EPSA Streamlines Web Application Platform and Improves User Experience with JBoss Enterprise Middleware

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January 30, 2013

The Public Entity of Andalusian Land (EPSA) wanted to increase the stability, scalability, and performance of its web application platform in order to enhance user experience, standardize its IT architecture, and receive more reliable support from its IT provider.

Customer: The Public Entity of Andalusian Land

"JBoss Enterprise Middleware delivers supreme value compared to alternatives in the market, while also providing additional opportunities to encourage innovation." Fernando Pujol, IT system manager, EPSA

Industry: Government
Geography: EMEA
Country: Spain


Business Challenge:

The Public Entity of Andalusian Land–Empresa Pública de Suelo de Andalucía (EPSA) wanted to increase the stability, scalability, and performance of its web application platform in order to enhance user experience, standardize its IT architecture, and receive more reliable support from its IT provider.

Migration Path:

From a heterogeneous platform based on J2EE to JBoss Enterprise Application Platform running on Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®

Software:

JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, JBoss Operations Network, JBoss Seam Framework, JBoss Developer Studio, Red Hat Consulting, Red Hat Training

Benefits:

JBoss® Enterprise Middleware provides EPSA with a unified, reliable, and scalable infrastructure for web applications, facilitating its applications development and management at a reduced cost.

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Background:

The Public Entity of Andalusian Land (Empresa Pública de Suelo de Andalucía or EPSA) is part of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing of the Autonomous Government of Andalusia. Given EPSA’s rigorous commitment to adhering to public authority programs and public legal frameworks, the organization is dedicated to a program of public intervention and its function is linked to the general principles of public administration. Its enterprise focus requires the organization to adopt an effective management model to ensure economic accountability and financial stability.

Business Challenge:

Legacy software. Limited scalability

The EPSA IT department had been using J2EE technology to develop web applications since 2004, using frameworks such as Struts, Spring, JBoss Hibernate Framework, and Tomcat web servers. While these solutions delivered satisfactory results for a small number of web applications, the platform was not scalable.

Because of their heterogeneous IT environment, EPSA lacked a reliable enterprise support agreement that guaranteed stability and performance.

EPSA set out to unify its web applications’ infrastructure onto a single instance to guarantee improved performance and scalability, and to offer simple administration and enterprise support. They also wanted to accelerate and optimize the application development process. So, they began the search for an open source, enterprise platform that would maximize stability and offer the freedom to choose among several IT suppliers, eliminating vendor lock-in.

Solution:

Ease of use, flexibility, and availability

After evaluating several competitive solutions, EPSA selected JBoss Enterprise Middleware from Red Hat, a complete open source, enterprise-ready solution that covers platform development and systems and service management.

“For web application development, we use JBoss Seam Framework, a framework based on technologies such as JSF and EJB3 that standardise our development work while also providing speed and flexibility to develop,” said Salvador Santander, manager of IT development at EPSA.

“In addition, JBoss Developer Studio provides a development environment based in Eclipse that includes Seam development tools and technical support for our development issues and assessment in our technical decisions.”

The new application server platform is based on JBoss Enterprise Application Platform. “It is a very light, high-performance server, and is scalable for new clusters,” said Pujol. “For management, administration, and monitoring of the new services, we selected JBoss Operations Networks.”

This new platform supports various mission-critical applications such as registration, subsidy request consultation, and the real estate search portal.

The registration and subsidy request consultation platform manages different subsidy requests offered by EPSA. The subsidy request consultation platform processes approximately 14,000 online user requests and 29,000 registered contracts. The real estate search portal allows users to search a database of homes for sale, and flag properties that interest them the most. This application was developed in just one month by two developers.

“Our new portal has been extremely user friendly and is handling changing workloads with ease,” said Pujol Conejo, IT manager, EPSA. “Consisting of a hardware load balancer that balances eight JBoss Enterprise Application Platform instances across four physical servers, the application has supported more than 150,000 accesses in the first month of deployment, with very little pressure exerted on the servers.”

For the development, testing, deployment, and monitoring of JBoss Enterprise Middleware, EPSA selected JBoss Operations Network. Centralized management and monitoring of the server farm allows fast deployment of new applications in order to support a larger workload.

Red Hat Consulting and Red Hat Training have assisted EPSA every step of the way. During the initial phases of the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform installation, Red Hat Consulting helped EPSA design the system architecture, make the necessary changes to the existing applications, and migrate third-party solutions from the previous platform. Red Hat Consulting also provided advice on how to scale the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform production servers to meet the growing demand for applications while maintaining high availability.

Benefits:

Unified, simplified, scalable

By partnering with Red Hat and standardizing the development architecture on JBoss Enterprise Middleware, EPSA has:
• Unified the elements that shape its applications (architecture and infrastructure)
• Applied a new and homogeneous graphic interface for all its applications, with a richer usability
• Created tools for the automatic generation of applications from data mod els, shortening the time for developing new applications to about a week for a fully operative, first version
• Significantly increased the stability and scalability of services

In addition, JBoss Operations Network allows EPSA to quickly respond to incidents and prevent further occurrences.

“Red Hat’s technical support has been instrumental in resolving incidents, as well as providing us with technical advice on new approaches and best practices,” said Pujol.

EPSA’s commitment to open source solutions has promoted the deployment of these technologies in the region and has encouraged local IT suppliers to obtain the necessary technical knowledge, contributing to the overall development of the open source community in Andalusia.

“Red Hat’s open source business model allowed us to focus on developing specialized services rather than following the pre-determined development path required with proprietary software solutions,” said Pujol. “JBoss Enterprise Middleware delivers supreme value compared to alternatives in the market, while also providing additional opportunities to encourage innovation.”

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