Sap Netweaver Portal And Sms Based System Computer Science Essay

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Muncipal Coporation of Greater Mumbai or Brihanmumbai Muncipal Coporation is a civic body that governs city of Mumbai formerly known as Bombay. MCGM is known to be India's richest muncipal coporation. It is known that its annual budget is even more than few smaller states of India. Established in 1888 under Bombay Muncipal Act and is responsible for civic infrastructure and administration of Mumbai. MCGM is also known as the largest municipal corporation in Asian Continent.

MCGM plays a crucial role because of many key reasons such as Mumbai is the financial capital of India. Mumbai houses about 11.9 Million people. Mumbai is a merger of many islands. It is one of the famous tourist destinations of India. Due to these reasons it is essential for its civic body to run flawless and corporate with the people.

Past many years, MCGM have taken many key initiatives from their side to handle vital projects, for betterment of the city and for their people. Projects such as Economic development, Housing and Slum development, Disaster management, Heritage Conservation, Education, Health services, Urban Transportation, Environment, Emergency support services etc. These projects have been completed successfully and some are still under process.

MCGM is providing many services to the citizens of Mumbai. As government of the country or of the city has to face many problems / issues / complaints from the citizens, regarding the services rendered by the government, thus a solution too is expected from government's side. Thus on similar lines, I have selected the Complaint department of Asia's largest Municipal Corporation - MCGM. As MCGM renders thousands of important services to the people of Mumbai, each and every service is vital. Such as Birth Certificate: this certificate helps children take admission in any Government schools or even private schools. Birth certificate acts as a proof of your birth in that given city. Application of Birth certificates is at many places. On similar lines License for shop establishment, Death certificate, taxation etc. Each and every document plays important role in their own way, which is provided by MCGM.

2. Complaint Department:

One of the chief responsibilities of MCGM is addressing the complaints of the citizens of the city. Many times even small issues / complaints may lead to big problems. These problems can be made aware via two modes: one by surveillance (sensors/cameras), two by citizen reporting the problem. But problems can be accepted only during the office hours, when employees register their problem manually and then it is forwarded ahead, this could take time. Thus a mechanism to accept complaints from citizen 24 X 7 has been brought in by MCGM on their web portal. Citizen can contact MCGM via various modes: 1. Visit to ward office, where complainant files the complaint to the officer in-charge and then the officer puts the complaint into electronic form for other departments within MCGM to handle complaint. 2. Over telephone - complaint is registered in the call centre agent by typing the complaint into the system. 3. through web portal. 4. Via short message service (SMS).

Last two modes of registering the complaints, are launched recently and are a big hit among the citizens. Every mode of registering complaint is done via certain system application, and is forwarded to respective department to solve it. Stats show that every year approximately 30,000 complaints are filed officially, and are tried to solved as soon as possible.

3. Complaint Management System (CMS):

As we know various modes of registering complaints at MCGM, we here, try to analyse all modes. The first two modes are too time consuming, so the participation of citizens is poor comparatively. Major participation has been seen at web portals and SMS complaints. Thus here we will discuss how web portal system and SMS based system is being used at MCGM.

3.1. System Description (Web Portal):

As technology is increasing day by day, it is essential for each and every public organization to meet today's demand and help the citizens to work online via some portal so that their assignment or certification or any kind problem/complaints can be addressed quickly by the local organization and is solved to the earliest.

MCGM started with their web portal interface in 2008 with SAP India. MCGM's portal is based on SAP NetWeaver Portal, where the user / complainant fill in the necessary details by logging onto the portal. Various procedures are shown in the Annexure (fig1, fig2, fig3)

The Complaint is stored in the central database of MCGM which is accessible to all the wards and their respective ward officer. According to ward's, the complaint is distributed to their respective area officers. These officers take up the problem and keep updating the status of the compliant, lodged by the citizen. Status of the problem is available to the complainant 24 X 7 on the portal.

3.2. SAP NetWeaver Portal :

SAP NetWeaver is an integrated technology platform and is also known for all SAP applications. It is marketed as Service oriented application and integration platform. NetWeaver provides development and runtime environment for SAP applications and can be used for custom development and integration with other applications and systems. SAP NetWeaver is built on Microsoft.NET, IBM Websphere, and Sun Java EE.

