non-telecom in erlang

DANIESC SCHUTTE <>
Tue Feb 4 10:34:48 CET 2003


Morning Dominic,

some of your questions have been answered in my previous mail - I will however answer some of the rest of the questions here - thanks  for all the interest (everyone).

Using before:

Delphi / Java / C / Magic 386 / Visual Basic.
This is not only our team but other projects in the banks as well - that is why some of these were on the consideration list.  Once the decision to standardize on Solaris - it became easier :).  We wanted a robust - online - realtime system.  

- how long did the team take to learn Erlang and become productive?

Read the books for 2 - 3 weeks and dabbled. First production module in week 3, from there on - we train a new programmer in 4 weeks, and then another 4 weeks and the guy does 1st and 2nd level support and after 3 months - he's a pro :).  Seriously - once you get to grips with how it works - and have other people that can show and guide you - it really is not that difficult.  Me and Heinrich Venter - currently sit at 10 months with Erlang - and although we are getting a consultant (when the budget comes through end of the month) to come and review and help and better our understanding - the system is running fairly smoothly.  Mostly due to the excellent support from the people on the mailing list.

- how many members of the team had previous Erlang experience?

None :)  The nearest we got was 3 weeks university knowledge of prolog :).


- a brief description of the system's architecture, and the parts of Erlang that were used or not used.

Hmmm the hardware was discussed in the previous message.

The system consists of about 40 applications.  All communcations done to a central connection manager - which uses translations and routing to divert the transaction messages to the relevant sections of the system and it all ends up at a transaction manager - that does all the transaction stuff required by a bank, costing, validation, general ledger entries.  The previous mail gives an idea of the languages and which portions was NOT done in erlang.

NOT USED
SNMP / Megaco / ASN / CORBA / WEB / MNESIA

Mnesia and WEB - is on the list to be included in the next release.

USED
OTP, gen_servers, gen_tcp, applications, failovers, crypto, erl interface - almost everything else.




- what improvements did you observe compared to previous, non-Erlang, projects?

We used an extreme programming methodology - and we saw a rapid time to market.

Very cost effective solution - our banking solution is about 30% - 50% the cost of similar banking solutions.

Modules gave us:
  Smaller code,
  easier maintenance,
  quick testing and integration.

Erlang OTP gave us: 
   beter version control and configuration management
   robustness
   functionality that is a given - ei it works (real time code updates, node failover)


- are you glad you chose Erlang, will you continue with Erlang, and would you recommend Erlang to others?

Glad is an understatement - it is a very solid solution.  (Not to say other solutions are NOT - our choices worked out fine on the project)
Currently - we are gearing to become an Erlang house - we are increasing our coding staff complement from 3 to 12 as we have acquired additional project with similar requirements, and Erlang as the back end to these solutions seems like the right way to go.  We are however selective on the projects.  Just because we've got a "silver bullet" doesn't imply that all projects are werewolves :)

Personally - we are recommending erlang to almost everyone - as long as it fits the project needs.

Any other / further questions - please let me know

Regards
Danie Schutte




Danie Schutte
Phone: +27 - 11 - 203 - 1613
Mobile: 084-468-3138
e-Mail: 

>>>  02/04/03 09:58AM >>>
> From: DANIESC SCHUTTE [mailto:] 
> 
> What kind of information would be required.  I've got 
> permission from the CEO of Teba Bank (South Africa) to 
> disclose "relevant" information.  We would like to let the 
> Erlang community know about this - (we've been approached for 
> an adaptation for a gsm cellular billing system integration - 
> and would like to have input / advice on this as well in 
> order to futher the solutions possibilities.)

As I am currently considering adopting Erlang for a project, I would
be interested to know:

- what were you using before?
- why did you choose Erlang?
- how long did the team take to learn Erlang and become productive?
- how many members of the team had previous Erlang experience?
- a brief description of the system's architecture, and the parts of Erlang that were used or not used.
- what improvements did you observe compared to previous, non-Erlang, projects?
- are you glad you chose Erlang, will you continue with Erlang, and would you recommend Erlang to others?

Thanks,

Dominic.
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