• Alpha version of ITS Observatory platform ready
  • Validation will happen in near future and software platform will go live in October 2016
  • Knowledge system based on Open Source platform Joomla
  • Platform will be accessed from computers, tablets and smartphones
  • Optimised user interface will ensure intuitive and ease of use
  • Various tools including visual system for doing regional or map based searches will deliver more optimal search experience

With the presentation of the Alpha version of the ITS Observatory platform during the ITS Observatory validation workshop in Brussels 25 February 2016, a first and important step has been taken in the finalisation of the platform. The development of the platform, which will be launched to the public in October 2016, was based on a 1:1 development plan using the specifications of the Wireframe and Design. In addition, the work was largely based on the outcomes of the project’s research into users’ needs, the ITS classification and the system architecture.

The development phase ran as an agile project based on SCRUM and was split into sprints where multiple development tasks were grouped into individual sprints. The knowledge system used for developing the platform was based on the Open Source platform Joomla, which is one of the world’s leading content management systems. The ITS Observatory software platform was developed to be client-side platform independent and responsive so it can be accessed and used from computers, tablets and smartphones. All of the developments on the ITS Observatory will be GPL 3.0 licensed (www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.rdf) which guarantees the full right for all project partners to use and make change over time if necessary.

The software platform along with the implemented design into the template layer was initially rolled out and setup in a staging environment. Thereafter the individual development tasks were based on this and feedback was received from early on in the project, including the stakeholder workshop organised in Brussels 25 February 2016.

A series of extensions for Joomla were developed, which offer views for both the entering of data and the exposure of data to the public. Additionally, a series of tools was created for handling content and article creation within wizard type user interfaces. These interfaces were optimised to ensure intuitive and easy use. A visual system for doing regional or map based searches was implemented, offering the primary search parameters on top of a Google Map layer with clear identification of data types. This is used extensively throughout the ITS Observatory platform, thus showing the usage and application of different types of ITS projects in Europe in visual form. Finally, a series of web service layers was developed, so that external sources (ITS related organizations and experts) will be able to provide new knowledge (data) through a web service integration  which takes into account the standard specifications.

Within the next weeks the technical validation of the platform will take place in order for the final version to be ready for public use in October 2016.