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desalasworks presents:

a selection of works by steven de salas

Markit Environmental Registry

The Markit Environmental Registry is a central repository for tracing the ownership of carbon credits anywhere in the world and is the 1st ranked registry in 2012 Environmental Finance’s survey.

Rich Application for Carbon Market Transactions

Development of a fully Object-Oriented Javascript interface using the latest version of the EXT JS framework, a fully featured AJAX and GUI widget library based on Yahoo UI.

This was a 6 month project going live in September 2010 as part of the Markit suite of environmental products. The Markit Environmental Registry is a central repository for tracing the ownership of carbon credits anywhere in the world and has helped Markit gain 1st place for ‘Best Registry Provider’ in 2012 Environmental Finance’s survey.

While the work was primarily focused on individual paid-for access, there is also a complimentary public view interface that allows non-users to query database directly (written in plain HTML for SEO optimization).

Registry Landing Page

Delivering Features with Optimal Usability

Deliverables include a fully-operating Graphic User Interface compatible with IE (6,7 and 8), Firefox (3.0 upwards), Chrome and Safari in the form of an 8,000 line JavaScript library with 43 compiled javascript classes using object-oriented inheritance for minimal code-repetition and Java nomenclature and namespace breakdown wherever possible (with a view to find a replacement Java programmer) .

AJAX Architecture

The end result is a rich interface for a data-driven web application, with look-and-feel similar to that of a desktop application like Excel or Outlook. The users of the registry can access the following features:

Advanced Dockable Components

Standardised components such as grids (for record lists) allow for easily building functionality with components that can be docked in tab panels or within a popup window. Base components provide key functionality, such as layout, ordering, paging and searching and can be extended depending on the requirements for each section of the application.

Advanced Dockable Components

Simplified Search Criteria

Search criteria is simplified and prioritised to hide items that are less relevant to the user. Searching requires minimal input from the user (usually mouse-scroll and click).

Simplified Search Criteria

Predictive Search

An AJAX favourite. The implementation within the Registry is done using DOM buffering (only the items displayed are being rendered in the browser) which allows for thousands of records to be quickly filtered down to those that fit relevant criteria in milliseconds.

Predictive Search

Context Menus (right mouse button)

Context menus are used for right-clicking on a piece of information to find out relevant actions that can be performed. This is ported from functionality found in desktop application such as Outlook or Excel.

Context Menus

Windowed Interface

Window “lightboxes” are used to display information about individual records. These are pop-ups rendered within the page as modal windows, which provide a high degree of responsiveness in the application and the look-and-feel of traditional desktop applications.

Windowed Interface

Server-Side Validation Messages

Intuitive and appealing server side validation messages (without needing to refresh the page). The fields a user has entered incorrectly are clearly highlighted and provide additional information when hovering above them.

Server Validation

Hierarchical Data Representation (expanding trees)

Data is presented hierarchically wherever relevant, for example a syndication “Basket” used for risk management, can be constructed to contain other items within in. The User Interface displays this as an expandable item, with other items within it.

Hierarchical Data Representation

Object-Oriented Inheritance

The interface is designed as a self-contained JavaScript class library with components (Classes) that inherit from each other. This is done to reduce code-duplication and make the software more manageable.

Object Inheritance

Environmental Registry in the News

Markit Environmental Registry named ‘Best Registry Provider
April 2012

 

Feedback on the Registry

Some of the feedback received on this project:

UserEli Goncalves (End User)
www.personalco2zero.com

13 Sep 2010 – Your new platform really became more practical. Congrats!

UserHelen Robinson (Founder)
www.markitenvironmental.com

20 Sep 2010 – You guys have done a wonderful job, thank you very much!

Pepsi Project Refresh

A global-reach social media campaign for renown household brand. This project involved designing an interface for a competition mechanics application with some of the latest technologies such as RESTful AJAX, jQuery, jQT, Qunit, HTML5, GitHub, Ruby on Rails all delivered over Amazon’s E2 Cloud delivery network.

The Pepsi Project Refresh

Pepsi Project Refresh – Global Competition Campaign

The Pepsi Refresh Project is an international social-media campaign aimed principally at teenagers and young adults, Pepsi’s main consumer base.

The project involved working with other skilled interface developers to customize the GUI and enhance an existing competition-mechanics platform (supplied by Global Dawn, a London-based specialist software developer) to provide Pepsi with the ability to create and judge competition rounds using bespoke rules, giving users have the ability to upload content and rate other user’s content all using Pepsi’s familiar blue branding.

Rich User Interface Technology

The principal technology stack of the project was RESTful AJAX over Ruby on Rails, this meant a highly-responsive UI that required minimal refreshing of the browser’s window. The main frameworks used for this were jQuery and QUnit(for unit testing).

Compatibility requirements meant unit-testing across various browser platforms.

A distributed team across several geographical areas meant using a robust and well-known Source Control and Bug-tracking platforms, GitHub, the platform of choice for many open-source projects was used for this purpose. Jira, another excellent solution provided by Atlassian, was used mostly for bug-tracking and task management.

Amazon Cloud

Various Technologies used for the Project

In order to improve high-volume delivery across all international location, the project used Amazons EC2 CloudDelivery Network.

Global Release

At then end of the project, the platform was localised and released across various international site. Russia and Italy being the first two participants in the competition.

Russian Site: platform was localised and delivered across various International Sites.

User-Generated Content

The key to the low-maintenance requirements of the competition is that users generate their own content. They upload videos and images, and they get to vote on videos and images provided by other users. According to Global Dawn’s 1-9-90 competition technology, some users tend to provide the majority of traffic and content in a site, hence these users are rewarded with ‘points’ to spend across the site as they see fit.

Italian Site: Users upload their own content and vote on other people’s content.

Competition mechanics are designed by brand managers (Pepsi in this case), they choose different parameters such as the duration of the competition, number of stages etc.