Ferbritas: Corporate Document Management in a Services Oriented Architecture (SOA)

Ferbritas is a consulting and engineering company and is part of the REFER group – the Portuguese railway infrastructure manager, that provides specialized services in Transport Engineering, with a particular focus on all segments of the heavy and light rail sector.
Founded in 1976, it has for many years, been the only Portuguese company capable of providing services with specialized and experienced in-house resources in all fields of railway engineering, from conception and initial design to project management and construction site supervision.

The challenge

  • Ferbritas had a ten years old document management system, no longer supported and lacking the critical features and extensibility needed for their business.
  • Ferbritas needed total control over their documents and the ability to integrate with all their systems, ranging from the desktop tools - Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint - to the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Geographical Information System (GIS) in order to improve the end user productivity.
  • The existing Ferbritas document management platform was only available for some users, centralizing document management operations and creating unwanted bottlenecks

The solution

VILT designed and developed a Document Management solution using EMC Documentum and EMC Captiva technologies and featuring an advanced custom integration with the end user tools (e.g. Microsoft Office).
The solution was also integrated with all existing systems (ERP and GIS) using a custom developed SOA integration platform and VILT has ensured the complete migration of the existing document history – no information was lost.
The developed document management solution is comprised of several user interface components:

  • Custom Web User Interface
  • MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint plugins
  • MS Outlook plugins

The results

  • This integration architecture enables Ferbritas to add a new system or application to this SOA platform with minimum effort (plug & play) allowing the existing applications to immediately interact with the newly added system.
  • The control over all document assets was combined with the ease of use provided by the integration with the usual tools like Microsoft Office and Outlook, leading to higher productivity.

“Greater generalized efficiency in the common daily tasks, consolidated, coherent and validated information, greater reliability and security, greater speed and agility while accessing information, greater effectiveness while implementing rules and policies and fewer errors or omissions are factors that obviously translate to a reduced resource usage and consequently in less costs with better results.” (João Miranda, Ferbritas Project Leader)



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