4. Getting Corporate Information
Conductor easily imports corporate information from existing formats already in use.
Corporate information is stored in many forms, from paper to PDFs to generic software such as spreadsheets to a whole variety of custom systems. None speak the same language. To enjoy the full scope of benefits Conductor offers, without complicated up-front data transfer and conversion frustrations, Conductor developed a conversion process that makes all the diverse information available in a usable state when imported.
We first focused on getting corporate data from DoProcess FastCompany program, common in the Province of Ontario. But our process for importing is also easily expandable so that we can also solve the needs of clients using other existing corporate data.
Permissions in Conductor were also improved this week, although not yet enabled as we work through the many quirks and permutations of an enterprise level authorization design.
The focus next week will be on completing the importing for the other various formats, potential exporting and electronic filing, and the permissions system.
Corporations — Copy From Another
Many related corporations share information, such as directors, officers, shareholders, addresses. Repeating this input is time consuming and error prone, so we’ve reduced this process to a simple button under every Edit tab for a Corporation.
Just click and search for the corporation.
This opens a review page where you can choose what to copy.
At the top of this review page you can see the source and destination corporations, identified by their legal name. When copying, as in this example from the existing company Alphabet Inc. to a new company Alphabet and Numbers Inc., you can elect to copy everything or only parts.
Scrolling down reveals details of the items to be copied. Some things cannot be copied, such as the legal name and corporation number, as well as associated files.
Once ready to proceed, click the Copy button.
Clicking either Copy or Cancel will return you to the prior edit page of the corporation.
Something Interesting: Complex Complexity
The most extensive - and expensive - part of developing Conductor has been the communication between two ornate and intricate systems of information: law and technology. Continuous software development, from design concepts, development, testing, and revision have been meticulously applied to legal practices.
Not all parts of the design are equal though, as software development is ordinarily split into layers, most generally a “data” layer, a “communication” layer, and a “user interface” layer. Each depends on and is built around the prior, so the user interface depends on how the communication has been designed and implemented, which in turn depends on the design and implementation of the data layer.
Intermingling complex information systems such as law and technology leads to edge cases and exceptions that often go to the data layer, which can necessitate a redesign of the communication and user interface layer. Take share transactions, which look to require a few names, certificate ids, and some basic arithmetic. Our initial share transactions code was a mere 50 lines of code. Then over time we learnt about uncertificated shares, share transactions that cancel multiple certificates, share transactions that issue multiple certificates, and multi-class share transactions — none of which featured into our initial design. Now our source code is thousands of lines long, but for each iteration of our understanding we had to reform what we stored, how it is represented on the screen and the user modifies it, the arithmetic for calculations. Which is a non–trivial venture.