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PWSA Design and Architecture

PWSA Design and Architectureprevious design was cumbersomecode refactored and algorithm changed

Company Background

The Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority provides sewer and water service to customers within the City of Pittsburgh. Commercial developers can obtain a water and sewer permit by submitting an application directly to PWSA. The application is converted to a .PDF and uploaded to an online management utility. Associated documents are also attached if relevant. ALCOSAN, Zoning, ENVPL and ACHD are notified by email of new applications. Each entity approves or denies the application digitally. When each entity has approved the application PWSA issues the water & sewer use permit.

Project Info

Zeo Technologies was contacted to re-engineer and support PWSA’s existing digital signature web application. During the initial planning and requirement analysis phase several short comings were identified involving the PDF application process, the document archive and management utilities. The most mysterious error related to filenames – some but not all new applications would contain .PDF documents from other active and archived documents.

Application-level debugging uncovered the problem. The method that was used to generate filenames checked for the existence of a file in the upload path. If the name was already taken a random string was generated. This would have been fine, except in this case, the database table was not designed to capture the filename – application code ASSUMED certain name conventions. This obviously fell apart for randomly generated names.

Zeo re-designed the database architecture and code-base to correct the shortcomings. The design aesthetics were improved, as well, to make the software easier to use.

Technologies Used

ASP.Net C#, code refactoring, database design