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.