Enter the BCF Digital Environment

  • Valentin Delley

How to reduce complexity in a multi-platform project? By decoupling the architecture and developing individual platforms that are connected to each other. To do this, we use an API Gateway and portals. How? Dive into the digital environment of BCF with us.

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Working hand in hand with well-establishedsoftware providers

Being the new kid in the block is difficult. You can’t just come and tell everyone to do as you decided. But working incrementally towards a common vision and letting everyone do what they do best was key in this case.

The BCF already had a solid and secured infrastructure, especially in terms of network and security. Reinventing the wheel was not necessary. So the user didn’t have to accommodate a new way to authenticate and access their applications, we plugged our portals behind the existing Web Application Firewalls (WAF) and Identity and Access Management (IAM).

Release often, fail earlier, fix faster

When big applications are released in a banking environment, you don’t necessarily want to be there; many critical things could potentially go wrong. For example, corrupted data sets, or key features not being available to users anymore, all this ending up in applications being down for some time.

There’s no magic to avoid making mistakes or deploying bugs. Still, thanks to modern DevOps practices, most of them can be detected early in the process, before being released on the productive infrastructure when deploying on a testing environment.

Deploying often and incrementally also reduces bugs and makes finding and correcting them easier. Security reviews can be done faster because they are less complex. Giving the user quick access to new features without being overwhelmed by them.

As an advisor, I need to be able to see all tasks of my team

There’s a complex IT environment behind the BCF. It’s composed of big players with big solutions like SAP and Finnova, and a simple request can end up in a full-fledged project that takes months, if not years.

We didn’t try to replace the existing tools when implementing new functionalities. But instead, we created an extra layer. On the one hand, an API gateway that allows them to communicate together. And on the other hand, the portals, letting us deliver the functionalities that bring value to the users quickly.

For example, instead of synchronising all the tasks from all the existing monolithic systems into another monolithic system for the user story “As an advisor, I need to be able to see all tasks of my team”, we created an index of all the tasks in all the systems and published that view in a portal widget.

Due to that, all collaborators can view all the tasks to be accomplished in a single, optimised view, using the dedicated system to do the actual work. The portal creates an overview of the collaborator’s journey and acts as an entry point for working on a dedicated system.

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