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Case Study: Online Conference Scheduling Application

Industry: Technology
Technologies used: Borland Delphi 5, Web Broker, Interbase 6, ISAPI, Connection pooling
Implemented by: Agni Software Private Limited


A world famous software conference is increasing in strength and number of attendees. Every year, the conference has an increasingly large number of technical and other sessions, lunches, birds-of-a-feather sessions and more. The biggest problem of an attendee is one of scheduling: How is one to schedule the best path through the conference, to gain the maximum from it?

Agni Software has provided a solution: web based schedule management. Attendees no longer need to mark their sessions on large volumes of papers, not knowing where or what the next session is about. They can launch a web browser weeks before the conference, organize their schedule by searching and adding sessions to a “personal schedule”, and maintain it on the web. They can also print the schedule or download it to their Palmtop computers. The load on both the conference planners and attendees is reduced, and productivity gains are maximum.

The Challenge

The biggest challenge was to ensure robustness, availability and scalability. Since the application would only be relevant for a few weeks, the conference vendor needed to ensure that down time was kept to a minimum, be it server upgrades or stability checks. Also the database needed to be available for changes to sessions, rooms, speakers and keynotes.

The other challenge was time: Conferences are usually planned a year in advance, but this application needed to be built and deployed in days, not even weeks.

The Solution

Agni Software built a robust, integrated solution that allowed attendees to login, add their sessions to a personalized web based scheduler that saved their schedule for them even after they had logged off. Users could download their schedules to a Palm or a Pocket PC, and integrate it with Microsoft Outlook. They could also change their schedules online from any PC, including those available at the conference.


The solution uses Borland’s WebBroker technology, and was written in Borland Delphi 5.

The solution was tested using a number of regression and load testing tools, and was found to support way beyond the number of users prescribed by the conference vendor. The application used a vast multi-threaded approach, with a thread pool, a database pool and a connection pool to maximize the resource usage and availability.

Integrated with Interbase 6, the application provided automatic transaction management, and ensured the time taking activities (such as database queries) were controlled in a “sandbox”. The security of the application was paramount, since malicious usage could lead to many unhappy users – the application ensured all input parameters were checked and properly parameterized before they were sent to the database.

The Palm support was added using a Conduit using the Conduit components from TabDee Ltd. ( A Palm application was built for this purpose, using the Pascal based Palm compiler, Pocket-Technologies (

The PocketPC area was built using a Microsoft Outlook integration application that would synchronize with the PocketPC on demand.

Application: Web based schedule management
Database Server: Interbase 6
Operating System: Windows
Development Team Size 3


The solution provided was liked by a number of attendees who showed their support and excitement on the conference newsgroup. The Conference vendors were immensely pleased because of the reduced support requests, and as members of Agni Software who attended the conference noticed, the solution was in use from PCs to Laptops and Palm/PocketPCs throughout the conference.

The scalability of the application was demonstrated by the fact that the application never needed to scale out of the machine it was first deployed in. The database was always available and secure. All in all, it was a brilliantly executed solution to the delight of the organizer and attendees of the conference.

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