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SSi Limited case study

Developer finds secret ingredient with JADE


  • JADE Technologies
  • Software development
  • Managed services

It takes a special kind of software developer to create software across several industries. Software developers SSi do just that, building software for industries from food manufacturing to timber tracking to real estate. 


Cooking up a storm with GlobalBake

SSi’s flagship software GlobalBake, is used by multiple manufacturers in 10 countries. A single tool for sales, inventory, manufacturing, product development, customer service, and accounting, the system is used by a wide range of bakers and food manufacturers.

As freshness is vital to the success of food manufacturing, interrupted production or delivery are the seeds of a manufacturer’s downfall. GlobalBake is famous for reliability and flexibility. In fact, GlobalBake is so flexible that other manufacturers have come knocking. Recently a brewery has adopted GlobalBake for their fermentation-based manufacturing process. 

How does SSi develop software that performs so consistently while remaining flexible enough to span several industries? They develop in JADETM.

“We don’t need layers of people because there are no layers of complexity,”

Kerry Glynn

Trimming development fat

Business software grows from heavy-duty development work. More developers lighten the load, but a smart programing language and good initial design can make an even bigger impact. 

SSi Director Kerry Glynn says a small team of three developers manage a range of parallel development, support, and implementation in JADE. “We don’t need layers of people because there are no layers of complexity,”

The evolution of JADE has made it easy for SSi to keep up with changing industry standards as they’ve progressed. When GlobalBake was first launched, no-one was thinking of letting retailers place orders with their manufacturing bakery online. Today, customers are placing orders directly into GlobalBake. 

JADE’s development environment also paves the way for SSi’s ongoing software releases. Critically, SSi developers work with different parts of the application simultaneously. Different features and changes are completed in unison. 

“To add a table or class to an existing scheme and integrate all the way through menus, including validation and entry forms, takes less than an hour. That’s it”, says Glynn.

Taking the tools out of the kitchen

Developing in JADE lets SSi branch out into other industries, including timber tracking in Ghana. The EU has a timber certification program, which means that if you want to sell wood to Europe you need to prove that it came from a sustainably managed source. Ghana’s first attempt at a wood tracking system (WTS) failed. A second attempt, with SSi as a new supplier, saw a new system built to track all legitimate forestry activity in Ghana. This reused what Glynn calls the “mental IP” of GlobalBake’s food safety functionality, which traces batches of ingredients from suppliers all the way to bake runs and shop shelves.

“It’s not about reuse – any language with a development environment structure can deliver reuse. It’s about inheritance and polymorphism, whereby much of our system behaviours are captured in the base layer. We can extend it to the financial layer and then finally to the application layer. This is the true value of JADE,” says Glynn.

“We’re able to capture common behaviours, map them to higher layers of abstraction, where appropriate, and extend them to generic and specific business functions, so everything looks and behaves the same.”

Kerry Glynn

Keeping the oven hot

Reliability is another benefit of building in JADE’s integrated environment. There’s no need to blend development work produced by different tools. Everything obeys the same rules and ‘commonality’, as it is known. This lessens the load on developers and the potential for bugs. 

“We’re able to capture common behaviours, map them to higher layers of abstraction, where appropriate, and extend them to generic and specific business functions, so everything looks and behaves the same.”

“JADE’s object-orientated design makes it easier for SSi to mirror the realities of business. Less is lost in translation, and so much commonality reduces overall development requirements,” says Glynn.

This sentiment carries through to SSi’s customers, too. Muffin bakers, and GlobalBake user,  United Baking Inc, count on the system’s reliability. 

"Support is always an issue for a large bakery operation like United," says United's Financial Controller Tom Wolf. "I like GlobalBake's reaction and response; they have been there for us 24/7. Since we started with GlobalBake in 2003, I could count on one hand the number of times we have called on them - it's just so reliable." 

Chewing gum and string, or day-in day-out reliability?

Some developers talk about software held together with chewing gum and string. They are referring to software made with multiple tools. The blended approach introduces more connections and potential weaknesses. An integrated software development environment, like JADE, produces more reliable software, because development is connected. Around the world hundreds of food manufacturers trust the reliability of software developed in JADE.

Got a complex problem to solve?

We’ll help you come up with a solution info@jadeworld.com.

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