AGIV uses Team Foundation Server 2010 as central information source for development project Photo 1: The team of Ordina working for this Agiv project. Photo 2: Joeri Robbrecht. Photo 3: Erik Jennen. Country: Belgium Sector: government Profile The mission of AGIV (Agency for Geographical Information in Flanders) is to optimise the use of geographical information in Flanders. There are about 120 people working at AGIV. Challenge The Flemish government commissioned AGIV to develop an IT system for providing access to information needed for the e-service linked to the right of pre-emption on land sales. The IT system increases legal security and lowers administrative costs for those parties involved in exercising their right of pre-emption. Solution Ordina is developing the new application, in consultation with AGIV, with the help of Visual Studio and .NET. Moreover, the project is also using Team Foundation Server as the central information source. The software testing is being done by Passwerk, which employs people with autism spectrum disorder. Benefits Open technology Always have access to up-to-date information Smooth communication Efficient project monitoring Good integration in the existing environment End result of a high standard Software & services Servers Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Developer Tools Visual Studio .NET Visual Studio 2010 Windows Desktop Applications Business Solutions Microsoft Services Microsoft Technologies Microsoft Security The task of AGIV is to optimise the availability of geographical information in Flanders. The Flemish government commissioned AGIV to develop an IT system that provides access to the information needed for the e-service linked to the right of pre-emption on land sales. This online service will allow notaries to quickly check if there is a right of first pre-emption applicable to a plot of land that comes up for sale. The IT department of AGIV asked Ordina to help with this project. The aim is optimal integration, so AGIV always works with Microsoft technology. Besides Visual Studio and .NET, Team Foundation Server is also being used for the project. Team Foundation Server serves as a central source of information where all the parties concerned can view the correct information and the current state of affairs. In this way, communication is very efficient and AGIV and Ordina can monitor the project together. Ordina is doing the software testing with the help of Passwerk, working with people with autism spectrum disorder. As a result, the quality of the final result is even better. AGIV (Agency for Geographical Information in Flanders) is a government organisation that manages and provides access to geographical data and geographical information systems (GIS) in Flanders. This is happening increasingly via online applications. Recently AGIV was commissioned by the Flemish government to develop such an application. For this it used the help of Visual Studio 2010, the .NET Framework and Team Foundation Server 2010. Simplifying administration “The Flemish Land Agency is developing an e-service for notaries linked to the right of pre-emption on land sales,” says Joeri Robbrecht, manager for software architecture and development at AGIV. “We received an assignment to provide a web service alongside the e-service to support the administrative processes relating to the right of preemption by making public the right of pre-emption that applies to a plot of land. On top of this, we also had to provide a web application and a web service for the beneficiaries of the Flemish right of pre-emption. This will give them the opportunity to state for which plots of land they would like to exercise the right of pre-emption. This online application had to be developed by the end of April 2010. The project is part of the process of simplifying administration.” The right of pre-emption means that public bodies or organisations – for example the Flemish port authorities, city services and nature associations – are sometimes the first to have the right of pre-emption on buying a plot of land. For every purchase, the notary has to check if such a right of pre-emption exists by contacting all possible sources of information. So far, this has been happening through various manual, written standard procedures. This is a very time-consuming process that is also open to errors. Tremendous time-savings. So the new online application provides notaries with access to a very useful tool for the purchase of land. “All the information is online and can be consulted centrally,” explains Joeri Robbrecht. “This means the whole procedure is much faster and more correct. When using the e-service, notaries can go online, type in the plot number and instantly see who might have a right of pre-emption. The online application automatically sends e-mails to these parties to check if they are interested in buying the plot. Previously this was all done through letters. The time savings are tremendous.” Koen Lemarcq, project manager at AGIV: “The online services allow notaries to work much faster, without running a big risk of making errors. For its part, the party entitled to the right of pre-emption has greater legal security of their rights being respected. And ultimately the public can be more confident that the correct procedure is being followed for the sale or purchase of land. ”AGIV looked for a suitable IT partner for the extensive development project. It decided on Ordina. “Ordina offered an environment that met our needs,” explains Koen Lemarcq. “For optimal integration where everything fits together perfectly, we made a strategic decision to opt for Microsoft technology. This means we can get the most out of the software.” Current state of affairs always accessible It was already decided from the start that AGIV would develop the online application with the Microsoft technologies Visual Studio and .NET. Team Foundation Server came along later. “It was very important for us to develop a high-quality solution,” says Bart Wullems, application architect at Ordina. “That’s why we suggested to AGIV that it use Team Foundation Server as the central information source for the project. In this way everyone could always access the correct information and AGIV could also access the current state of affairs. So communication was very efficient and we were able to monitor the project together. We worked according to the Scrum method: at the start of each phase we conferred bilaterally about the next phase. ”Optimal project management Visual Studio was used for the project management and the integration of the testing. “At Ordina’s suggestion we changed over to Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio 2010 because these offer more possibilities than the previous versions,” says Joeri Robbrecht. “For instance, we can use models to generate code faster and there are dashboards that give you a very clear picture of how things stand. Moreover, we have access to worksheets. All this ensures optimal project management. ”Software tests by people with autism spectrum disorder On Ordina’s initiative the testing was largely carried out by the staff of Passwerk, an organisation that employs people with autism spectrum disorder as software testers. “Developers don’t usually like systematic testing, but people with autism spectrum disorder do,” explains Erik Jennen, project manager at Ordina. “We have worked with Passwerk before and this was a positive experience. Thanks to the perfectionism of the people at Passwerk, we can count on the results of the development being of a high standard.” The collaboration between AGIV and Ordina went smoothly. Attention was also paid to knowledge transfer, so that AGIV itself can take responsibility for the maintenance after the new application goes live. “There are still numerous projects in the pipeline for making even more geographical information available online,” concludes Koen Lemarcq.