Rather than starting a technical implementation from scratch, our team built the DG Toolkit, a set of code modules that save the client time and money. Originally built in 2015, the DG Toolkit has been regularly improved and expanded since then.
Cost-Effective and Customizable
During the project assessment phase, DG works with partner institutions to define the full range of needs and requirements accordingly. Rather than using an ‘off-the-shelf’ tool, we use the existing DG Toolkit as a customizable ‘base’ from which we will build a system that meets the identified needs and requirements. This approach provides a cost-effective way for DG to design a system with the benefits of full customization that also integrates with its existing processes and systems.
Our open-source platform is based on the well-documented and popular Spring Framework that ties together multiple ready-to-use technologies (e.g. GIS, reporting, and database tools) in a streamlined format. Existing Modules include:
- The Persistence Module is the core module that ‘links’ the database to the different components of the toolkit. DG uses Hibernate for this module, which implements the commonly accepted JPA standard.
- A Web Module will provide web services for connecting to different systems, as well as provide a level of basic security.
- A Forms Module will be used for quickly building forms to enter data into the database, using Apache Wicket as its backend.
- The Reporting Module provides all data reporting capabilities, including the generation of data exports in XLS, PDF, DOC, and HTML formats.
- The UI Module is a template for building the system’s front-end design, working in conjunction with the web module as the back-end. It will be based on React.
The DG Toolkit, developed internally and continually tested and improved across various projects, is remarkably flexible – both easily customizable and ready-to-launch. Tools built using the DG Toolkit include the Open Contracting Explorer, AD3 Dashboard, YALI, OC Vialidad, TI Health, NEITI, Map Africa, Ghana GIS, PREMAND, CEPSA, Seeds Surveys, UNICEF 2030, and the Visualizing Insights on Fertilizer for African Agriculture (VIFAA) Dashboards. Using the DG Toolkit, we can prioritize building simple, stable, sustainable tools that meet the direct needs of our partners and clients.