IT landscape: an analysis of problems

In a complex IT landscape it can sometimes be difficult to analyze problems

A customer has an extensive microservice IT landscape in which many applications work together to process packages from abroad. Application A, for example, completes the addresses based on the zip code, application B routes the messages through the IT landscape, and when necessary, application C ensures that customs are informed as soon as the package arrives in the Netherlands. With such a complicated IT landscape, things sometimes go wrong. What if, for example, Customs receives an incorrect declaration? Does the problem lie in application A, B, C or elsewhere?

You need data to be able to analyze this problem, but because this concerns operational systems, that data is no longer always available. After all, the processing time is high, and from an operational point of view there is no reason to store the data once the message has been processed.

How can you deal with this

The most obvious option is to simply store the data longer in the operational systems. On the one hand, this means that you have to store more data, which means you need a larger database. But it is also a risk because this concerns operational data.

Suppose that after processing a message the exchange rate changes, the price in app B changes and the data no longer corresponds to what app C has received. If discussions subsequently arise about the price, it is difficult to point out where the problem lies: has app B not done the calculation correctly or has app C not processed the data correctly?

An integration platform is also used in this landscape: eMagiz. eMagiz is the only link involved in all messaging. However, as an integration platform, eMagiz does not store the data itself, because it involves an enormous amount of data.

This is where Operational Data Storage (ODS) comes in

ODS is a combination of an S3 bucket with a Mendix app, which is powered from eMagiz.

The S3 bucket can be compared to an old filing cabinet. The folders in this archive are structured on the basis of a code, in this case the barcode. Based on this code, the application knows where the data is stored and you can find old data.

eMagiz then ensures that all data is stored in this archive. After all, all this data already runs through eMagiz, so all you need is a connection to the database.

The Mendix app then ensures that there is 1 user portal, where the user can enter a barcode and receive back which messages have been sent for this barcode. In this app, the data is translated into a readable format that can be interpreted by a user.

Advantages of this solution

The advantages of this solution are in several aspects:

Users: For users, this solution ensures a more efficient process, allowing for faster analysis of problems. In the old solution it was necessary to log in to different systems. This meant that the person doing this analysis needed login credentials for all of these systems and needed to know where to get the data from.

In addition, each system shows the data in a different way, which is in line with their own process. Because there is now 1 central app with all this data, there is now 1 place that has all the information. This place also shows the data in a uniform manner and offers the possibility to easily compare multiple messages with each other, making analyzes a lot more efficient.

Suitable for many dates: An S3 bucket is a cheaper storage that can handle a lot of data without slowing down. The Mendix app then provides a flexible shell, making it easier to make quick adjustments. For example in the front end, the data that is requested and the selections that are made.

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