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Renewal of core banking application
Blazar Group is collaborating with Cornèr Bank in the reengineering of the banking application core, with the goal of having a modern, dynamic software ecosystem that is open to new business evolutions, while containing operating costs and replacing the mainframe-oriented infrastructure with a Microsoft technology-oriented infrastructure.
The application part of the new architecture is realized through .NET Framework 4.8 (C#). The front-end is realized with Angular and AngularJS (server-side). The supporting database is SQL Server, while a queuing model (MSMQ and WebSphere MQ) is used to connect with third-party systems, with the ability to perform distributed transactions using Windows Server’s MSDTC and NServiceBus 5. The system is integrated with multiple third-party applications to cover particular areas such as managing budgets and income statements or managing market trading.
Blazar experts are in charge of system design, implementation and testing. Important components have been implemented in the sphere of lending activities (development of processes for the evaluation of economic groups, development of components for the management of mortgage credit), accounting activities (development of the calculation of periodic fees of various kinds, transparent visualization of accounting calculations).
Digitizing information flow management
Intesa San Paolo
Blazar’s fullstack developers have created new web applications that, compared to the portals used previously, have made the user experience simpler and more intuitive.
The first application is a dashboard for managing incoming/outgoing calls from the call center. Using the app, it is possible to check branch opening and closing times, record audio, automate appointment taking, and set alerts to prompt certain users (previously phone calls had to be made). Development was done in .NET Core 3.1, MS SQL Server Database, and Angular.
The second application, called Campaign manager, allows to create and monitor advertising campaigns of the Intesa Group. The app is developed with Angular and Jenkins, on a new digital architecture (Darwin) with microcomponents.
Investment monitoring applications
Eurizon Capital SGR
Blazar collaborates with Eurizon’s IT department on Microsoft projects: website in ASP.NET, Windows Services in .NET, SmartClient, Data quality and db SQL Server (T-SQL, job, DTSX).
Major developments include:
> Application for managing fund and securities time series, CAX (corporate action) management, data import-export. The application is used by the back office to monitor market trends and control the evolution of time series using mathematical formulas.
> Application used for managing institutional portfolios and performing analytical simulations when comparing benchmarks.
> Dashboard for consulting levels and measures of portfolios to monitor trends over various time horizons.
> Portal for consulting, editing and validating product value series (Web-application) as well as acquiring and calculating series (Windows-services).
Tailor-made tailoring made fast and smart
A system has been devised for creating, sending and confirming orders from Ermenegildo Zegna boutiques. The tailor is thus facilitated in entering data and measurements necessary for the creation of the product. For any request (enabling new users, reporting malfunctions or checking on orders), tickets can be opened, managed directly by the IT department.
The Blazar team is responsible for analyzing and entering data on Oracle DBs, taking care of the transition into the testing, staging and production environments. Implementation of data from IBMi databases is done through ODI (Oracle Data Integrator). External order management is done through TIBCO platform.
The best shopping experience for Luxury Retail
Bizeta Retail Solutions
GEMINI is a solution with a pool of functionalities, divided by thematic areas, aimed at managing checkouts for customers in the Retail Luxury context. Each customer will have the possibility to choose which functionalities to activate for each or only some of the thematic areas and, should there be any upgrades or maintenance work, any new installation will affect only the area concerned.
Blazar developers work following Agile methodologies, coordinated by a scrum master and a product owner.
The solution has a microservices architecture and is developed using the latest technologies: Java 10 and 11, Spring Boot, Spring Data, Spring Security, Spring Actuator, Hibernate, Jaxb, Log4J, Netflix Eureka server, Oracle database, Prometheus, Grafana, Fiddler proxy.
Building open-source fiber optics
Deutsche Telekom AG
The project-dedicated to fiber optics-followed an open source policy: the goal was to be able to customize every aspect of the software to make it installable on any hardware and, therefore, no longer have to depend on external vendors. In fact, devices dedicated to reaching people’s homes have outsourced management (outside companies provide both hardware and software). The developments were overseen by 8 teams, each coordinated by a project manager and with different tasks: software, infrastructure, systems, and networking.
