Andrew Johnston: Architecture and Consultancy Services

Case Study - Automtive Diagnostics Portal for TRW Inc / ID-Workshop Ltd. (May 2014 – April 2015)


Development of a web portal for the automotive aftermarket

Key Outcomes

Delivering a complex system ready for commercial exploitation

Key Challenges

Complex technologies and supplier structure, split between UK and Germany

Key Technologies

Amazon Web Services, Oracle WebCenter, Microsoft stack, Linux and open source technologies


TRW was seeking to establish an innovative web-based capability for the automotive aftermarket, fully integrating cloud-based vehicle diagnostics, technical workshop data, a knowledge base and distributor parts catalogues.

A small team of consultants was engaged at a point where the project was under imminent risk of closure, having spent a large investment with relatively little result. We first assessed that the project was worth saving, and were then challenged to do so.

A crude Proof of Concept had been developed without any effective unifying architectural viewpoint, and fell well short of commercial expectations in terms of usability, performance, reliability and scalability. As Programme Architect I worked with developers in London and Berlin to progressively develop unifying architectural principles, covering aspects such as performance, scalability, usability and reliability, and then to progressively apply these to an initial proof of concept to a point where we had confidence of its ability to perform as a commercial product. Alongside this I provided input to colleagues performing similar reworking of the programme’s commercial, management and procedural structures.

With the main development secured I undertook the prototype development of the system’s knowledge base. This can synthesise information from a number of external sources to guide mechanics from a diagnostic trouble code through to a parts recommendation which can then become a query in the distributor’s parts catalogue.


Peer Assessment

Please take a look at some of the nice things colleagues said at the end of project wrap-up.

See more: