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Working with WSO2 to refactor and re-integrate legacy systems for a major government in APAC

Requirement

  • A major APAC government sought to enhance their e-government service delivery by re-factoring and re-integrating stand-alone legacy applications.

Solution

  • The WSO2 API manager was introduced to enhance control, security and access to application endpoints
  • The WSO2 Identity Server was introduced to provide central authentication, single sign-on access and improved security
  • Mitra Innovation provides application refactoring services along with WSO2 Agile Development and integration expertise to speed up implementation.

Outcome

  • The proposed solution successfully matched expectations of the client’s internal board
  • The project is to scheduled to enter phase 2 – which is, development of the solution for commercial purposes.

Abstract

Governments in developing countries are faced with challenges when attempting to digitise public services. In most cases, each separate public services has its own application platform, but lacks a centralised authority managing these applications.

Maintenance of public-facing government applications is a considerable challenge because a myriad of technologies have been utilised and thus, innumerable technology concerns to deal with. Without centralised management points and consistent maintenance services, the general public usually receives poor levels of service.

To fulfill its obligations to the public, a major government in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region contracted WSO2 to help improve e-Government capabilities by re-architecturing and refactoring the services that power digital public service offerings. Considering the large scope and short delivery timeline, WSO2 joined hands with partner – Mitra Innovation – in order to add engineering expertise to the project team and also – achieve deliverables within stipulated timelines.

The Business Challenge

The APAC region based government required a Whole of Government (WoG) approach in order to reduce duplication of efforts and resources, and to improve service delivery through the effective use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). It was also imperative that the solution effectively supported all government agencies through the strategic use of ICT; both, at the agency level as well as at the WoG level so that agencies can deliver excellent governmental services.

The government solution also required collaboration and interoperability across the WoG and its connected systems. Other mandatory requirements included well-coordinated and effective ICT investment and implementation.

The refactoring drive also favoured the consideration of open source software – such as the WSO2 suite of products – ahead of proprietary systems to address concerns such as compatibilities between connected systems, lowered cost of maintenance and ease of procurement.

How Mitra Innovation helped

Mitra Innovation, together with the WSO2 team, refactored applications that had been written using legacy technologies such as Struts Ver1.1 and JSP. These applications were front-ended with the WSO2 Identity Server, which was selected to provide a centralised authentication mechanism for all of the connected applications of the government. The WSO2 Identity Server features a centralised authentication mechanism that includes Open ID Connect, Single Sign-On and Single Logout. This ensures better security for users since the user can are able log-in at a single point of entry and, logging out from any connected application ensures that the user is logged out of all the applications.

A further challenge that existing legacy systems encountered was that of front-end data being populated by connecting directly to the old-fashioned Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) web service APIs. This method did not provide significant benefits in terms of control. Mitra Innovation improved this process by implementing the WSO2 API manager, which in turn provided secure, throttled access across the application endpoints with the OAuth 2.0 protocol. The Government’s Information Technology department was provided with the added benefit of control over the APIs thanks to the WSO2 Publisher and Store components – which provides for API creation, editing and managing the API lifecycle.

Due to the complexity of the project and quick turnaround time demanded, the project execution and delivery was based entirely upon agile methodologies.

The advantages of refactoring legacy applications of a government-

Shaveen Kasturiarachchi
 Senior Account Manager

We chose Mitra Innovations because of our business relationship, their wealth of experience, and commitments Mitra Innovations brought to the table over the past few projects as well as the ability to deliver when required. The partnership that the Mitra Innovations team had during this engagement was awesome! The team was proactive and there was great follow-up and delivery.

Sudaraka Jayashanka
 CTO of Mitra Innovation

Governments all around the world are considering the possibilities of adopting open source technologies. The WSO2 middleware stack offers tremendous capabilities in managing Identity and APIs for this governmental project we implemented. It was the perfect combination where the WSO2 Solution Architecture team and Mitra Innovation’s WSO2 Implementation team came together to deliver a comprehensive and sophisticated solution.

Conclusion

With WSO2 implementation expertise and Agile delivery models, Mitra Innovation engineers were able to conclude the first phase of developments of the e-Government initiative in a successful manner. Phase 1 developments are expected to be rolled out to the public by mid Q3 2018.

The success of the project is reflected in the testimonial provided by WSO2 and further strengthened by their intent to continue phase 2 of this project with Mitra.

With our expertise in WSO2 technologies, Mitra Innovations aims to be a strategic partner of WSO2 in the second phase of the e-Government initiative as well as other staff augmentation projects requiring WSO2 expertise.

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