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Unosquare Success Story: Paying Down Technical Debt & Migrating to AWS

Unosquare Success Story: Paying Down Technical Debt & Migrating to AWS

With a project six months behind schedule and a list of requirements a mile long, one of the world’s most recognized educational content publishers came to Unosquare needing skilled developers who could modernize their platform, give it the stability needed to maintain its global reputation and do it quickly. So We Did.

Working with the client and another service provider, Unosquare developers worked to rewrite the client’s aging self-hosted application and move it to Amazon Web Services. The application was not responsive on mobile devices, was supported with older technologies, maintenance was becoming more costly and it had accrued significant tech debt. Re-writing and relocating to the Cloud enabled the app to be more easily maintainable and lowered the Total Cost of Ownership for the client. Using newer technologies including Java Spring Boot, React.JS and MySQL, the team was able to modernize the architectural frameworks and user experience of this vital piece of our client’s business.

Key to the project’s success was the team’s ability to reorganize the way the work was being planned. The newly expanded team split into two groups and immediately stabilized the timeline, prevented any further delays and rapidly started to work down the backlog caused by those delays. Unosquare team members prioritized a critical technical dependency to finish a core API and turn it into a shared service for the entire company. With this core element solidified, the team began to make up time in the schedule. By collaborating proactively with client team members, the hybrid team delivered beyond what was expected – high quality code, with active support after completion and after release.

“We were able to assist our client by completing a critical migration and modernization of their project. We doubled the team’s velocity and delivered ahead of the MVP deadline.”

Andres Robles, Lead Developer, Unosquare

Our team members gained important experience including the technical particulars of migrating an existing application to AWS and in implementing modern technologies such as Java Spring Boot and React.JS. What started as three applications with a heavy amount of code duplication, typical for a system of its age, became eight independently managed and deployed services with clear separation between the front and back-end services. JBoss was traded in for Tomcat on AWS EC2. The outdated Oracle database with many stored procedures was replaced with MySQL on AWS Aurora, taking care to move the logic in the stored procs into the service layer. AWS S3 buckets were added for user uploaded content and audio files. Implementing AWS Elastic Beanstalk’s blue/green deployment system streamlined the releases and ensured the users would see no interruptions for releases or fixes.

Adaptability & Speed

Despite one of the Unosquare team’s key software development professionals leaving the company in the midst of this two-year project, there was minimal development interruption and a new team member was brought up to speed in three weeks, without impacting the delivery timeline. This is the kind of adaptability that Unosquare brings to its clients – with the right team in place, potential disruptions can be mitigated and even avoided. Unosquare teams are able to absorb the impact and bring the right new hires up to speed quickly. At the point of delivery, the client was presented a much more complete product than they initially expected. The first production version had even more functionality including a content rating system and the addition of user reviews – major user retention features that were important to the client. Additionally, the team implemented a more user-friendly in-house-built URL shortener for deep links using AWS DynamoDB.

Overall Success

Overall, the Unosquare team integrated with the client’s development professionals to deliver a more modern architecture, an upgraded user experience, increased uptime and a lower Total Cost of Ownership. Since the initial release of this project, the team has also added AWS Lambda functions to further improve scalability and maintainability.

Reproducible Results

The story doesn’t end there as our partnership continues and our number of augmented staff continues to climb past twenty-five developers in Mexico and Northern Ireland. This is the kind of work we do at Unosquare, we exceed expectations, we join in the work with established teams and we deliver your projects, successfully.

Ready to embrace digital transformation?

If you want to start the digital transformation process for your healthcare organization, we’re here to help. Unosquare is a trusted partner for these projects. Our experience has proven that a successful digital transformation strategy needs to focus on two things. First, your plan must include ways to manage evolving business goals. These strategies also need to account for the cultural change that comes with those advancements. Using our proven Distributed Agile Framework, our software development engineers provide the kind of external perspective, agility, and understanding required for real innovation.

When you partner with Unosquare, you’ll have access to skilled software development professionals, Business Analysts, SCRUM Masters, Quality Assurance Engineers, and all the ancillary roles for delivery of your strategy. Each of us at Unosquare is directly accessible to your project stakeholders. We also live and work in your time zone, and have the support and training from one of the best global software development companies in the world. To learn more about how we can help you accelerate the digital transformation process, check out our blog.


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Unosquare is a full-service, international digital engineering firm. Through our centers of excellence we recruit, train and professionally manage talent to ensure expertise from discovery to delivery.

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