SAP NetWeaver portal is flexible and secure, and enables the user to take full advantage of the organizations information assets. Some essential features and functions include are:

Portal-infrastructure Management : SAP NetWeaver provides a secured and personalised interface that unifies enterprise application, information, processes both third party sources and SAP into a coherent, role-based portal experience. NetWeaver Web Portal supports Microsoft Windows and UNIX. It supports more than 20 Global languages. SAP NetWeaver provides Security, Scalability, and Performance which is expected from SAP customers, along with easy user and content administration.

Collaboration : In collaborative environment, user can share information and access applications. It allows many users to work efficiently, work together, regardless of where they are located. Integrated tools like discussion forums, it enables powerful flow of communication and information across organizational boundaries, it has strong security. Extra applications such as instant messaging, Web conferencing, or groupware can also be collaborated.

Knowledge Management : SAP NetWeaver Portal provides user services such as organizing, findings and accessing unstructured content stored in third party repositories and SAP content management systems. Subject-matter experts and content managers can publish information to distinct users, which simplifies the publishing process.

3.3. Business Benefits of SAP NetWeaver:

Flexible Business Strategies - With NetWeaver, user has Visibility, Flexibility and Control to effectively execute, Monitor and refine Strategies.

Innovative Business Processes - Platform provides industry-specific software and allows user to recompose existing systems to support innovative processes.

Superior Business Value - SAP NetWeaver platform provides a business-focussed infrastructure that supports continuous improvement of processes. It minimizes the risk and cost of introducing new processes.

Unmatched User Experience - SAP NetWeaver provides Solution for an efficient user experience through a role-based portal interface. User can extend to all employees, suppliers, and customers.

3.4. IT Benefits of SAP NetWeaver:

Sustainable Cost Structure - It reduces the total cost of ownership across IT landscape. NetWeaver helps to collaborate with existing Non SAP platform with SAP system. Flexibility reduces the cost of changes.

Improved Development - SAP NetWeaver helps in composing new Business processes on the top of the existing system using an enterprise service oriented architecture based on web services, Java, other industry standards.

Easy development of extensible best practises - NetWeaver Portal supports Communication, knowledge management, and collaboration across existing systems.


4. SAP NetWeaver Portal Architecture:

Portal platform has an open architecture, due to this integration of SAP NetWwaver components such as Collaboration and Knowledge Management. The Portal is deployed on SAP Web Application Server, with which the platform shared Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). Platform of the portal includes objects that can access number of protocols. Although some protocols request individual objects directly.

Portal requires additional storage mechanism containing information about users. The mechanism that holds information must be accessible to the portal for purposes of authentication and authorization, allowing users to access various contents. Users are authenticated once, and then authorization in other applications is resolved by portal. A proprietary Certification Mechanism is installed with the portal to provide initial log in configuration. JDK (Java development kit) provides the Java Runtime environment required by Java software and components in the portal.

In our case study at MCGM, how this SAP NetWeaver portal does come to play. Fig4 in Annexure helps to us for better understanding. Initially SAP system is installed in the head office of MCGM. Every ward is installed with SAP system with different applications. Complete MCGM as well as the wards are connected to each other via Wide Area Network (WAN). Head office acts as primary data centre as shown in the figure. Application servers, ERP servers, File servers, and Mass storage facilities are present at head office. Each and every server is connected to WAN. On the other hand branch offices (ward's) are installed with many web clients, storage system and steelhead applications etc.

4.1. SAP NetWeaver Application Server Architecture:

Application Server of SAP NetWeaver is the central foundation for SAP software stack. Also provides platform for other Java oriented applications. J2EE standard is supported. The Design is aimed at proving an high level of robustness and maintainability for applications running on it.

Technical Components: (for reference fig5 in Annexure)

Internet Communication Manager (ICM): ICM sets up connection to internet. It processes both server and client Web request. ICM supports the protocols HTTP, HTTPS, and SMTP.

Dispatcher: It distributes the request to the work processes. Dispatcher queue comes into play if all processes are occupied the requests.

Work Processes: It Executes ABAP or Java Program.

SAP Gateway: Makes RFC interface between the SAP instances.

Message Server: Exchanges messages and balances the load in SAP system.

