U.S. Postal Service (USPS), U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS)
Inspection Service Business Solutions Center (ISBSC) – Property Evidence Acquisition Program (PEAP)
MOBILE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT
The mission of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) is to support and protect the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and its employees, infrastructure, and customers; enforce the laws that defend the nation’s mail system from illegal or dangerous use; and ensure public trust in the mail. The Inspection Service Business Solutions Center (ISBSC) contracted Impyrian, LLC as a consultant to provide IT solutions for core business customers to support this mission through the development and release of software to end users at offices and also in the field in the form of enhancements to an existing web application supporting the Property Evidence Acquisition Program (PEAP) and the development of new native iOS mobile application.
Inspectors used an Intelligent Mail Device (IMD) for 10 years to scan evidence and upload the evidence to the PEAP web application. The vendor stopped supporting the device and the battery also started dying out. The device also did not have a wireless or cellular signal which required Inspectors to dock the IMD into a docking station in the office to transfer data to the backend of the web application. Inspectors needed both a mobile printer to print evidence barcodes and to print receipts and the scanner. They used the scanner to scan evidence, take pictures for evidence, and input evidence information.
The proposed solution included the following:
- Development of an iOS native mobile application (PEAP++) which an Inspector can use on an iPhone or iPad to scan barcodes, take pictures, sign signature, and submit data to the existing web application.
- Redesign of all five (5) existing applications/modules on the scanner on the iOS devices. Evidence Collection, Evidence Transfer, Evidence Inventory, CHINS Inventory, ETS Barcode
- The mobile app on the iOS device connects with the existing web application through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) so the user can update data directly in the database without the need to be in the office.
- The mobile application can collect data locally on the iOS device if VPN is not available. In other words, the mobile application works in both Online and Offline mode.
Impyrian used an agile process to first work with the business partner and the key stakeholders to develop user stories for each of the five (5) existing applications/modules on the existing scanner. From there, the team developed the high-level architecture of the new application for use with a new Bluetooth mobile printer and an iPhone or iPad. In the effort to move to iOS the team had to use Xcode, the Swift programming language, Core Data, .NET Core for web services, and SQL Server to build each module for PEAP++. VPN was used to connect to the existing web application to upload or download data needed for each module. The Impyrian team provided demos to the key stakeholders at the end of each two-week sprint to get feedback and update the customer on the progress of each module. Each module went through System Integration Testing (SIT) and Customer Acceptance Testing (CAT) after the code was completed.
Impyrian delivered an enhanced PEAP application and a new iOS mobile application (PEAP++) to the customer that gave Inspectors the ability to use a new mobile Bluetooth printer, and to work in Online and Offline mode from the field or the office while using either an iPhone or iPad. This provided a better user experience, greater efficiency in collecting evidence, and greater productivity for Inspectors.