Agile Development Solution

Business Challenge

Raymond James Financial provides financial services to individuals, corporations and governmental organizations.  They focus primarily on securities investment, asset management and investment banking.  Over $500 billion of client assets are managed by more than 6500 financial advisors.  These advisors utilize a reporting portal named “Practice Center” to access information on their clients’ assets and revenues as well as their personal commissions. 

The legacy Practice Center application was designed using Microsoft .NET using SQL Server 2008.  The application was slow, inaccurate and underutilized.  Executive leadership made it a priority to bring the functionality up to par with other web-enabled applications.  Even though the user base consists of employees, a major goal was to increase “client” utilization.  The user experience should reflect modern look-and-feel of HTML5 applications.

Solution

The client expected a single resource to be proficient in data modeling strategies, high concurrency application usage, cloud enablement, as well as HTML5 technologies.  The need was for a true “Renaissance” engineer and architect.  Furthermore, the resource would report to several VP level executives daily.

Statement provided a solution architect responsible for the front-to-back design of the Practice Center application.  The design utilized an Oracle RAC solution with stored procedures and materialized views for tens of drill down data summary views.  The middle tier architecture use Java with a Spring Framework 4 foundation within a JBOSS 6.2 container.  The middle tier required integration with a full service entitlements/security layer as well as a dynamic organizational hierarchy.  Frequent changes to these systems require special calculation and presentation of the data.

All web communication utilized RESTful web services with JSON for data transport.  The presentation layer was constructed with AngularJS and JavaScript High Charts for an immersive user experience.  All visual components were constructed to be portable to mobile devices.

Outcome

Despite two major changes to functional requirements, the project was delivered on time and on budget.  Performance comparisons to the legacy application are phenomenal; some data report delivery times were improved from minutes to under 500 milliseconds.  Client retention rates increased three fold within three weeks of launch.

The project was lauded as a major success by executive leadership, and continued development extended through 2016.