete Scrum Planning
  4. Full Coding of Complete Frontend and Backend Application Servers
  5. Ongoing Project Management - Complete resource Planning and Delivery Management
  6. Code Review and Ongoing Technical R&D
  7. QA Testing
  8. E2E functional Testing using Protractor (with Continuous Integration)
  9. Deployment to various environments (dev, qa, staging, production)
  10. Setting up, Configuring, Writing scripts, and managing Jenkins for automated deployments

Technologies:

  • AngularJS, Ajax,
  • CakePHP, Redis
  • mongoDB & Mysql,
  • AWS (S3 storage server and CDN, EC2, ELB, RDS),
  • Apache Solr,
  • Linux
  • Jenkins, Protractor for E2E tests
  • SVN, BeanStalk, JIRA
  • 3rd party integrations like Lin, Google Maps, embed.ly, Solr, Orcid/CrossRef, PubMed for scientific data like profiles and API's etc.

Features of Trelliscience.com

  • Registration and Profile (Lin, Orchid)
  • My Connections and Followers
  • Discussion Module - commenting, threading, voting, sorting
  • Group and Group hierarchies with various visibility / privacy settings
  • Events including calendar view
  • Document Module with the following features:
    • Upload and automatically pulling metadata
    • Publishing to groups, starting discussions, etc.
  • Online Document viewer with Annotations
  • Various types of personalized notifications
  • On platform notifications
  • Newsfeed - both user and group level activities on the platform that the user might be interested in
  • Email notifications - including email settings, and daily/weekly digest options.
  • Advanced Searching
  • Automatic Recommendation module
    • Suggests papers, connections on basis of likes and browsing behaviour
  • Document Collaboration

Technical Challenges Overcome

Group Hierarchies – Trellis has concept of public/private and open/closed groups. Add to that the complexity of child/parent relationships, which leads to various combinations of visibility/privacy that needs to be honored throughout the system. We built a custom ACL/permissions/visibility layer responsible insuring correct visibility/permissions settings throughout the platform to tackle this.

Development Methodology

AGILE - Bi-Weekly Sprints - a scrum master assigns tasks to developers, creates the scrum board and does daily stand-ups with team.

Resources aligned by Atlogys

A Dedicated Engineering team was provided and managed by Atlogys. Team Includes:

  • 2 dedicated backend developers
  • 2 dedicated frontend developers
  • 1 dedicated web (html5/css3) developer
  • 1 dedicated QA engineer
  • 50% of a senior tech architect who also does scrum planning
  • Some involvement from a senior delivery manager (15%)
  • 50% of a dedicated cloud engineer - for deployments, Jenkins

Impact

Launched as www.trellisscience.com - In use by 1000+ scientists in USA. To be launched to 6M scientific community in the world by Jan 2016.

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