AutoPilot for Kirtland Air Force Base

Beginning in June of 2011, Clover Leaf developed a pilot email-based, patented tasking software solution called AutoPilot to assist Kirtland Air Force Base (AFB) in managing hundreds of essential tasks for the Bioenvironmental Engineering (BEE) Shop. Although successful, the pilot required migration onto a robust cloud platform with a secure user interface. Clover Leaf worked with Kirtland AFB to identify and prioritize requirements, including security and user interface requirements, and has now successfully migrated the software onto a cloud-based platform. Data was prepared and cleansed for migration, and Beta testing of the system was conducted.

The Autopilot project has used the following cloud-based and software services:

Technology stack:

  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2 – part of Amazon Web Services)
  • Elastic Load Balancing (part of AWS)
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM – part of AWS)
  • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC – part of AWS)
  • Relational Database Service (RDS – part of AWS)
  • RackSpace email server (for inbound)

Website Page Template Languages:

  • HAML
  • ERB

Controllers

  • Ruby on Rails Controllers

Database Access:

  • ActiveRecord and third party analytical tool

Project/code/issue management:

  • GitHub (source code version control system)
  • YouTrack (ticket/feature tracking application)
  • HipChat (chat collaboration)

QA Test Cases:

  • Rails Test-Unit
  • Rspec
airforceandipad

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@Pay Software and Platform Cloud Migration

@Pay is a cloud-based email payment platform that allows customers to make secure purchases using two clicks from email. The Clover Leaf team created the system and successfully migrated the @Pay flagship email and API based payment system onto Amazon’s cloud computing platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS). In addition to cloud-based management of the system infrastructure, Clover Leaf has created many customized workflows using the APIs available for manipulation of AWS. Because @Pay involves credit card payments using an innovative, patented technology, security and reliability are essential.

Clover Leaf development and operations teams have worked with @Pay to identify initial and evolving requirements, identify the optimal mix of COTS software platforms and custom development, and to develop and deploy the @Pay technology. We built out a scalable, redundant architecture within AWS, utilizing many components including:

  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2),
  • Elastic Load Balancing (part of AWS)
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM; part of AWS) is used to manage security while providing the right people with the right access.
  • Relational Database Service (RDS; part of AWS) is used for primary database storage
  • ElastiCache for Redis (part of AWS) is used by our internal queueing mechanism to help facilitate scalable transaction processing

Additionally, for better security and logical separation of system components, all of @Pay’s cloud-based infrastructure is run using Amazon’s Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) technology. The Simple Storage Service (S3) is used to store additional data within the system.

Clover Leaf has evaluated (with input from @Pay) and deployed the following cloud technologies:

  • Linode and WPEngine, in-cloud computing infrastructure platforms
  • Outside of the basic application infrastructure, we use several cloud-based monitoring and notification tools to keep our cloud-based website and its many integral parts running around the clock
  • Cloud-based service YouTrack (ticket/feature tracking application),
  • Cloud-based service Sumo (logging consolidation),

Cloud-based service GitHub (source code version control).

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New Mexico SABIS Reporting Application Development

Clover Leaf is working with the NM Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop state- and agency-specific databases in accordance with National Bridge Information (NBI) Coding Guide Conventions. We are also producing and will maintain a Programmer’s Guide, and provide ongoing, as-needed formal training to the NM DOT Department Staff. The project was organized into two tasks.

Task 1 – The objective of this task was to develop a basic, limited-function bridge information system in the dual programming environments of VB.NET and C# for the purpose of demonstrating and evaluating their relative merits, and to provide the basis for informed consideration of the optimal combination of software development tools to be used in the construction of the final Bridge Information System.  This system was designed to duplicate the functionality of the Generic Bridge Information System (G-BIS).

This task consisted of the following:

  • Review of the NBI Coding Guide (Federal Report No. FHWA-PD-96-001)
  • Review the NMDOT Bridge Inventory Database (which is utilized by the Department’s SABIS Bridge Information System.)
  • Software Development for two executable, standalone software applications that reproduce the Department’s Generic Bridge Information System (G-BIS)
  • Debrief the Technical Panel to demonstrate the programs
  • Conduct Training for Department staff in the use of the development tools used in this task, and maintain/update the demonstration program source code, as necessary.

Task 2 – The primary objective of Task 2 was to initiate development of a fully functional, stand-alone Bridge Information System application in the C# programming language that will meet the State of New Mexico Department of Transportation’s obligation to provide information to the federal National Bridge Inventory.  The fully functional, stand-alone Bridge Information System application is similar in functionality to the SABIS Bridge Information System prototype previously developed by NMDOT staff, but has not only a new name, but also an updated graphical user interface.

The databases were created in accordance with NBI Coding Guide conventions.  A generic subroutine in C# “batch processed” the latest available National Bridge Inventory data files to populate state-specific databases and produce summary files.

In addition, Clover Leaf developed a “splash screen”, similar in appearance and operation to SABIS, that included, but was not limited to, the following features:

  • Basic GUI
  • State/Federal logos
  • Animated State logo
  • Password entry
  • Button to select Federal or State DOT Agency List
  • Static map with plotting
  • List of States/Federal Agencies
  • Legal Notice (.pdf file)
  • Build No. (per RB convention, to track versions)
  • Basic user interactions and functions

Task 3 – The objective of this task was to full flesh out the functionality of the SABIS application and enhance it’s interactivity and usability. The interface redesigned to use a dynamic layout with resizable panes for different controls and views, tabs for increased data density, icons for visual communication of functionality, improved labeling and appearance, and better delegated threading and task driven functions.

This task consisted of the following:

  • Adding an interactive Bing Maps interface
  • Duplicating and updating all existing reports
  • Completing a comprehensive data import interface to add new yearly or ad-hoc data to the application as needed
  • Adding Filtering functions to generate cross-sections of data
  • Creating a distribution package and process via FTP hosting site
  • Deliver testable builds to NMDOT for review
  • Continue training activities and documentation of the software
Screen sample of data mapping in the SABIS application

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Sandia National Laboratories – Safety Basis Software Engineering Support

Clover Leaf provides software engineering support for non-nuclear Safety Basis projects. We can step in and work successfully with a client’s in-house staff, either as team leaders or support providers. Our programmers have led teams on areas such as Unreviewed Safety Question (USQ) process, and converting USQ from paper systems to electronic software system. Our efforts are always focused on bringing agile, best-practices approaches to a project to ensure a modern, stabile development.

Clover Leaf has provided software engineering support to Sandia’s Safety Basis group since 2005. Our IT experts have served as lead programmer for an existing Unreviewed Safety Question (USQ) process, and have worked with Sandia programmers to convert the USQ from a paper system to an electronic software system. In our efforts to mentor and build an agile, best-practices team, we introduced the following best practices to the project to ensure a modern, stabile development:

  • Scrum method of project management, introduced to both management and developers. The scrum method makes the development process more transparent for all project stakeholders, and allows for flexibility and rapid response to stakeholder requirements.
  • Source Control Management (SCM) for code control. This best-practice approach to software development will allow the system to store code and keep historical information about who performed specific tasks and when. The updated system will include tracking to ensure that staff are prepared and qualified to work in the system as it is implemented at the Sandia complex.
  • Version Control to manage the code base. The git version control system was introduced to the team using brown-bag sessions, and all project code was imported into the version control system.
  • Automated testing, including unit and functional testing. We introduced the Selenium IDE for user interface and functional testing and the Selenium WebDriver for automated scripting of UI and functional testing. In addition, we introduced unit testing using Microsoft’s Unit Testing Framework.
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