On July 21st, SKYSITE launched the latest upgrade to its construction and facilities document management platform. Of course, the upgrade included the proverbial bug fixes, but the launch was also full of useful tools including enhanced security, full in-app capabilities even when offline, new markup tools and other improvements to increase productivity and user experience.
Most significant, however, is a new Big Data Scalable Database Backend that will allow customers unlimited uploads of critical documents and continued expansion of their account as their company grows. It may be a mouthful to say, but the benefits are unlimited.
To find out more about the new backend system (built by SKYSITE’s own team), we sat down with Rahul Roy, Chief Technology Officer.
Why did you see a need to update the system?
We were seeing the SKYSITE customer base growing, and that is good, but we also began to see our customers wanting to store increasing amounts of their data in SKYSITE. As we evaluated our underlying database, we realized that it wasn’t well positioned to scale with this additional growth without significant limitations and additional licensing costs, that would then have to be passed on to our customers.
What changes have been made to the SKYSITE platform?
We were running our backend based on a Microsoft SQL database. After realizing it wasn’t a good long term fit for our application, we began looking for solutions. We evaluated other choices like Oracle and SAP, but they also had very high licensing and implementation costs.
After an exhaustive search of enterprise software options, the solution became obvious. To get what we wanted, we had to build our own backend database. So, using the best and latest technology open-source components we developed a cost-effective, fully scalable, big data database.
Will there be any disruption in service?
We schedule all our upgrades and maintenance over a weekend, to minimize any interruption or disruption of service. We also provide advance notice to our customers, so they aren’t surprised.
Will users notice a difference?
Visually, customers won’t notice a difference. Because the upgrade is to the backend infrastructure, there are no obvious changes to the user interface. However, users may experience better speeds and overall performance, especially when the load increases.
What is the biggest advantage of the new backend database?
For us, we really wanted a system that would allow not just SKYSITE to grow, but one that would grow with our customers. The biggest advantage of our new backend system is its ability to scale infinitely, while maintaining user performance. Our Big Data backend can now store millions of petabytes of data without any issues.
This means customers can upload documents, photos, or whatever they want, and have it all be searchable, and safe. And, if they grow, or acquire another business, and double in size, they just upload the files. SKYSITE can handle it. All those new files are then instantly available and searchable for their team.
How does this compare to other document management technology?
Other app solutions that rely on enterprise software are subject to either very high licensing and maintenance costs, or they will suffer performance issues. At some point, those costs or performance issues are going to impact the customer. By developing our own solution, we can provide the scalability and performance that our customers demand.
Can you give us a hint at what is next in the technology pipeline?
(no answer, with a wry smile)
Rahul Roy, Chief Technology Officer
Rahul Roy brings decades of leadership in software design and development to SKYSITE. A serial entrepreneur, his development experience encompasses network management software, financial software products, e-commerce engines, document management systems, and BI applications. A creative engineer at heart, Rahul is the architect of SKYSITE, and focused on delivering solutions, functions, and features that make his customers happier and more productive.