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Enterprise Architecture Case Study

A wireless communications provider supports provisioning customers' devices through a call center. This call center is supported by a tightly-coupled, client-server application developed in a proprietary development product providing direct access to an operational data store. Senior management desires improved performance to accommodate growth, extension of these provisioning facilities to a self-service web site, and the ability to extend this model to alternate clients such as the customers' wireless device. Fraud detection is problematic due to the lack of system-enforced controls and logging of system activity.

The support systems were re-implemented utilizing J2EE server components and a three-tier architectural model. With the re-implementation of clients, access to the J2EE provisioning components became available from both the call centers and other clients such as company web sites, partner web sites, and wireless devices. Fraud control rules were implemented at the server level, ensuring consistent process application and logging providing a complete audit trail of provisioning activity. Direct access to the operational database was reduced to administrative and server-side components, dramatically reducing data corruption and security risks inherent in the previous architecture.

A completely new Software Development LIfe Cycle was documented, staff trained, and new tools implemented to support the SDLC. A source code repository and change tracing was implemented. Testing and Production level code migration rules were implemented. Provisioning process adherence was moved into the middle tier, while client development was allowed to focus on customer presentation and ease of use. This separation of concerns allowed each development team to focus on providing value in a focused area. This resulted in improved quality, consistency, and speed of development. Implementation of business rules were isolated into a single tier, eliminating replicated code in multiple client implementations and ensuring process consistency.

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