Portfolio Skills

Delve into our background: Browse through a selection of our projects based on our skills and see some of the innovative software, applications and web services we have created for and with our clients. We develop for many platforms and work with Windows, UNIX, Linux and OS X servers.

Literatuurplein, a Literary Treasure Trove

Literatuurplein, a Literary Treasure Trove

Koninklijke Bibliotheek

Literatuurplein – a Literary Treasure Trove

Literatuurplein – a Literary treasure trove

Literatuurplein.nl is a unique concept created by Jef van Gool. Most of all it’s an extensive website which stimulates interest in Dutch Literature and promotes an interest in reading. Together with the software company “the Dutch Republic“, they launched a first version of Literatuurplein back in 2004. Unfortunately, the site didn’t meet their expectations, so they turned to BSL for advice. We were asked to investigate how the software was written and to suggest how it could be improved. Our advice was:

  • design a new data model and use a more advanced database
  • introduce a virtual book concept (representing multiple editions)
  • add high-performance, flexible free text search technology
  • adopt a modern Java platform

The client took this advice to heart. As a result they decided to rebuild the product, and they asked BSL to carry out the work. We designed and developed a completely new Literatuurplein over a period of 4-5 months. The new site was an immediate success. Furthermore, due to the good partnership, we’ve continued to work on many follow-up projects. First of all adding many new features, but also modifying the site as the library infrastructure and standards changed.

Literatuurplein – een literaire schatkist
Literatuurplein – een literaire schatkist

Move with the times

During the development of a new Literatuurplein.nl we switched to an Oracle database and Oracle Text. The use of Oracle Text enabled us to introduce an intelligent search engine, making content in the site easier to maintain and to find. In the years that followed, our developers have continuously improved the technology and infrastructure of the website.

In 2012, the new product owner, Stichting Bibliotheek.nl (or BNL), asked BSL to adapt Literatuurplein to their own house style. At the same time, we added a major new feature – the users were given the opportunity to personalize their home pages. In addition, we introduced a wide range of widgets so that public libraries throughout the Netherlands can use Literatuurplein contents on their own websites. We currently provide more than 20 library services (such as literary news, and a literary agenda) using Literatuurplein web-services. As result, hundreds of libraries make use of Literatuurplein content in the Netherlands.

In 2015 Literatuurplein was taken over by the Royal Library (KB). Their first priority was to integrate the BNL infrastructure within their organization. At the end of 2016, KB asked us to update the site so that it meets current standards. Most noteworthy, the site became fully responsive – easy to use on both mobiles and desktop browsers.

Move with the times

During the development of a new Literatuurplein.nl we switched to an Oracle database and Oracle Text. The use of Oracle Text enabled us to introduce an intelligent search engine, making content in the site easier to maintain and to find. In the years that followed, our developers have continuously improved the technology and infrastructure of the website.

In 2012, the new product owner, Stichting Bibliotheek.nl (or BNL), asked BSL to adapt Literatuurplein to their own house style. At the same time, we added a major new feature – the users were given the opportunity to personalize their home pages. In addition, we introduced a wide range of widgets so that public libraries throughout the Netherlands can use Literatuurplein contents on their own websites. We currently provide more than 20 library services (such as literary news, and a literary agenda) using Literatuurplein web-services. As result, hundreds of libraries make use of Literatuurplein content in the Netherlands.

In 2015 Literatuurplein was taken over by the Royal Library (KB). Their first priority was to integrate the BNL infrastructure within their organization. At the end of 2016, KB asked us to update the site so that it meets current standards. Most noteworthy, the site became fully responsive – easy to use on both mobiles and desktop browsers.

Literatuurplein – een literaire schatkist

“BSL believes it is important to keep up with current trends and developments. With more than four million visitors a year, Literatuurplein is an intensively used website. Therefore it’s important that the site is accessible by all users. Since the use of  site on mobile devices is increasing, creating a fully responsive website was our number one priority.”

