Airport Operation Management on Oracle and the NetBeans Platform
Next time you fly somewhere, be aware that a lot of the processing of your trip might have been planned via the NetBeans Platform! AirIT, based in Orlando, FL, provides software for managing airport operations. And, though AirIT is database agnostic, a majority of its installations are running on Oracle Database 10g or greater.
A short summary of the architecture of the NetBeans Platform applications that follow is provided by Jordan Ganoff, Software Engineer at Air-Transport IT Services, Inc, below:
At AirIT we've created a versatile multi-tiered enterprise application framework. We use the NetBeans Platform as the platform for our Swing client framework with Java EE application servers on the back end. Our framework currently provides the foundation for two in-house projects that are used to facilitate and optimize internal airport operations.
While the backend of AirIT's applications consists of an Airport Operational Database (AODB), one of the frontends for two of these applications is based on the NetBeans Platform. Why was the NetBeans Platform chosen? Jordan's response:
When we began thinking about evolving our rich client framework, we wanted a proven foundation to base it on. The NetBeans Platform provides us with a module-based system that includes many conveniences that we now take for granted: full Swing integration, allowing us to reuse existing UI components; a robust windowing framework, modes and undocking windows enhance user productivity; loose coupling between modules, allows for the recombination of modules to build new suites of products to meet the needs of a specific customer; and the ease of use, the underlying APIs are easy to pick up and use even for a developer new to the platform. The NetBeans Platform has been integral in our efforts to integrate our products into a comprehensive enterprise suite.
AirIT's solutions have already been installed and are operational at many airports around the world including Detroit, Minneapolis, Memphis, Philadelphia, Miami, Puerto Rico's, Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, Frankfurt, Berlin, and Düsseldorf International Airports in Germany.
Let's look at each of the two NetBeans Platform applications in turn, below.
Flight Information System
The application shown below is a commercial offering aimed at providing airports with an efficient means of managing their operations. What you see in the screenshots is one of AirIT's front ends, Flight Information System, used by airport personnel to plan for and manage flights of all types, airport usage (such as Concourses, Terminals, Gates, Ticket Counters), and flight schedules, among other information.
Local Departure Control System
The next application, Local Departure Control System (LDCS), is a passenger processing application, which uses the NetBeans Platform as one of its frontends. LDCS by AirIT is a straight-forward, feature rich, cost effective local passenger processing solution that allows airline operations without proprietary departure control systems to deliver first-rate passenger and baggage handling by alleviating the need to manually process passengers and baggage:
You can find more detailed information via the product page here.
Jordan adds: "These applications currently share modules and are built from the same base suite. We have something akin to suite chaining using the NetBeans Platform that ships with NetBeans IDE 6.1. We’re looking to upgrade in the near future to 6.8 and proper module inheritance (sharing them between different suites)."
Looks like the developers at AirIT have done a great job! There's quite a bit of NetBeans Platform development being done in the aerospace industry in general, from Skyguide in Switzerland, to NASA and Boeing and beyond. Seems to me that there's end-to-end modules for everything relating to flights on the NetBeans Platform: from boarding, to air traffic control, to the planning of space launches!