LK Domain Registry
From 1990 LK Domain Registry is the sole administrator for .lk (dot LK) domains in Sri Lanka. They’ve been facilitating domain names, name server records, and everything any other domain name provider does for local and foreign organisations. They do manage a wide range of top level domain names including .lk, .com.lk, .gov.lk, .edu.lk etc. On top of this they also provide both Sinhala and Tamil domain names (International Domain Names).
There were a few key challenges in designing and developing the software architecture for LK Domain Registry. One of the main was to take the 15 year old system they had and study the data and how the data has been managed and used, and propose with a new object orientated software system, which can ease their day to day business processes.
Being a local administrator for domain names, their domain name pricing structure, regulations and process in purchasing a domain was unique. Also there were a new features which the customers of LK Domain Registry was wanting to have. For example there was no way of editing the NS records of a domain name by a client themselves, and there was no way of paying online for a domain name registration.
LK Domain Registry was looking to provide a couple of new services for their clients, including hosting, building custom websites, improved billing cycles, etc.
The other biggest challenge is to design the software in a way where the current staff of LK Domain Registry could manage information about their customers and control domain names in a much effective way. With regards to this we were asked to design and develop bespoke interfaces where they can perform actions on specific tasks and build a comprehensive way of limiting access levels for various operations on domain names registrations.
We had to go through all the data models, the business processes and come up with questions for the client to answer so that we could dig out every single requirement. This consumed a lot of time and energy as the scope was so wide and the possibility of missing out a feature was so large. We also had to talk with the LK Domain Registry staff at different levels to understand how they use their current system, and what is their role in the process. After spending nearly two months of research we came up with a solid requirements specification. Of course we had to go on a few revisions, and presentations. Once we nailed down the requirements we started building test cases, designing test plans etc. We knew the importance of having proper test cases right from the first day as the system was going to be massive and it is going to get complicated towards the end of the project. Once we built the data model architecture and the admin interfaces, we started making a basic registration systems where a user can register a domain name for themselves, this was a prototype of the end result. When these interfaces were nailed down, we started migrating data from the old databases and setting up data in the new system, and we built scripts to validate randomly picked data for domain names, to make sure we’ve not missed any. Also the LK Domain Registry staff helped us with validating the domain names, and performing test operations.
Then next few months the focus was to develop and complete the my account interfaces and NS records administration features for the back office. After many efforts we got to the point where we could release the my account sections for the public as a beta. One of the key challenges was the new domain registrations and the renewal payments were still on the old systems, and we had to write a nightly migrator to import all the new data on to the new systems so the users can start using the system.
In the meantime we started working on the domain registration systems, and built a comprehensive domain search service using Angular and SilverStripe.
Finally another version of the system was made live at https://www.domains.lk/domainsearch, and anyone can register a domain name and make their payments using the new system.
Yet there are a few more features that we are using for IDNs, provide interfaces for domain sales agents, and permissions on domains for various users, and dashboards for the back office staff.
We are very proud that we engineered this system and are able to provide a whole new user experience for the customers of LK Domain Registry. And with this new system the users doesn’t have to call LK Domain Registry to make any slight change to their domain names and services.
With the new business automation, admin interfaces we’ve helped LK Domain Registry to serve their clients much effectively. And we are seeing a significant increase in the usage of the end to end systems.
It’s not the end there is more..
LK Domain Registry are looking to rebrand their website and the application to serve its clients, and looking to develop a mobile responsive website system. We hope that won't be so far away.
- 20 September 2016