Roderick

Front-end Developer , Bright Side of Life

A great success

Literatuurplein has been a well-known and established name in the world of Dutch literature for years. The website attracts no fewer than 4,000,000 visitors annually. Literatuurplein now contains information describing more than 700,000 books, and more than 320,000 authors. There are more than 3,500 news items to be found.

New articles are added each day, and new titles are imported and updated using sources such as NBD Biblion and Centraal Boekhuis automatically. In addition, a team of editors adds new content such as reviews, columns, podcasts and videos. Because of the extensive literary agenda, Literatuurplein visitors are always aware of literary events and radio and TV programs with literature as their theme.

 

“With regard to technical development and infrastructure management, The Bright Side of Life in Breukelen has been a particularly constructive and creative partner for all these years.”

Jef van Gool

Product Owner

At BSL, you’re at the right address for…

Expert in search technologies

BSL has a broad experience in developing complex online database solutions. This expertise came in handy during the management of the contents of Literatuurplein. Literary databases are often very complex…

  • authors’ names are often written in different ways – and sometimes misspelt by users when searching
  • authors may use pseudonyms –  and publishers use varied notations
  • books exist in multiple editions – with some attributes shared (eg: titles), but some separate (ISBN / EAN)
  • users often search for partial titles – requiring special matching rules
Trends & developments

It is important that websites go along with current trends and developments. Even the most beautiful and technical websites are not up-to-date after a few years. That is why it is important to update the technical aspects of the website after a number of years. This is the perfect time to take a critical look at the design and content of the website. Are there functions that are missing or functions that are used too little?

Long-term support

When a software product has gone into production, users often need support and maintenance for the longer term. That is why we offer our customers a range of flexible support services. In the case of Literatuurplein this means 7 days a week support to the KB and its Literatuurplein users.

You’re welcome to get in touch with me if you have a project in mind, or want to discuss how best to approach your next development project.

Caroline

Relations Manager, Bright Side of Life

CRV – Multimedia Web Application

CRV – Multimedia Web Application

Coöperatie Rundveeverbetering

CRV Multimedia Database

CRV – Multimedia Database

CRV Holding B.V. (CRV) is an innovative organization based in the Netherlands. It was established as an international center of excellence for animal husbandry and cattle improvement. In particular, the CRV aims to create added value for professional dairy and beef farmers . They do so by offering high-quality products and services. Alongside its home market, the CRV’s products and services are available in more than 50 countries.

An important part of CRV’s service is the maintenance of extensive cattle records (text, images and videos). They wanted to manage their photo archive in digital form, for direct use by online publications. To this end, we designed their Digital Photo Archive (DFA). The DFA was based on our Digital Asset Management software (FRS). Our engineers have since created their Multimedia Database (MMB). The MMB subsequently contains thousands of photos of dairy and breeding cattle. And hundreds of videos too. What’s more, the MMB is fully integrated within the CRV network infrastructure and workflows.

CRV Multimedia Database – Web Application
CRV Multimedia Database – Web Application

Manage files with a unique database

With the Multimedia Databank (MMB), the CRV can automatically import multiple images. In a variety of formats. Our software first compresses them, then stores them centrally in different resolutions. It also automatically adds attributes, and couples source descriptions to the images. Especially relevant, we can enrich the data using links that we make with other data sources within CRV.  Authorized employees can then update this information using a custom web application we developed. What is more, they can add or update further attributes associated with each animal. And finally, they can make selections from the database contents (including photos, videos and descriptions). They can then share these selections with CRV partners worldwide.

Because we store the files in an Oracle database, MMB is stable, fast and reliable. Moreover, the use of Oracle Text means that CRV employees can use 40 different search attributes to  find the right material.

Manage files with a unique database

With the Multimedia Databank (MMB), the CRV can automatically import multiple images. In a variety of formats. Our software first compresses them, then stores them centrally in different resolutions. It also automatically adds attributes, and couples source descriptions to the images. Especially relevant, we can enrich the data using links that we make with other data sources within CRV.  Authorized employees can then update this information using a custom web application we developed. What is more, they can add or update further attributes associated with each animal. And finally, they can make selections from the database contents (including photos, videos and descriptions). They can then share these selections with CRV partners worldwide.

