Software Development

CTS has a small but growing team of software developers specialising in Free Open Source Software (FOSS) solutions. We have projects spread across the medical, heritage, transport and food & beverage industries. Our heritage software development resources are shared with our non-profit organisation, OpenHeritage.

National Heritage Management Systems

From 2011 – 2013, the Director of CTS successfully built and implemented South Africa's first national heritage management system called SAHRIS using Drupal and Geoserver. Drupal was chosen as the platform of choice as the client, the South African Heritage Resources Agency had taken a policy decision to build the system using open source software. Drupal is an online Content Management System (CMS) which has one of the largest active communities of developers worldwide. Since its launch in 2012, SAHRIS has taken the domain from 3.5 millionth in the world to within The South African Heritage Resources Information Systemthe top 500 000 sites on's ranking list. It has also reached the top 3000 websites in South Africa.

In 2014, shortly after CTS was founded, negotiations began with the National Heritage Council of Namibia and the National Museums of Kenya to adopt the same platform in their countries. Namibia agreed to take on the system and training and programming commenced in October 2014. The system is being launched in Windhoek, Namibia, in April 2015. A similar rollout is planned for Kenya early in 2016.

The Drupal heritage management system has three major functions (Wiltshire 2013), namely to serve as a:

  • National sites register/inventory with a strong emphasis on Geographical Information Systems (PostGIS, Openlayers, Geoserver, Gmap)
  • National collections management system for museums and private collections
  • National heritage management system (permitting, environmental, mining and heritage impact assessments, declaration and grading of sites/objects, heritage crime management)

In March 2015, CTS signed on as a SPECTRUM Partner and is currently taking the necessary steps to ensure the system is SPECTRUM compliant for museums. Please go to for more about our Drupal heritage management system.

Medical – Elderly Care Systems


CTS's began development on the AgeWell system in December 2013. AgeWell ran a pilot through its parent organisation, Mothers2Mothers, in Cape Town, South Africa. The pilot was launched in two suburbs, Sea Point and Khayelitsha during 2014. The AgeWell system was well received with over 200 elderly clients reached and almost 40 AgeWell staff trained to conduct companionship visits using smartphone technologies developed by CTS.

AgeWell provided a different set of challenges that had to be overcome in the design of the system.


  • The questionnaires had to be coded in English and Xhosa so that the AgeWells could read the forms in their preferred language.
  • The questionnaires had to provide skip logic and constraints to prevent erroneous data capture.
  • Once the forms were completed, a series of algorithms had to run in order to trigger Clinical Assessment Protocols (CAPs) and Referrals to service providers such as doctors or pharmacies
  • The system had to work on smartphones with no paperwork
  • The interface had to be simple and easy to use as the AgeWells capturing the data were mostly older than 65 and were unlikely to have had experience with smartphones before the pilot

As the system went live in March and April 2014, we became aware of the poor mobile internet connectivity in parts of Khayelitsha. This had a profound impact on the usability of web based system despite the emphasis on responsive theming and minimal use of graphics in the design of the system. As our AgeWells were all using Android based smartphones we turned to OpenDataKit (ODK) to create an offline smartphone App solution. ODK proved to be an excellent choice as we were able to develop the necessary forms, constraints and skip logic within a matter of weeks. The ODK interface was also far more user-friendly for our AgeWells than the web-based forms on the content management system. On the server side CTS wrote the synchronisation code which was executed once every minute to pull the data out of the ODK Aggregate server tables and import them into Drupal's MySQL tables.

One of the challenges of using the latest stable version of ODK (version 1.4) is the lack of native bidirectional synchronisation of data between ODK Collect (on the smartphone device) and ODK Aggregate (on the server). We therefore had to come up with a way to update the client lists on the AgeWells' smartphones as new clients were being enrolled on a daily basis for much of the pilot. A workaround was found using two free Android Apps, Llama and Rsync. Rsync provided encrypted SSH connections to our server to download the client lists to the phones while Llama scheduled the Rsync commands to take place once a day automatically. ODK version 2 is currently under development which will provide more flexible theming of the interface using html5.

FutureCare logo

FutureCare/Highlands House Project

FutureCare is a complete elderly care management system with the following enterprise components:In late 2014, CTS joined up with FutureCare to develop a long-term resident care management system for Highlands House in Cape Town. The main development phase will end in May 2015. 

  • Resident Management (Profile, Demographic information, Admissions, transfers etc)
  • Medications Management using the Medprax dataset
  • Problems/Diagnoses Management based on ICD10
  • interRAI Long Term Care Form, CAPs and Scales
  • FutureCare Care Planning Module
  • FutureCare Alerts and Escalation Module