Banque PSA Case Study

Banque PSA own Peugeot and Citroen. This business involves the management of a dealer network. Laser Byte have just completed an exercise to document one of the Banque PSA dealer databases.

The system was critical to the company's operation and had been developed in-house over a number of years, but no one seemed to know how it all worked.

The Problem:

Back in the 1990's, Banque PSA developed a DbaseIV system in house. This system is used to allocate credit scores to new and existing Citroen and Peugeot dealers, based on their financial results and company composition. It analyses the risk of each dealer and is critical to the future of Banque PSA.


The person who designed and built the application had retired and there was no one who understood the system. Considering the essential nature of the application, the company was vulnerable to huge risks of dealers going bankrupt should the system not work and not provide accurate risk analysis of each dealer. Things were made worse because there were a number of known reliability problems with the database, but no one knew how it all worked.


The problems were further compounded by the fact that the application was written as a Dos system and few people understand how Dbase iV and Dbase V works.

The Solution :

Get Laser Byte in, and get them to go through the system. Laser Byte have been developing systems since 1983 and so understand how Dbase systems are structured and programmed.


We went through the whole system, module by module and built up a map of how all of the modules (400!) inter-linked. We then systematically went through each module and documented what each module did. We even checked the mathematics of very sophisticated dealer consolidation algorithms, and corrected them!


We then built up a list of potential and real problems that existed in the programming and design of the system, and a list what modules existed on each of the 3 PC's that were used to run the application.


During the exercise, Laser Byte identified a number of problems and re-programmed the modules that contained serious problems that needed immediate correction.


The end result was :

  • A 1,200 page technical reference manual detailing all of the modules, and all of the source code.
  • A 250 page users reference guide
  • Reference tables of all of the modules.
  • A fully synchronised system.

Banque PSA now have a support resource that understands how the system is designed and, more importantly, how to fix it if it goes wrong.

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