This article describes how the Masking Technology platform will improve the scalability and maintainability of the Project Hours Time Tracking software. Below you can learn how Masking Technology will improve software development productivity for Project Hours.

Currently Project Hours runs as a Microsoft MVC application with mobile apps developed in Xamarin. So far this works well, stability and performance are good and new features are added on a regular basis. Because Project Hours is undergoing rapid growth it is important to prepare for the future.  System design must be improved to handle growth. This will make it much easier to add functionality and at the same time make sure the system is maintainable and stable. This is where Masking Technology comes in.

What is Masking Technology

Masking Technology is a platform that offers an end-to-end solution for software development. It supports infrastructure, backends and front-ends on all devices.  It allows for full-stack development to build API’s and UI’s. Next to that continuous delivery and software deployment versioning and management are part of the platform.

The primary goal of Masking Technology is to allow for adding new business functionality with minimum impact on the existing software. This is very important for businesses like Project Hours whose business model exists of creating business functionality in a reliable way.

advantages of using Masking technology

With Masking Technology it is possible to develop functional blocks that work together in one system. These blocks can be placed on the backend, frontend or both. The Masking Technology platform manages the infrastructure. In this way Masking Technology greatly increases software development productivity.

The Masking Technology ensures interoperability between components and supports different versions of these components. In this way developers do not have to worry about the specifics of component interfaces. And because Masking Technology also manages dependencies between component versions there is less change of introducing defects when changing or adding functionality.

For Project Hours this offers many advantages:

    • Separate code bases for mobile and web apps can be merged into one.
    • The current web front-end of Project Hours depends on a couple of UI frameworks like Bootstrap. This complicates future upgrades. With Masking Technology everything will be covered by one technology. This will make upgrading and redesign in the future much easier. It will be easier to manage functionality because different software versions will work together seamlessly. It is possible to upgrade legacy data on-the-fly to newer versions if needed.
    • Integrations with ERP software and data migrations can be developed and deployed easily in Masking Technology.
    • Finally, Masking Technology supports customized blocks for clients that are deployed atop of the standard functionality. This makes it possible to build very specific business use cases that do not fit in a generic solution.

HOW does it work?

Masking Technology has an (online) studio that is used for application development. In this environment developers specify backend components, frontend components, business logic and interactions between these components. View this short demo to get an idea of the look and feel of Masking Technology:

Under the hood the platform creates isolated, stateless and stable components. These components are executed in a ‘function as a service’ like setup. Because all components are stateless it is easy to change and refactor functionality. There are no functional dependencies on maintained state, as is often the case in the object-oriented solutions. Unlike microservices, the platform manages the different versions of the components automatically.

incresase software development productivity

Let it be clear that developers still need all their development skills. Programming must be done in Javascript, HTML, CSS and the Masking specific languages. What the platform brings is that all components are integrated and deployed without development effort. In this way development can focus on creating functionality.

next steps

Project Hours Time Tracking and Masking Technology work together with one of Project Hours’ customers to provide a minimal viable implementation that covers all functionality the customer needs. This will be a great way to learn about Masking Technology and discover how it all ties together.

This will also work the other way around. Masking Technology will benefit from the Project Hours implementation. Project Hours is a SAAS that handles many aspects like security and internationalization. All these aspects must be available in Masking Technology to ensure the platform can be applied to many business cases world-wide.

We hope you enjoyed reading about our project and how we try to increase software development productivity. Stay tuned for progress and do not hesitate to leave comments and questions below!