Client background & business context

  • Client: a multinational investment bank and financial services holding company. 
  • Client’s figures: US$56.1 billion (2019) 
  • Project: Core system enhancement and maintenance 

Challenges

  • Regulated environment: Enhancing a core-business system which is used world-wide for Client On-Boarding processes, one of the most regulated areas of core banking operations 
  • System’s complexity: Reconfiguring of all the existing process definitions, handling of sensitive business process definitions which sit on top of an extremely complex data lake and a layered multi-tiered backend platform 
  • Technology mixture: Some layers of the ecosystem are powered by legacy components with an outdated technological stack that increased the risk of system future failures, which constitute the context in which Accesa was engaged in this modernization & enhancement project 
  • Security assurance: Due to the extensive client data existing on the platforms a secure working environment had to be ensured for all the parts involved in this project, for the on-site team, but also for the autonomous team assigned to this project.  

Our approach

Our client uses a bank-wide standard Client On-Boarding mechanism that responds to all the current regulatory requirements. As such, the platform has many bespoke branches and sits on top of a very complex data lake with over 1000 data tables, operates on ~50,000 business processes per year and is actively used by over 800 concurrent users. 

The challenge in enhancing such a complex system is to coordinate with the variety of departments that are dependent on a 100% functional application on a daily basis, including the Brokerage, Commercial Banking, Global Markets and Human Resources departments.  

As any complex business process orchestrator, this system consumes data from other core systems, through both synchronous and asynchronous channels, therefore the interfaces built by Accesa need to accommodate both the upstream systems and the downstream systems while exchanging the reference data.  

Our approach was to work with highly tested components, replacing the legacy JPA data models with Hibernate 3 modern persistence technologies, whilst also replacing in-house developed J2EE modules with modern Spring-based components, making the enhancements easier to maintain as the needs for legacy components sunset appears. 

We did test the new modules using a systematic promotion of the code from Component Integration Testing system to SIT (System Integration) and further to UAT environments, making sure that the new interfaces are able to consume and procedure the reference data required in the integration the upstream and downstream systems. 

Technologies

  • Java J2EE (Spring Framework, Vaadin, IBM Liberty, Hibernate 3) 
  • jBPM 4, REST interfaces, iTEXT 
  • GitHub, Maven, SonarQube, Jenkins  
  • WebSphere Liberty (Application Server) 

Results

The stakeholders confirmed that we achieved the two main objectives: “optimisation” and “scalability”. 

A few notable achievements of the projects are: 

  • Complete upgrade of the business processes to use the latest jBPM techniques 
  • Clean-up of over 100 J2EE jar dependencies for easier maintenance and upgrade of the system 
  • Improved user experience through the redesign of several UI modules that enhances the user’s control over the process states 
  • Enhanced the webservices used to interconnect the main On-Boarding system with the User Data Management system, with other RDS systems, with the AD infrastructure and bank’s notification system. 

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