The Blazar team together with the client’s DevOps team took care of the Life Cycle Management (LCM) of all servers and Cluster management (the deployment of Kubernetes).
The benefits achieved were:
– huge time savings on development of new features, which can be replicated immediately through Kubernetes (software and hardware are already integrated);
– zero cost reduction on outsourcing for future feature development because internal teams have acquired the necessary know-how
5G Data Monitoring
Blazar collaborated on an application for infrastructure monitoring of future 5G networks. The monitoring concerns the parameters that enable the proper functioning of the network itself.
Blazar and the client’s team of developers worked in a completely homogeneous and synchronized manner and the project was managed very smoothly, through sprints, with tasks organized on Jira (Atlassian).
> The first phase involved studying the 5G technical specifications and choosing, together with the client, which fields to monitor.
> The second phase was C++ programming and the management of XML files via Google’s Protocol Buffers, on which the data chosen in the analysis phase were reported. This huge amount of files generated in C++ became the basis for customizing and making everything work properly (Event Networking). The goal of these files, in fact, is to instruct the system to understand when to capture specific data packets and parse their contents. All data is saved on Redis Database.
> The third phase was to create JSON or simple CSV files with the extracted data to integrate them into the application interface so that they are visible to the client.
Evolving diagnostic tools
BMW’s strength is to offer its customers (workshops and authorized mechanics) vehicle diagnostic software that is always up-to-date, with new features and active support for all kinds of issues.
The project involves large-scale programming because the software interfaces several backends. It uses .NET Framework 4.8 and C#, with MySQL databases for the development part and Oracle for the release part. Blazarians collaborate with several teams, consisting mainly of German, Italian, and Polish developers. The teams are coordinated by scrum masters and interface with BMW Product Owners.
The methodology followed is Agile, specifically the LeSS framework is applied. The tools supporting the work, besides MS Teams for communications, are mainly from the Atlassian family: Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket, etc.
Each sprint consists mainly of three types of tasks:
– New feature development
– Program bug fixes
– Investigation/Exploration of the feasibility of new features.
Tires for the whole world
The goal is to develop and maintain Pirelli’s CRM, which contains about 500 GB of databases, relating to 4 million customers from 120 countries. The data flow comes from various platforms through a series of integrations using the main existing systems on the market (Tibco, Scribe, SSIS, Pentaho).
The Blazar team managed the Middleware layer of services exposed by Dynamics and was responsible for supporting the transition to the new CRM.
– data import portal;
– full deletion portal for GDPR;
– system for remediation, georeferencing and enrichment of contact addresses through Google Bees.
Reinventing roadside assistance
The first project was the redesign of the NCO2 service platform. The application, originally written in .NET, was redesigned with new technologies: Node.js, React, Mongo DB, Kubernetes. It is now super light, fast and more modern.
DRSA (Digital Roadside Assistance) is Europ Assistance Global’s project to unify the roadside assistance processes of all branches worldwide. We took part in the development that connects the local database (Country Italy) to the global platform.
Blazar Group experts created new applications, preferring a microservices-based architecture to a monolithic approach. An example are LOG ENGINE and GEO ENGINE. The first is a performance meter that uses application-level logs and is most useful for debugging, because through stack traces it immediately identifies errors.
The second is a service for distance matrix, geocoding, and reverse geocoding. Before, each application had its own API key and queried Google Maps. Now everyone is contacting the new software: searching for suppliers, tracking the various vehicles that are around to identifying a customer’s stopping point. The calls come to the software, which has its own internal cache and server.
The winning choice was to shift the cost to the infrastructure: the server, while very large, costs only 30 euros a month whereas before the customer was spending about ten thousand euros a month on Google Maps.
Engineering the process of policy issuance
The project involves the evolution and maintenance of an application that manages the sales and after-sales of insurance policies.
Blazar was responsible for building the backend, in C# with .NET framework 4.5 and MVC technology, in order to integrate numerous services via batch, webservices, webAPI and queues. The frontend, developed with JQuery and KnockoutJs, consists of a dashboard useful for the user to manage the business process in a linear and simplified way.
