Where the idea for A55ETS came from?


How did I come to the idea to create A55ETS? You won’t believe it, it’s because I hate forms! Every year I need to populate long insurance forms, and all the time I am supplying the same data. Then quarterly sales text, yearly tax return. Every contact with government means more long forms. I would prefer to be able to tell them: “You already have all the data. I gave you last year, and previous and then previous. If there is any change I can send you in a message”.

Another thing that is annoying me are various details that I need to keep for ever. For instance, do you know your car’s chassis number? Where are you going to look for it? It must be somewhere? Maybe you should just open the car hood and look there. Don’t we have a better solution?

It comes to a simple fact: there is no place where those details can be stored! They need to be entered once and kept there for ever. Car details should be added by the car dealer at the point of purchasing it. Basic insurer policy details should be added by the insurer at the time when the policy is created. As this is my data, I should be in control of it. If anybody needs any of them, I should be able to let them go there and look.

This all seems simple, why hasn’t anybody made it?

That’s how it started. First, we had to name what are we dealing with. We called it asset. Couldn’t find a better name. This your mobile phone, car etc, but also your job, your home, gas or electricity. Its everything that you have or use and have a contract with a supplier. This asset is in the middle between you and the supplier. It is a reason you two have relation. When you communicate, it is always regarding some particular asset.

So, we made a record for the assets. It has fixed data like name etc but also each asset has its own specific data, remember car chassis number.
Then, there must be a record for me or a person, and also for suppliers. We will be both linked to an asset and we will be able to communicate in regard to the asset. As it is my data, I will be in a command determining who can see each of the assets.

This was the beginning. It was the basic idea and data structure, and despite layers and layers of code and features, still somewhere there deep inside this still holds everything in place.

When much later we had a version that we could test, guess what was my job to do? I had to create records for some assets and populate data as realistic as possible. I decided to use the real data: my phone, house, car etc. And what was I doing, populating the forms! Again! Chassis number and the rest!

I said to myself, just this time and never else. If this works out, my new car record will come with the car, and I will just take it over. All the others that need this data, like car insurer, car service, NRMA and who know what else, will get the right to access and LOOK FOR THEMSELVE. What a paradise!