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Case Studies - SOA

Client

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) based Web Application Development for the client. The next generation in behavior modeling of children combines traditional methods of parenting while leveraging Internet Technologies. The next generation in behavior modeling is Client.

Business Requirements

One of the challenges of this project was to make it easier to add new features and scale the application. The client wanted to employ a SOA is a new concept and we had to do considerable research into the best practices for designing and implementing this architecture.

Solution

The web application was developed in order to help parents reward their children by rewarding them with Client. Client is an online game the whole family can play. For parents, it is a tool that can help with everyday parenting challenges while for children, it can be a great way to build Self-esteem, Communication Skills or Pocket Money.

The Client web application was developed using Visual Studio 2003 (ASP.NET) and the database was maintained in SQL Server 2000. A Service Oriented Architecture was followed throughout.

One of the challenges that PropelSys faced in building the site was that the site had to be built with an interface that appealed to different age groups of children.

Another challenge was that the website was to be developed in a way that would ensure stability and ease of maintenance. It would also have to allow for scalability in the future. The database was optimized to contain at least 10,000,000 registered parent accounts, each with an average of two child accounts. Consideration was given to allow subsequent versions of the site which will be offered to schools and other organizations.

Moreover, to ensure scalability, the application had to be split into three components, all of which could be run on separate servers. The database layer needed to be implicitly separated. To enable a three layer model, the presentation code and the application logic had to be hosted separately. Although it wasn't an issue initially, it would significantly affect future scalability.

PropelSys developed the application using SOA. The Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) based approach uses a gateway as the central point to verify user identity. The gateway leverages open standards and enables seamless access to different applications with single sign-on capability. Single sign-on simplifies the authentication process within an enterprise by granting an authenticated user access to all the participating applications without requiring that user to re-enter user credentials.

The Client project provided an interesting security challenge - to design an application to be implemented in a small managed hosting environment that could potentially be scaled to a high volume, high security environment. Initially the security risk would be very small, as the site would be unknown, with a minor user base. However, the client's strong desire to comply with strict COPPA legal framework meant that special care needed to be taken not to store unnecessary personal information, whether in interactive forum or other areas of the site. Strong authentication was required since a significant public compromise would be a PR disaster, almost certainly destroying the company. Moreover as the company grows, it grows as a target and thus increases risk. Therefore, associated controls need to scale in line with this.

We were not only able to build the website but also give valuable input to enhance its functionality. The client was also able to thoroughly test the application and carry out proactive maintenance.

Technical Highlights

For Designing, Developing and Implementing your applications in SOA model, please contact us.  

 
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