Modern Look and Feel for Insurance Products
The developments handled by Blazar involve a modern graphical user interface for the company’s main insurance products, in this case Allianz Ultra Health, Home and Heritage and in Allianz Ultra Enterprise. The development was done in collaboration with other vendors, who handled the Back End, Infrastructure and Database layers.
All these applications allow the insurer to configure the policy for the customer in all the various aspects and has several additional features (printing, presentation, predefined policies, waiver management, discount management etc.) as well as different flow modes (e.g., Post-sale).
Developments are carried out in Agile Scrum mode, with 2-week sprints, all coordinated by a scrum master.
The technologies used by the frontend are Angular 11, which is updated progressively every year, and Ngrx for state management. Among the various development tools, Jest was used and for unit testing coordinated with Mirage.js to manage the development of a standalone frontend, thus facilitating local developments and greatly reducing bugs..
Energy research tools
The project concerns the developments of a portal of the Repower contract area, from which users can enter new contracts or open tickets.
An important task has been the development of new features of the search section from which it is possible to extract any customer-side information such as history, type of contracts, operations, supply points, etc.
The work is managed through SALs in which the team compares everything that has been done in the previous two weeks and plans the next sprint, sorting tasks by priority and urgency.
Enhancing the corporate intranet with web applications
The goal is to build a Web Application suite for managing the business process steps by which sunglass lenses are made. Portals have been developed to:
> Manage new product requests, with life-cycle monitoring up to final prototype production.
> Manage the composition of the molds with which, in production laboratories, lenses are made.
> Analyze the characteristics of a new product from all points of view: technical, technological, logistical and marketing.
> Survey the technical parameters to which production processes and quality control must be subjected.
> Manage the shipment of products to optical retailers. The system manages the generation of barcodes to identify packages to be shipped, the status, timing and location of shipments.
Currently, the Web Applications are only integrated with each other at the frontend level. The ultimate intent is integration at the functional level to facilitate data passing.
Centralize information management with Cloud Native portals
The main project is a web portal that allows publishers and bookstores who register with it, and Messaggerie Libri employees themselves, to take advantage of various services inherent to book management, which will be different depending on the type of user. The second project is a portal that allows the modification of information regarding users (permissions, consultable applications, client code, etc.).
The Blazar team follows the whole stack.
> UI part: CMS in C# (Umbraco) and various applications in React.
> Backend part: API with ASP.NET Core, Umbraco’s PluginController and Azure Functions.
> Database: SQL Server
> Versioning / Task Management / CI-CD: Microsoft’s DevOps.
> Third-party tools: Boomi, SAP
> Azure Services: SQL Server, App Service, Azure Functions, Blob Storage, Service Bus, Azure Cognitive Search, Application Insights.
Power App as a planner for procurement tenders
The Power App is designed for the planning of Poste Italiane’s tender office. New tenders are created using forms, the fields of which can be customized according to the user’s needs. The information entered is recorded on SharePoint lists. Power Automate flows have been set up to alert users daily, on Teams, about tasks that are due.
In addition, the app features a dashboard, similar to Planner, where the progress of all tasks related to the current race can be monitored.
Application development and migration from AWS to GCP
The Blazar team, with strong technical focus, supported the client in coordinating projects and adhering to the schedule of activities.
The development team is responsible for managing multiple applications:
> mobile app to view employee shifts;
> mobile app to register the user to the various departments (cashier, carpentry, bathroom, etc.) capable of getting the relevant calls directly to the device;
> mobile app that allows management of customer loyalty cards;
> web app that manages diaries for booking craftsmen’s appointments;
> widget/mobile app that has single sign-on functionality and acts as a hub to business applications whether mobile app or web app.
> web app that allows selection of the most suitable courier based on various parameters, including weight constraints, size, etc.
Here are the technologies used: Java/J2ee, Spring, Spring MVC, Spring Boot, Spring Security, JPA, REST Web services, React, Kotlin, Node.js | Build and dependencies: Maven, Gradle | Git source versioning | CI/CD Gitlab | MySQL database, PostgreSQL, MongoDB | Tomcat app server | Software containers: Docker | AWS ECR, AWS CloudWatch | Google Cloud Platform Cloud Run, Google Firebase