aiticon presentation about SAP and OpenText Web Site ManagementClearly Separated - Well Combined

We are specialists when it comes to OpenText Web Site Management and have completed numerous successful projects - the "Mainova OnlineService Relaunch" among them. aiticon managing director Matthias Herlitzius and Torsten Seidl, head of CRM/Onlineservice/iOpt with Mainova, presented this joint project at OpenText Innovation Tour 2015 in Munich.

Mainova AG is one of the ten biggest regional energy providers in Germany. Their hitherto existing online customer portal had been online since 2004. What had been up to date at that time, wasn't able to fulfill all wishes and demands posed to a modern web application in 2014.

Portal relaunch

Thus, aiticon was commissioned to relaunch the entire customer portal. Nowadays, it has more than 250,000 registered users, who can close and administer their gas, water and energy contracts here. You can directly register as a new customer, alter your tariff, change payment information or put down recent meter readings.

Native integration

The main requirement for the new concept was to natively integrate the customer portal into the Mainova website. So far, both platforms had been independent, the customer service exclusively based on SAP Netweaver (Version 6.4), which allowed for little creative leeway. As an additional main requirement, Mainova's online editors were to be able to maintain the service portal's content themselves, with neither the support from the inhouse IT department nor the detour via an SAP consultant.

Better UX

Plus, the site was to be able to work as foundation for future stages of expansion - e.g. provide the opportunity to be displayed on a computer as well as smartphone or tablet screens. A modern user interface was among the customer's desires, too, as well as an overall better user experience.

SAP access via SOAP

With aiticon, realization started in early 2014 with the conceptual design, based on layouts produced by Mainova's specialist departmens. From the end of May onward, Mainova was provided with initial click dummies. At the same time, from late April onward, with aiticon, Java developers started working on the portles for the access to the SAP systems - an overlap made neccessary because of the close schedule and possible by the clear Separation of Concerns (SoC) executed by aiticon.

Through portlets (JSR 286), the SAP systems are integrated natively into the OpenText Web Site Management Delivery Server. Those portlets use SOAP webservices provided by the SAP systems and take care of the neccessary web logic.

The portlets' layered architecture.
The portlets' layered architecture.

Clean object-orientation

For a clean and completely object-oriented development of the portlets in Java, aiticon distinguishes between a Mainova-specific business model and a universal representational model. The latter releases separate views of the online service as representationally neutral XML. This is enriched with content edited by Mainova's online editorial staff in OpenText Web Site Management Server.

Transformation within Delivery Server

Thusly conditioned XML is transformed into HTML within the Delivery Server.This unique representational model is part of appNG. appNG is an application platform developed by aiticon and to be released as open source software soon. It holds ample efficient solutions for numerous complex use cases. appNG can not only be used as a complete application platform: even separate components offer considerable additional benefit - like in the case of Mainova OnlineService.

Energy for Frankfurt

Mainova AG is one of the ten biggest regional energy providers in Germany and delivers energy, natural gas, heating and water to about one million people in Hesse and the adjoining German states. The energy and water provider employs about 2,800 men and women and achieved 2,2 billion Euros turnover in the year 2013. Biggest shareholder is the city of Frankfurt am Main.

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