5. CMS via Short Message Service (SMS):

As we know the web portal is available 24 X 7, but the internet connectivity in India is not very high. On the other hand, mobile phone penetration is very high, and is growing in India, especially in city like Mumbai. It was essential for MCGM, to provide citizen the comfort to lodge complaint via mobile phones (SMS). MCGM provided an easy, cheap mode of lodging their complaints. SMS based natural language interface (NLI) can be a mode for citizens to register complaints. Thus, advantage to this system is: 1) requires no change in already existing web portal. 2) Not necessary for the citizen to remember any specific information to file a complaint. 3) SMS channel is the most economic way in India to tone active participation among the citizens.

5.1. System Description (SMS mode):

Natural language based interface has the similar functionalities that of web portal (SAP NetWeaver). User can use 160 characters to register his / her complaint via some predefined code. SMS complaint in natural English language is routed to the system. Then the system interprets the complaints using Natural Language Processing techniques to determine the nature, other details of the complaint. Once the complaint is being registered by the system, it is then forwarded to MCGM complaint handling system in compatible format of SAP NetWeaver. Further according to SAP system, complaint is forwarded to the required MCGM ward officer. In reply to the complaints, MCGM acknowledge them back via SMS. Block Diagram of the System is shown in the fig6. System makes use of already available web portal interface platform to register complaint and assist the citizen to file the complaint via SMS. Input to system is free format English SMS. System analyzes the SMS complaint using NLI technique to check complaint for all mandatory information. If yes (arrow 6) sends information to system in understandable and compatible to MCGM system. MCGM system sends back the complaint number to the citizen (arrow 6, 7, 8) else (arrow 2). In some cases the citizen sends some different kind of complaint whose acknowledgement is cannot be generated by the system, at that moment the system sends some queries so that the required information is achieved via round of SMS'es (arrow 3, 4). This interaction can happen more than once (path 3, 4, 5; 3). All these complaints via SMS'es are registerd at web based portal (SAP NetWeaver). Citizen can check the status of the complaint on Portal via complaint number.

6. Benefits of SMS based System at MCGM:

With present IT infrastructure at MCGM, SMS based services will make easier for citizens to lodge complaint whenever they want, as these complaints will finally be lodged in the central database via SAP portal.

It is a reliable source of communication, with delivery notification and acknowledgement by MCGM.

24 X 7 support from MCGM via SMS.

Technical stats show 98% of interrupted service at MCGM.

As people may find Web based portal difficult to access, SMS based complaint-lodging process is much easier for them and can register complaints whenever they are on the move in the city.

On Organizations point of view, as more complaints come in, better the city, better the administration.

At MCGM, every year 30,000 complaints are lodged via web based portal or manually. As introduction of SMS based service may increase the number of complaints, this would help MCGM to serve better.

Further development can be made, by lodging complaints in Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati etc. via SMS, so that this could make citizen more comfortable with the services. (yet this is not available.)

7. Conclusion:

Web Portal: MCGM started with their SAP based NetWeaver web portal in 2008. Being Asia's largest local government it was essential for MCGM to connect to people of the city. MCGM has more budget than many of the small states in India, thus we can imagine the role played by the local body is Mumbai enormous. Thus local Government body tied up with SAP for an interactive and user friendly portal for themselves and people of Mumbai. Local Government will always work if they are in direct contact with their citizens and solve their problems quickly. Thus for any local administrative body complaint department plays a crucial role. MCGM started with Complaint Management System (CMS), especially to address citizen's problems via web portal. Today SAP NetWeaver Portal is being used on .

SMS based System: MCGM has not full-fledged started with registration of complaints via SMS but initial stages have been a success for them. As it is not possible for everyone to use web portal to register their complaints as internet connectivity is not that high in India. But mobile phone connectivity is high in India, so to connect quickly with citizens, SMS service was enabled with MCGM. SMS services will not only help MCGM to address problems but help them get connected to people closely and solve their problem successfully.

8. Annexure:

Fig1. / Above: MCGM portal Fig 2. / Below: MCGM Complaint Management System (CMS)Untitled1.jpgUntitled2.jpg

Fig3. / Above: Application to lodge a complaint on SAP NetWeaver Portal Untitled3.jpg

Fig4. / Below: SAP NetWeaver portal Architecture at MCGM (Sample)


This graphic is explained in the accompanying text

Fig5. / Above: SAP NetWeaver Server Architecture

Fig6. / Below: Block Diagram of Natural Language Interface system used in SMS service.

Citizens Mobile Phone 8

Is complaint complete? 1

MCGM Complaint portal YES 6

Parse to find Complaint number. 5 7

4 2 NO

Generate dynamically the query to seek information