We prefer to choose Open Source technologies. We grew up professionally in an era where these technologies were still emerging and were a bit marginal. We have learned to appreciate their value, both as an instrument for the democratization of technology and as a development methodology which often allows a greater flexibility and reliability if compared to proprietary technologies.
HCE develops its own applications in PHP. PHP is one of the languages that “hold the Web together”, and is being used for huge projects like Facebook, Wikipedia and Yahoo. Depending on the chosen statistics source, it is the sixth or the second most used programming language in the world. Many of our staff members are Zend Certified Engineers.
Since the beginnings of HCE, we have had the tendency to write our own code, to be sure that it performs exactly the way we want it to, as opposed to relying on limited third-party applications, or trying to bend a codebase written by somebody else to our specific needs. It is for this reason that we created Finnegan, a LAMP Framework which has now reached its 4th major release. Finnegan Framework is based on an HMVC paradigm: the MVC paradigm is applied both at an object level and for each piece of atomic piece of information that constitutes the whole object (object fields). This paradigm allows for a great flexibility in both the representation and the modification of information. Finnegnan is a performance-oriented framework, so it tends to only load the code that is strictly necessary for performing the task at hand: we believe that the framework must serve the project and not vice versa. Finnegan is highly extendible by the programmer, to guarantee faster development times. Thanks to an intelligent autoloading system all framework classes can be extended or even replaced in each single application.
Finnegan Framework is behind sites with millions of monthly visitors, and in its e-commerce applications it has generated several tens of million Euros of revenue for our clients.
When necessary or requested, we can develop applications using other existing frameworks such as Symfony, Zend Framework or, in a nodeJs context, Meteor.
We have developed an e-commerce plug-in for Finnegan called FinnCart, which allows to create virtual shops with the management of products, versions, multiple categories, different discount levels, coupons, multiple payment gateways and deliver methods, multiple languages and currencies, wishlists, and several other features. It has been connected with several of our customers' ERPs to guarantee the real-time update of stock. FinnCart is compatible with most of the main Payment Gateways in the Italian Market, and can be integrated with any modern Payment Gateway.
We almost exclusively use Finnegan Framework's CMS. Sometimes, for specific projects, we use Wordpress or Diem, which is a CMS based on Symfony and Zend Framework.
The PCI DSS certification is the top security standard for e-commerce worldwide. It is required for all websites that receive and process credit card data. It has very strict requisites in terms of the safety of the application (which is tested with intrusion tests), of the upgrade of underlying software libraries and of the safety of the hosting solutions which are being used for the application. HCE manages PCI DSS compliance and annual certification on the custom application we created with our Finnegan Framework for our customer Hostelsclub.com.
A lot of things happen on the “backstage” of the Web and the world of smartphone applications. Software and websites exchange data and, often, perform economic transactions. HCE creates and manages several high complexity Web Services, has created their documentation and often their specs, and monitors their performances and the level of load generated by requests. For example, we have created a complex Web Service system in the tourism field based on the international OTA standards OTA (Open Travel Alliance).
Third-party API integration
We have created several applications which interact with or are based on third-party APIs, such as Facebook's (custom applications, federated login systems, cross-posting systems) as well as those by Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. We have also created applications based on Google Maps' API.
HCE, thanks to its decade-long co-operation with the University of Udine, is specialized in the installation and advanced customization of the Moodle E-learning platform. We have made tens of installations of this platform, with varying degrees of complexity, which serve thousands of daily users.