For the past 16 years, Generis Technology Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the global Landis+Gyr Group, has supplied a suite of applications under the B-Smart brand which supports interaction in deregulated energy markets. Utilising an Oracle Forms user interface, B-Smart is a comprehensive suite of high performance, business rules-driven applications developed to serve the needs of the energy industry and is used, amongst others, by four of the Big Six UK Energy Suppliers.
To remain competitive and facilitate future growth, Generis needed to launch a low-cost software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model that was suitable for the changing needs of the market. The chosen technology needed to be flexible and utilise modern development standards for longevity and robustness. Along with the new delivery model, the look and feel of the application needed to be refreshed to improve the overall user experience and match the exacting standards now expected by the Facebook generation.
Generis considered many development frameworks to refresh B-Smart. Oracle’s Application Express (APEX) had a significant advantage; in addition to allowing B-Smart to run securely from a Cloud-based Database as a Service, which perfectly satisfied the need for the delivery of the SaaS model, APEX also enabled a significant amount of the Oracle Forms codebase to be repurposed without starting from scratch. Explorer provided a proof of concept for an initial APEX conversion and, once tested, the technology decision was a simple one.
Explorer, as an Oracle development specialist, had a team of dedicated APEX developers and consultants who assisted Generis in the conversion of existing Oracle Forms into their APEX screens equivalents. Explorer brought their extensive knowledge of APEX and, through weekly meetings and aligning to Generis’ ways of working, acquired a greater understanding of the B-Smart application.
The application was assessed module-by-module to see what could be easily replicated in APEX and what could be enhanced using the new technology to ensure Generis maintained its position as the market leader for energy software.
Once development commenced, a phased approach meant that Generis could display the new version of the application to their customers at the earliest opportunity. Using APEX also enabled Generis to render B-Smart in multiple languages swiftly and easily, a key requirement for its increasingly international client base.
Explorer provided training to Generis developers to help the organisation to become self-sufficient in the use of APEX, speeding up development and improving output tailored to their unique application and requirements.
Watch our free webinar on moving from Forms to APEX: https://explorer.co.uk/oracle-application-development/oracle-apex-for-forms/
Devon is the Marketing Manager at Explorer. He was previously a planner for Government campaigns at a global digital agency and was involved with marketing operations for a national news brand. Devon is also studying for an Msc in Digital Marketing.