Streamlining an Investment Platform for a Western European Client

# Fintech # Legacy Application Improvement # UI/UX Design # Web development
Discover more

Highlights

  • Feature-Rich App with Automation In-Built: improved admin portal, resulting in enhanced task management, wider functionality, and more automation for the application.
  • Significant Infrastructure Cost Savings: completed on-premise to Google Cloud Platform migration of the entire platform.
  • Enhanced Usability: completely redesigned the UI/UX elements of the solution.
  • 10x Performance Boost: implemented the latest technologiesand rebuilt the platform according to the current industry standards.

Client

The client is a European-based independent research firm providing unbiased and conflict-free research for institutional investors and money managers worldwide. 

The company’s recommendations are derived from a value-driven quantitative rating model based on fundamental financial analysis, complemented by technical inputs. Ratings are provided with a comprehensive tool for analyzing and developing actionable investment ideas.

Ultimately, the company offers a web platform that helps users create a well-diversified portfolio in 5 clicks, obtain a complete understanding of potential investments, and manage gains and losses.

Country:
Industry:
Team Size:

Product

Before our involvement, the legacy application provided the company’s customers with information on businesses’ investment potential. The software consisted of 5 modules, all of which lacked user-friendliness, as originally the system was developed for internal needs and looked like an admin portal. This software harmed the brand image of our client and was behind the market leaders from the technical standpoint at that moment, so it was decided to improve it. 

Goals and objectives

  • Automate Internal Processes: we were tasked to prepare documentation, code examples, and usage guidelines to facilitate proper integration.
  • Transform the Existing Admin Portal Into a Client-Facing Application: provide software development services and release all necessary features to improve user experience.
  • Improve Application Availability, Maintainability, and Performance: boost user satisfaction by revamping the existing web application according to modern industry standards.
  • Add Authentication and Authorization: ensure the highest security level of the product, to prevent any data breach or unauthorized access to valuable personal and financial information. Neither authentication nor authorization mechanisms were implemented in the original application. 

Project challenge

  1. On-Premise Infrastructure:
    Move IT infrastructure from the client’s office to the cloud to dramatically improve scalability and agility.
  2. Legacy Code:
    Replace outdated technology stack, which makes it hard to implement new technology into the solution.
  3. Outdated Architecture:
    Do a lot of work to make Cloud Migration possible, since the existing application was not designed to be cloud-native and scalable.
  4. Weak Security:
    Add more advanced data protection features to make the solution compliant with the latest data security standards.
  5. Poor Performance:
    Implement efficient processes for calculating data. In the original app, it took 30 minutes to get some reports generated, which is a massive time waste for the users.
  6. Design Issues:
    Improve the overall look of an app. Admin portal pages were overloaded with a lot of components displayed on one page, making it visually unappealing.

Solution

SPD Technology became the provider of choice for the project due to our 16+ years of experience in developing similar systems on a large scale, like PitchBook.

We leveraged Angular of the latest version to be able to use some of the technology’s components, and improving the legacy code posed additional difficulties during the UI/UX-related part of the project. 

We started by creating an intuitively user-friendly User Interface for the application. This included adding tips, implementing responsive design to display websites in proper resolution on different screens, and adding spinners and skeletons for the infinite loading of components. We have also added sets of templates, libraries, and components, such as Bootstrap to make the application look better.

It is now possible to customize the number of components on the screen to enable the end-user to choose which ones to display. We significantly simplified the UI to have only a few components displayed on a screen so as not to overload the clients. We’ve also grouped the various elements on the screen and segregated components onto different pages in the most user-friendly way. 

We converted the application into a 12-factor app based on a stateless architecture, enabled by Cloud-native techniques. Thanks to this move, it became possible to easily scale and deploy the platform to the Cloud without any additional changes. 

Our project team helped the client migrate the app to the Google Cloud Platform. We also introduced continuous integration and continuous delivery practices into the process, thus achieving zero-downtime deployment for the application, which brought significant improvements in user experience. 

To ensure a higher level of security, our experts have migrated to Auth0, a modern 3rd party SaaS authentication and authorization service, compliant with the latest security standards and protocols. Auth0 has an array of important, out-of-the-box features, such as the support of magic links, MFA, SSO, and social logins. Migrating to Auth0 has provided us with authorization mechanisms and facilitated the management of user roles, while also sparing us the trouble of developing this functionality from scratch. 

To improve the performance of the client’s platform, we needed to solve some typical problems associated with the ineffective usage of the Hibernate and N+1 frameworks. The main task here was to reduce the number of queries sent by the server to the database, which slowed down the application’s performance. Our experts successfully resolved this problem, while also optimizing the SQL queries and adding caching. We also used asynchronous parallelism with Java CompletableFuture to generate reports as fast as possible.

Tech Stack

Front-End
  • Angular.js Front-EndAngular.js
  • Bootstrap  Front-EndBootstrap
Back-End
  • Java Back-EndJava
  • SpringBoot Back-EndSpringBoot
  • MySQL Back-EndMySQL
Infrastructure
  • Google Cloud Platform InfrastructureGoogle Cloud Platform
  • GitLab InfrastructureGitLab
Third Parties
  • Auth0 Third PartiesAuth0

Our results

We have successfully developed all planned functionalities and significantly improved the application for our client:

  1. 100% Automation of the Core Business Processes: successfully automated processes of our client by introducing an improved version of their investment platform. 
  2. 10x Performance Increase: achieved an astonishing performance improvement compared to the old app. 
  3. 20x Faster Report Generation: worked out a way to reduce report generation time from approximately 30 minutes to 1.5 minutes, without blocking the business operations of the client.
  4. Successful Migration to Google Cloud Platform: migrated infrastructure from on-premise to Google Cloud Platform, unlocking all the benefits of cloud computing for the client including scalability, cost efficiency, flexibility, easy updates, and maintenance. 
  5. 12x Shorter Release Time for the New Features: improved the deployment speed and automated code deployment. Any new feature introduced to the application becomes available to the end-user within just 10 minutes instead of 2 hours.
Next Project
# Fintech, # Web development
How We Developed an MVP for the Diligence Fund Distribution Platform 

Highlights Client The client, possessing nearly twenty years of expertise in asset and fund management, has created a new...

Explore Case