A large manufacturer of printers and scanners had a project that was developed in house by a team of off-shore engineers using a proprietary RTOS and hardware. This device scanned documents, converted them to PDF format and then emailed them to recipients. However, the support costs for the software were a major problem. They had already invested almost 60 man-years in development and didn’t see an end in sight. They contacted the PTR Group to see if we could develop an open-source equivalent using the customer’s existing code base.
Based on our analysis of the 17,000+ source files in the project, we deemed that the software architecture was too involved to be ported without a major effort. However, once we understood the goals of the product, two PTR engineers were able to achieve 95% of the product’s capabilities using COTS hardware and open-source software in less than 6 weeks of effort. We used an open-source web server for the user interfaces, Linux for the O/S and existing open-source user applications for the scanning, PDF operation and email facilities. Total new software was less than 100 lines of code.