Engineers Australia is the peak body for the engineering profession in Australia. Part of its role includes management and assessment of overseas workers wishing to migrate to Australia to work in the Engineering Sector.
Since Engineers Australia started this process, it has been a paper based process, with applicants from all over the world having to collate a large packet of copied and original documents (Sometimes upwards of 45 sheets of paper) and send them to the Australian office where they would be assessed by hand and the paper applications stored in large archival facilities.
OPC was contracted by Engineers Australia to work with a third party Oracle Database Management company to help bring this process into a paperless 21st century.
Why was OPC chosen?
OPC has been providing services to Engineers Australia since 1985. This relationship, along with our Drupal expertise were the main reason we were selected to undertake this project.
Drupal was chosen as the project was only one component of an entire corporate process redevelopment, and would have to sit as a standalone module inside an existing Drupal 7 website that already had some redeveloped components live.
While Drupal would be used for the front-end, all data relating to the applications and assessments would be held inside Engineers Australia’s own Corporate Database running Oracle.
Because of this, a third party company was brought on to develop the middleware services and database services that would underpin the Drupal interface.
Project goals, requirements and outcome
The main goal of the project was to migrate the entirely paper based application and assessment process into an online digital process. This would make not only the application and assessment process easier for all involved, but also massively reduce the costs associated with archival and storage of applications, of which they receive around 20,000 a year.
One of the main requirements was to be able to store all the application data in the existing Oracle Corporate Database as well as run the workflow itself (application, submission, assessment, outcome, etc…) via the Oracle Human Workflow system. This required working closely with a company specialising in Oracle Middleware and Data services.
However, since it was only the application information being stored in Oracle, not the Drupal based database, it wasn’t as ‘simple’ as changing the Drupal Database from SQL or Oracle. Instead we had to make extensive use of the Drupal Form API to create upwards of thirty custom forms for the applicants and assessors to use, with each form including at least one service call to the Oracle Database via the WSClient module in Drupal.
Since the site launched, the system has been under a huge load from the applicants and is performing incredibly well. As with any large and complex development, a number of small issues were raised by both applicants and assessors in the weeks after launch. These issues have mainly been reported as edge cases due to the complexity of the build.
Support and maintenance
OPC has had an on-site resource to manage the portal since the post-launch period.