The Client

The National Cancer Registry Ireland (NCRI) is a publicly appointed body, established in 1991, to identify, collect, classify, record, store and analyse information relating to the incidence and prevalence of cancer and related tumours in Ireland.


The Challenge

Aspira’s Software Development Team were awarded a Contract that was publicly contested to design and develop a new web based system for the management of cancer patient records for NCRI. The purpose of the application is to facilitate comprehensive recording of cancer incidence, treatment and patient details in the Republic of Ireland for the purpose of research and advanced data analytics. The request was to implement a bespoke enterprise application with a web front end, encompassing form data entry as well as back end bulk data input (multiple formats from clinical, laboratory, statistical and other sources) and processing (record matching, merging, deduplication, creation).  The existing bespoke system has evolved over 20 years and relied on installed applications and locally stored data. The new system was requested to bring usability, scalability and security was a high priority.


The Solution

Aspira provided a full team to implement this solution end to end, including business analysts, data & technical architects, developers, testers, and a project manager.

The Aspira Business Analyst and Technical Architects worked with the relevant technical resources and business teams in NCRI to define the technical requirements for the implementation of the new system.

Standard features include; auditability (to data field level), role based access, two-factor authentication, reporting & various search features as well as web application security. Also included is an offline version of the application (using HTML5 offline features) allowing records to be temporarily “checked out” and stored securely for editing where no internet coverage is available.

Tasks include:

  • Examination of the existing Cancer Registry system.  Requirements gathering from various branches of the organisation (medical staff, data analysts, researchers & I.T. administrators).
  • Analysis of documentation detailing existing practices of disparate data analysis teams, for the purpose of identifying patterns such as shared or distinct functions leading to determination of design components and architecture.
  • Modelling of the system, domain concepts and entities.
  • Analysis of user work flows.
  • Demonstration to the customer of prototypes for proposed solution components.
  • Design of scalable system architecture.
  • Component level design and development.
  • Functional testing.
  • Performance testing and tuning.
  • Data migration support (from legacy to new data schema).
  • System deployment.
  • Customer documentation
  • Training and support.

Skills Used:

  • Requirements analysis
  • Systems modelling
  • Database schema design
  • System architecture
  • IIS
  • JavaScript/JQuery/AJAX
  • JSON
  • Bootstrap
  • AngularJS
  • Offline-support functionality of HTML5
  • .NET Framework 4.5
  • C#.NET
  • Entity Framework 6.1
  • Language Integrated Query (LINQ)
  • SQL Server 2012
  • SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
  • Windows Service
  • Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)
  • Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ)
  • Named Pipes
  • Multi-threading
  • Team Foundation Server
  • Active Directory integration

The Result

At project completion Aspira have developed a solution for NCRI to move to a centralised web based application, allowing more portability, control, superior security and removing the overhead of configuration management and version maintenance required for the previous client based software and database.


Our cancer registration system had served us well over 20 years of changing times, but it was time for a replacement. We chose Aspira as our implementer for this large and very complex project. Their friendly and personal approach with constant communication made this very challenging project a success. They are easy to work with and engaged with everyone, technical and non-technical, in a way they could understand. When we went live we were rightly confident that the transition would be smooth, seamless and successful. We look forward to working with Aspira again in the future.
Catherine McGovern
Head of IT, National Cancer Registry Ireland
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