Mission accomplished for Zurich’s police

Police Car - Case Study
  • TaskConceptual design, configuration and installation of a web application platform. Development of two new applications. UX/UI Design.

The canton of Zurich is one of the most densely populated regions in the Swiss service and industry landscape. Traffic volume is high, while Zurich’s airport serves as the gateway to the big wide world. As the government’s law enforcement arm, the police is ever more challenged to meet their requirements, while at the same time being physically stretched. And they have to perform these demanding tasks while guaranteeing utmost individual freedom combined with a high degree of personal safety.

Zurich cantonal police uses many MS Access based applications for a great variety of activities. The majority of these were programmed and maintained by police staff. The cantonal police recognised the risks of these types of applications, their operation and maintenance, and wanted to safeguard itself for the future. The intention was to replace these MS Access based applications in the short to medium term with up-to-date, device-independent web applications.


Data and application centralization

Within the scope of the project it was intended to design and configure a new web application platform and install it in a new infrastructure. Besides replacing existing applications, the platform was required to enable the simple and rapid development and implementation of new functions.

In addition to a common look & feel with responsive design, newly developed applications had to allow device-independent operation, enabling police to access databases during police operations. A specification perfectly suited to the Dolphin Platform, a development framework designed by Canoo.

To test the web platform’s capacity, two specific applications were developed with the Dolphin Platform as a “proof of concept”.


Overall project management

Besides development tasks, Canoo Engineering AG was responsible for managing the overall project. In addition to senior software engineers, as well as usability and UI design and infrastructure experts, the project team included experts from Metagon AG, as well as the police infrastructure and hosting partners Abraxas Informatik AG.


Centralized and reliable

Various MS Access databases were distributed on different network data systems in operation at the cantonal police. However, as MS Access was developed for small to medium sized databases, and crucially is not web-compatible, existing data were consolidated in a central database.


Easy operation thanks to modern UI design

Besides application development, the definition of an easy-to-use, responsive user interface was a vital concern. This would allow access to required data for police officers both in the office and on duty or patrol. Canoo’s UI experts developed this based on the open source framework Bootstrap. Bootstrap combines HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and is used for the presentation of user interfaces in browsers.


Successful implementation

“Despite a challenging environment, predominated by security concerns, the project was a complete success thanks, among other things, to the good cooperation with the application managers at Zurich cantonal police,” according to overall project manager Urs Hengartner.

We managed to complete the project on time and the end-users are delighted with the new applications. (Urs Hengartner, project manager)


Technologies used

  • Dolphin Platform
  • Spring
  • AngularJS
  • Hibernate
  • Bootstrap


What our customer said about the project

Thanks to the Canoo’s enormous know-how and flexibility we managed to develop great applications which really improved user satisfaction in a very short time. Together, we built the basis for future applications. (Beat Neff, Zurich cantonal police)