The Datix patient safety management system had been running successfully on the Gupta SQLWindows/Team Developer platform for fourteen years before the decision was made to port the application suite to a more modern environment. With the healthcare sector in the UK undergoing a period of intensive technological change, it was crucial for Datix to ensure that their software could continue to meet the requirements of this market well into the future.
Questionmarks over the technical direction and support provided for the original toolset and the increasing scarcity and cost of developers with the appropriate skills left management with the dilemma of whether to rewrite the system from scratch or migrate.
The Datix application suite consisted of around 300,000 lines of code and around 150 reports. Given the years of intellectual property that went into building the original application and the need to get a solution to market as quickly as possible, porting presented itself as an attractive option.
After a feasibility study and proof of concept, Datix made the decision to work with Dataline Software – in conjunction with the Ice Tea Groups Ice Porter technology. Datix CEO Jonathan Hazan was fully aware of both the benefits and potential risks of such a project, saying "We had made a careful assessment of the business case for migrating our software to .NET, so we already knew there were considerable advantages to porting compared to a rewrite. But it was the combination of automated technology and Datalines well defined process that convinced us this was the right approach".
Porting presented a number of advantages to Datix. Aside from the ready availability of relatively inexpensive .NET developers, the technology and methodology used for the Porting Project offered vastly reduced risk, cost and timescale compared to the alternatives.
Since the majority of their customers were already running Microsoft SQL Server, Datix was keen to convert its portfolio of 150 plus reports to Microsoft Reporting Services. This was made achievable thanks to Ice Tea Groups efforts in bringing forward the development of a new Reporting Services translator – months ahead of their proposed schedule. The Datix project became the pilot for this latest addition to Ice Porters migration capabilities.
John Cuthbert, managing the project for Dataline observed "We expected to have to put a lot of effort into testing the new translator and were concerned about impacting the project timescale, but a combination of ITGs focus, our systematic testing and the Datix teams efforts in the acceptance phase have enabled us to bring everything in without blowing the project plan".
Having successfully released phase one of the project, Datix and Dataline are now working together to extend the system to add graphing functionality to the existing reporting capability. Hazan commented, "With our expansion into the US and Canada, its really important that we were able to offer Reporting Services as our standard reporting platform. Im delighted that our partnership with Dataline and the Porting Project has enabled us to achieve everything we hoped for."
About Datix (http://www.datix.com)
Datix was founded in 1986 and has been developing patient safety management software for the healthcare industry ever since. Their software is currently being used by 75% of trusts in the British National Health Service, and they also have a strong client base in North America – where their clients include the US Department of Defence, who use Datix software on the Patient Safety Reporting Project.
About Dataline Software (http://www.dataline.co.uk)
Dataline Software has been delivering information technology solutions to businesses of all sizes for over 25 years, and specializes in the areas of e-Business, SQL database and network technologies. Dataline is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and a Cisco Registered Partner. Dataline’s portfolio of products includes i5, a unique tool for publishing SQL databases on the web.