Case Study | App Development for Data Access & Management

Case Study | Android & iOS Application Development hosted in Azure

Published: 31 October 2021

Business Challenge

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is a state corporation responsible for the operation and management of all seaports, inland waterways and Inland Container depots in Kenya. This remit includes management of the Port of Mombasa, a key transport hub in Africa. KPA has the challenging task of balancing operating profits with investment in port facilities and infrastructure to manage present and future traffic to fully support Kenya’s growing trade environment.

KPA approached Tangent Solutions to develop their proof-of-concept mobile app to simplify data access and management for multiple aspects of the port business logic. A key component of introducing a secure data-management system was to enable the verification of invoice details.

KPA uncovered fraudulent invoices being issued by some shipping, and clearing and forwarding agents. This resulted in a reduction of income to the port authority, thus increasing shipping costs.

KPA wished to provide customers with a Mobile App supporting Android and iOS to provide:

  • A secure invoice management system
  • Up-to-date tariff access
  • A history of accounts and transactions

The Solution

Tangent Solutions developed the mobile App in Xamarin.Forms to ensure cross-platform compatibility and to simplify deployment.

One of KPA’s requirements was to retain their on-premise SAP database that supported a front-facing API accessible only via their internal network. To integrate with this, Tangent Solutions implemented a cloud-based API written in ASP.Net, that communicates via a private connection to an on-premises SAP system.

The cloud API was hosted in Azure, thus benefiting from a full Azure infrastructure and architecture deployment. Tangent Solutions applied Terraform to automate this deployment. A robust login system was implemented for customer Identity and Access Management (IAM).

Tangent took responsibility for implementing all the required DevOps technologies to support CI/CD. The proof-of-concept code base and Tangent’s own was monitored via SonarCloud for quality assessment. Visual Studio’s App centre simplified testing in development, and the CI/CD pipeline simplified pushing code into production in the App stores. The final product was fully documented to support the client to manage their new systems going forward.

Man on Phone

Business Outcomes

The KPA is now empowered to ensure that all invoices are legitimate – with data validations against the original data, thereby reducing the likelihood of fraud. Thus, KPA is positioned to benefit from improved financial efficiency and offer competitive market rates to encourage customers to use its ports.

In addition, customers now have access to an intuitive App that enables them to understand KPA’s services and current tariffs. Customers are also able to view the history of their recent transactions to better understand and manage their own business finances.

This massively improves the efficiency of the business functions at the various KPA ports.

The KPA development team is now also able to easily deploy changes and new functionality to the application and seamlessly deploy those changes to the App Stores, freeing up time for them to innovate as their business requirements evolve. 

”In summary, based on the mobile application needs, we were looking for a partner/consultant to productionise the KPA Mobile Application, adopting industry best practices in tandem with costs. We’re delighted to say that Tangent Solutions transformed the entire solution, walking the journey with us in synergy from day one to finish, into a production ready application with professionalism, ease, and precision. We would consider future business in mobile, cloud and infrastructure projects!”

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