Providing Legacy HR Data Access in a Modern, High Performance User Interface


Transnational Agribusiness


Our client is a large multinational, conglomerate agribusiness that has recently migrated to Workday for their growing HRIS needs. To simplify their Workday adoption, historical employee data was not migrated to this new platform. This is a normal decision for Workday adoption – anyone who has gone through a Workday project knows how time consuming and frustrating worker history migration can be.

However, just because historical data isn’t in Workday doesn’t negate its value. Historical data is used in a wide variety of HR tasks – including re-hiring old employees, referencing old employee evaluations, and assessing pay increase trends. Because this data was trapped in the legacy HR system, the organization was continuing to pay application licensing fees for the old application amounting to thousands of dollars each month for access to this data.

Our client asked us for options that would provide them with a more affordable solution than continuing their legacy application license to retain access to this important employee history. Because the data contained sensitive and confidential information, any solution needed to be highly secure with sophisticated access rights management. The client also preferred the data be retained in Canada for data sovereignty reasons.

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To solve this problem, Dispatch had to draw upon its knowledge of secure systems and database hosting, plus our domain experience in HR practices to ensure the most important data was easily accessible to client personnel with the right access privileges. The database contained over 700 tables, so re-platforming and exposing only the critical data to the right people in a secure way was a critical component of this project.

We chose Microsoft Azure for database hosting based on our experience developing secure HR systems. Our history and experience with Azure gave us the confidence that we could exceed the security and privacy requirements the client required.

While the source database was originally in Microsoft SQL Server format, we upgraded the platform to PostgreSQL. This was essential because client staff were most familiar with Postgres, and this change ensured the team could manage this database without difficulty.

We used Canadian-hosted secure file transfer channels to transform the database from MSSQL to Postgres in just a few hours.

After re-platforming the database and setting up the secure hosting in Azure, we next had to present the data in an easy-to-use accessible manner for HR professionals while still preserving the security and privacy of the data. We looked at and presented several options:

  1. Custom application development
  2. Excel
  3. Low code app development

We quickly eliminated the custom application development route, even with the latest frameworks, developing a custom app is still an expensive proposition for a point solution like this one. Excel was easily eliminated as holding large workbooks on the network wasn’t feasible or secure.

We evaluated a number of low code platforms for this use case and settled on is the ideal fit for this problem: it requires zero code, natively connects to Postgres as a data source, and provides an attractive and robust user interface that still considers security as priority number one. is a powerful platform that allows for sophisticated queries of data while hiding all the complexities of database queries from the user.


The Dispatch team was able to connect the database to the user interface layer, and configure several screens with custom queries in just a few weeks. We were able to deliver on time and on budget. Our client was able to save on application licensing fees going forward, and continue to have access to legacy data in a modern, high performance user interface.

Moving to low code development for projects like this unlocked organizational objectives that were previously considered too expensive, too risky, and would get stuck in the IT queue. has been a fabulous partner in this engagement and we are delighted to work with the team there to meet our client needs.

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