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IT Services Company Improves Security, Data and Scalability with Web Services App

Woman with a laptop walks between servers

Our hybrid IT provider client provides mainframe modernization, mainframe consulting services and mainframe-as-a-service (MFaaS) maintenance solutions to help their clients leverage capabilities in modern, hybrid ecosystems. Mainframe technologies can offer a high degree of both processing power and security but are often hindered by aging and expensive infrastructure. The company helps their clients develop and implement hybrid strategies to more efficiently maintain mainframe technologies to meet business goals.

The Challenge: Lack of Scalability and Governance

Our client was using a homegrown solution to manage massive amounts of data related to mainframe software. The tool wasn’t scalable and employees that needed to make updates to the system could not. The tool could only be used by one or two users at a time, not the dozens of employees that needed to access the system simultaneously, and the solution crashed, resulting in data loss. There were also no data governance controls on the application, which resulted in duplicate and incorrect data.

SPR worked with our client to create a cloud-native, serverless enterprise web application and data management solution that allows the client to manage business critical mainframe-related data in a secure, scalable and version-controlled manner.

SPR Develops Using AWS Serverless Architecture

We began our work by conducting an inception to understand the business requirements and how the client used the internal, homegrown application. SPR worked with our client to create wireframes to understand how the new web application would work to create a superior user experience, and then tested that design with end users to validate and gain additional insights.

With validation from the users and buy-in from the client stakeholders and the new, cloud-native AWS architecture targeted, the SPR team began to build the new solution. Throughout the agile development process, the SPR team met with key client stakeholders throughout the week to review progress through showcases, prioritize the backlog and answer questions. By collaborating closely with our client in an agile fashion, the SPR team was able to make day-to-day adjustments to successfully produce the client’s desired product.

SPR built the tool on AWS serverless architecture to allow for the ebb and flow of activity the client users needed. Since the application was accessed most frequently at certain times of the month, it was important that the application could scale up and down with usage. By leveraging serverless technology, there is no need to manage cloud resources or pay for unutilized compute, generating cost savings for our client.

SPR leveraged AWS CloudFront to address performance as the application is accessed internationally. And SPR used AWS Cognito to secure the application and ensure that only authorized users could read or modify the data. The client’s mainframe-related data and metadata were validated and transformed before being migrated to the new application. Rather than a traditional ETL approach, SPR leveraged the solution’s ingest feature to import the raw data and ultimately store it in a cloud-based relational database.

New Application Improves Scalability and Data Integrity

In the new application, all changes to the data are tracked and reported, and data validation prevents users from inputting bad or inconsistent data. The new tool also allows all users to access the application simultaneously, without any performance degradation or data corruption. A new dashboard contains notifications that require immediate attention, therefore significantly improving the overall workflow and proactiveness around urgent system events. The new web application exceeded the client’s expectations from both a design and usability perspective, and an IT efficiency perspective.

Technologies Used: AWS, Angular, NodeJS/Lambda, API Gateway, Aurora Serverless Postgres DB, Cognito, S3, CloudFront, Serverless Framework (DevOps), CodeBuild, Secrets Manager