Overview

The team at Khumbu undertook technology and business process modernization of a legacy document management and payments systems. The project was undertaken as a green-field development with the key goals to support business agility, improve system security and enable ease of operations among others.

Challenge

The legacy system was developed around decades ago and was the best among competition over its lifetime. This system was developed as a product suite consisting of a set of core products. A customer may need one or more of these products. The products had to be customized for each deployment based on business data, rules and workflows specific to each customer. Over time, for each implementation the system had to be maintained as per changes in customer’s business. This required the development teams to maintain versions of each product specific to each customer and the corresponding release. The products in legacy system were primarily developed as client-server applications with thick clients. The security logic for authentication and authorization was custom built into each product. User’s identity and authorization was stored in a custom DB schema. As each product was developed separately, several common functions were built redundantly into each product. Any changes to these common functions had to be maintained across all the different versions of the products. This level of redundancy of functionality led to higher customization costs and longer development cycles.

Solution

In order to meet the specific architecture goals for the product, we followed Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) principles for the overall solution design. This helped to improve reuse and achieve loose coupling. The technical architecture of the system has been organized into different layers including presentation, service, business and data layers. The solution has been developed utilized different technical components and frameworks that included a rich user interface, workflows, business services, a rules engine for externalizing business rules and a highly secure and scalable identify management system for authentication and authorization.

Results

The following benefits were realized by the customer’s business and IT divisions after implementing the new system.
1. Ease of customization: The new system helped to reduce development time and efforts for customization of the core product for different customers. This resulted in lower cost and higher quality of the product.
2. Improved system security and reduced operations overhead: Using a custom built Single Sign-On system using the OpenID Connect identity layer helped to externalize security from application code, leverage user data from the customer’s Active Directory and federate users from the customer’s enterprise.
3. Reduced infrastructure costs by facilitating access across customer location using effective compression, encryption and design patterns such as read-ahead caching.
4. Improved user experience by designing the new user interfaces using a structured User Exprerience design process.