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A Web Application to Modernize Processes

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The Customer

Boys Town National Research Hospital is an internationally recognized leader in clinical and research programs focused on improving childhood communication and neurobehavioral disorders.

The Project

A Web Application to Modernize Processes


Research fuels innovation in healthcare and youth services at Boys Town and results in life-saving care and treatments for children and families. Boys Town’s research division engaged Improving to modernize their grants and research process with a cross-platform web application.

The Challenge

Boys Town’s expanding research division wanted to invest in a modern software platform but was grappling with technology options and limited staff. Their process was hindered by a 20-year old C++ application that required manually generated spreadsheets to complete tasks, resulting in unnecessary mistakes and data redundancy. With limited internal resources available and the current developer’s exit, Boys Town thought this was the right time to modernize their process. They needed a centralized, long-term solution for managing grant level and compliance data, as well as their research participant registry.

The Solution

Improving collaborated with Boys Town to build a cross-platform web application and establish a DevOps environment. Working in an Agile model, we built three applications into the web app: grants administration, a proprietary participant registry, and study-level queries. Our team interviewed users to determine design requirements to build an intuitive web interface.

We built a full tech stack with a Groovy and Springboot backend, SQL server database, and React front end. We procured Linux servers to host internal applications. We instigated the adoption of tooling to support development work organization-wide—Atlassian Jira, Bitbucket, and Confluence, as well as Jenkins for continuous integration. And we helped them establish a DevOps environment and thoroughly documented the code and update process.

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The Business Benefits

The new web app added functionality and expanded data elements for Boys Town’s research laboratories. Research managers have a dashboard view of projects and can quickly run essential reports including extensive update reports required by funding and oversight agencies. The newly structured DevOps process makes application updates happen seamlessly, so the technology stays current without disrupting business operations. Notably, the web-based app is critical to making remote work possible during the pandemic, ensuring their vital research work continues.


The research team at Boys Town liked that the Improving developers were full-time, local developers who focused on creating the appropriate solution for their organization without upselling technology. Improving did a great job of documenting the code and the update process, giving Boys Town a structured process that benefits the organization for the long haul.

Why Improving?

The team at Boys Town appreciated Improving’s full-time, local developers focused on creating the right solution for their organization without upselling technology. The Improving team did a great job of documenting the code and the update process, giving Boys Town a structured process that benefits the organization for the long haul.

Application Modernization

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