HAPI: The Design and Implementation of a Universal Software Messaging System for the Mortgage Industry
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While studying computer science at Kalamazoo College, I have had many opportunities to write software in the form of programming projects - small programs which focus on displaying specific skills and knowledge. These projects are helpful tutorials on many important algorithms and data structures, but unfortunately fail to provide the student with an accurate idea of what real-world software development entails. This was better approximated by the Software Engineering course, which allowed students to work together on one large piece of software. Still, with other courses and responsibilities, as well as the short ten-week quarter, the project did not have the same feel as one which consumes an entire day for several months. This summer, I had the opportunity to work on a project in the mortgage software industry. This experience provided me with a chance to see what life as a professional software developer is like, as well as work with state-of-the-art development tools. Due to confidentiality contracts, I must use a pseudonym for both the company for which I worked and the project I helped design and implement. I will call the company Hipware, and the project HAPI (Hipware messaging Applications Program Interface ). Hipware is a small company whose main client base is the mortgage industry. Our technology focuses on using digital imaging and electronic transmittal to increase the productivity of our clients. Section 2 provides a more detailed description of how the mortgage industry works and how Hipware fits into the picture. My project this summer involves the design and implementation of an extension for our current applications which would give our clients a universal messaging system. This allows each application to view many different vectors of electronic transmittal, such as modem, Internet mail, or MAPI (see sections 3.3 and 3.4) through a single interface. The focus of my paper will be on the decisions we made both while designing and implementing HAPI, as well as my evaluation of the success of the project.