Because we store the files in an Oracle database, MMB is stable, fast and reliable. Moreover, the use of Oracle Text means that CRV employees can use 40 different search attributes to  find the right material.

CRV Multimedia Database – Web Application

At BSL, you’re at the right address for…

Multilingual database

The CRV Multimedia Database is multilingual in every respect. Firstly because the interface is available in several languages. But users can translate the contents too. And carry out searches in different languages as well. This means the CRV can share its unique database contents with international subsidiaries and partners. Colleagues and customers worldwide have secure, fast access to its photo archive and film material.

Database expertise

We have years of experience working with multimedia database solutions. And our modular approach makes us flexible. Which means we have the expertise to integrate our solutions with your current infrastructure. Our developers have created links between the Multimedia Database (MMB) and the International Cattle Information System (IRIS). With one press of a button, our software first reads data from the IRIS system. Next it couples the data to individual images. In addition, the MMB registers studbook records, breeding values, and milk production figures. This link therefore not only saves time. It also ensures that CRV employees have continual access to up-to-date and accurate data.

Intelligent search engines

BSL has expertise with many search and business intelligence technologies. These include Autonomy, ExaleadOracle TextElastic Search and Sybase FTS. Which means we can index the entire contents of documents. To do so, we use language intelligence and semantic search techniques to recognize words, sentences, concepts and synonyms. Applying these technologies, we can therefore find and select the most relevant information. Even from millions of documents.

“We gave the Multimedia Database an extra dimension when we rolled it out for use by the CRV.  I’m referring to the multi-lingual support. But also the additional features we developed. In particular, how we helped support the CRV’s workflow. One of the main challenges was to implement the product so that all departments had optimum benefit from the database.  And to ensure it became part of their daily work processes.”

Eric

Software Architect, Bright Side of Life

Literatuurplein.nl Brochure

Literatuurplein.nl Brochure

Literatuurplein.nl Brochure

Literatuurplein

The Netherlands Public Library Association promotes the interests of its members, including management of its flagship Literatuurplein web site (Literatuurplen.nl). At the start of the project BSL completely rewrote the software and improved the underlying database using high-performance search technology. We added new features to make the site even more user-friendly. Our journey didn’t end there – we have since added many different content types, creating a unique title database, and a custom CMS designed specifically for the Public Libraries editorial team. The site now provides web services and title information to many libraries throughout the Netherlands.
(more…)

CRV Multimedia DB Brochure

CRV Multimedia DB Brochure

CRV Multimedia DB Brochure

CRV Multimedia DB

CRV maintains a comprehensive database of herd records including many photos. The Bright Side of Life (BSL) was therefore asked to develop the Digital Photo Archive (DPA), an image database. Based on BSL’s standard Asset Management software (FRS), the DPA is now a multimedia DB (MMB), a unique database containing thousands of dairy and breeding stock images, as well as hundreds of videos…

(more…)

FD News and Image Archive Brochure

FD News and Image Archive Brochure

FD News and Image Archive Brochure

FD News and Image Archive

The Financieele Dagblad (FD) is the Dutch equivalent of the Financial Times. They focus on financial and economic news, background information and analyses. They also own a radio station (BNR). This provides up-to-the-minute financial news around the clock. FD editors make frequent use of the thousands of financial reports and news items that arrive each day from press bureaus. Their photo editors are responsible for commissioning and selecting the best possible images, also using press bureaus, and in-house resources. These images are used in print, and on the FD website. Keeping up-to-date with this constant stream of content is their number one priority. BSL was asked to develop an editorial system that could support their editors, and to archive the articles, images and broadcasts produced each day. The result – the FD’s News and Image Archive (NIA).
(more…)

Any questions?

Do you want to get an estimate for developing your custom software. Or advice on creating new websites, or integrating web applications with existing systems. We're happy to answer any questions you may have, no strings attached. Give us a call, or get in touch at sales@brightside.nl!

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