4  Case Study:  An Automated Street Opening Permit System 
4.1  Introduction to the System 
4.1.1  Overview and Purpose 
The Street Opening Permit System was developed for the Engineering Division of the 
Department of Public Works of the Town of Arlington, Massachusetts, to improve the process of 
applying for, issuing of, and administering of permits for street openings. Moving from a manual 
process to a computer supported approach promised good time savings both on the applicant's 
and the town's side. The system was implemented as an n tier Web application consisting of a 
browser based user interface, business logic programmed in Java, and a database backbone. 
The core part of the system is an application form that is processed automatically right at 
submittal time, and makes an immediate decision whether a permit can be granted or not. To 
make this possible, the engineering department is given extensive administrative functionality to 
configure the behavior of the system. Furthermore, a database is used to archive all issued 
permits, as well as all other system critical information. 
The system distinguishes two different user profiles: External users, which are the contractors 
and utility companies that apply for permits, and internal users, which are the town's employees 
that manage the system. 
Typical tasks for external users with the system are: 
   Applying for permits 
   Searching for, displaying and printing permits that have been issued to them 
Typical tasks for internal users with the system are: 
   Viewing, editing, deleting, or searching for issued permits 
   Configuring the behavior of the automated application approval system 
   Administering external users (contractors and utility companies) 
   Generating reports or billing information 
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