Vessel Vetting System


Leading multinational oil and gas corporation

What is Vessel Vetting?

Any ship can be involved in a maritime disaster which may result in the loss of human life, damage to the environment and infrastructure, clean-up costs, fines and loss of image for the company. Vessel Vetting is a risk assessment process carried out by charterers to help mitigate the risk of deficient vessels being used for the transportation of goods by sea or inland waterways.
For over the last 20 years, Silversands has been working with a number of Oil and Gas companies to develop Vetting systems bespoke to their own risk assessment and quality processes.

The Project

The vessel vetting process is a 24×7 system. Operation and timelines, responsiveness and accuracy are paramount requirements from any vessel vetting system. Our customer wanted to utilise contemporary technologies to provide a more robust and scalable 24×7 system that was accessible not only from PCs but also from tablets and mobile devices. Silversands was engaged to rewrite the existing legacy vetting solution to utilise these latest technologies.


The first version of the vessel vetting system for this customer was developed by Silversands in 1998. Since that date, Silversands has been supporting and enhancing the customer’s vetting system to meet the forever changing and challenging demands that a vetting operation requires. These enhancements were the result of business and industry changes but some are to utilise advancements in technology such as newer versions of the web browsers and database applications.

Requirements and Issues

  • Replace existing legacy Visual Basic desktop system with a web only application
  • Deliver a web solution that was responsive and accessible from any device
  • Replace legacy crystal reports solution
  • Maintain availability of legacy system while delivering new functionality
  • Upgrade SQL Server version
  • Migrate functionality and data in supporting Access databases to SQL server
  • Migrate import routines that take data supplied from third parties such as OCIMF, Pharox and ISS to a more robust solution
  • Add additional functionality
  • Design and deliver a Web App specifically for mobile devices and targeted at senior managers
  • Integrate solution with Skype for Business
  • Maintain strict security controls whilst moving to a new security framework
  • Maintain and ideally improve system response times

Our Solution

  • To provide a web only solution Silversands designed and rewrote the entire new solution in-house using ASP.NET, MVC, C# and relevant front-end UI frameworks including responsive framework based on Zurb CSS
  • Legacy crystal reports were rewritten using SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
  • SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) was used for the importing of third party data and exporting to other data sources
  • Functionality and data within Access Databases was implemented into the system design
  • New functionality was designed, workshopped and developed
  • The project was broken down into functional areas and solutions. These were released in such a way that allowed whole teams to move across to the new solution with little or no interruption of service
  • The Silversands project team adopted an agile approach internally with 2 weekly sprints and regular stand-ups. The customer project team were given regular code drops to test but the release to the User Acceptance Teams followed an approach akin to waterfall and consisted of 3 large releases
  • The solution went live in many locations around the world at different times. Silversands development and vetting experts were physically onsite while the pilot sites went live with functionality relevant to their business units.


  • The solution provided our customer’s vetting users around the world with a truly modern experience that maintained a standard look and feel throughout. Users were given a level of flexibility in how the solution could be accessed that up to that date had not been seen within the organisation.
  • This new system utilised a modern and supportable infrastructure whilst applying current software development tools and techniques. This enabled our customer to implement a simpler and less costly supporting infrastructure whilst realising additional savings by decommissioning legacy infrastructure.
  • The solution proved to be extremely effective in a short space of time keeping additional development costs to a minimum.
  • The delivered vetting solution provides users with the ability to provide a truly 24×7 operation accessible from any PC in the organisation and any approved tablet or iPhone.
  • The customer now has a robust yet versatile platform on which further functionally can easily be introduced.

Comments like “System is intuitive and very user friendly” and “I love the new system. It cuts down my time significantly” were received from end users.

We are now undertaking further enhancements and providing an ongoing support.


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