Creating a microservices architecture accelerates eMoney’s time-to-market and creates a system that will scale with new users

Client Logo_emoney_case study

INDUSTRY
Financial Services

HEADQUARTERS
Radnor, PA

SERVICES
Application Development
Enterprise Architecture
Consulting Services

Headspring has been fundamental in helping us migrate our application architecture to a componentized model that can facilitate our business growth. They have always operated as a partner to us, first listening to help us identify challenges and goals, then working with us to define and implement the best solutions. We consider Headspring a valuable part of the eMoney team.

P.K. Shiu

SVP of Architecture, eMoney

Challenge

  • Exponential growth leads to a pressing need to scale
  • Difficulty updating or adding new features to the flagship app, due to its monolithic nature
  • Slow load times and data inefficiencies for existing users due to tight coupling
  • Lack of clear codebase ownership across and extensive development and delivery team
  • The development landscape was “wild west,” with over 20 teams working from single code base
  • Inexperience with microservices processes and architecture

Solution

  • Created a microservices architecture that enables eMoney to scale along with its growing user-base
  • Applying an MVP approach, created a blueprint for building and releasing features more quickly
  • Used NServiceBus and RabbitMQ, with custom-built components, to allow for decoupling of services
  • Deployed a data migration strategy to make standalone services autonomous
  • Enabled individual teams to deploy on their own, without “breaking the code” for others
  • Connected service boundaries to business functions and communicated the value of a microservices architecture

Results

  • The first service was successfully decoupled and deployed
  • In the first four months, over 4 million web requests and 1 million messages have been processed
  • The patterns we established are being used to decouple new services and facilitate UI integration and messaging
  • Deployed a data migration strategy to make standalone services autonomous
  • eMoney can now update, support, and enhance individual services, faster
  • Developers, architects, and business leaders recognize the value that microservices can bring to the organization

eMoney’s Story

eMoney was an early pioneer in the world of fintech, providing web-based wealth management solutions that enable financial professionals to build rich relationships with their customers and clients. Technology has been a big differentiator for eMoney, thanks to an innovative IT team and a tech-forward mission. But new disruptors abound, and keeping that edge in an increasingly competitive landscape takes the ability to flex and grow with savvy users.

Mired by a monolith

eMoney’s flagship application, emX Pro, was a monolith—difficult to update, enhance, and support. Developers couldn’t add new features quick enough because the interdependencies of the system were too complex. Not to mention, the tightly-coupled nature of the system lead to lagging load times for existing users. But with over 20 development teams working from a single code base, making updates was a development debacle—a hole in one team’s code could bring down the whole ship. So when growth became imminent with large enterprise clients, eMoney knew it needed to rethink its system architecture in order to successfully scale.

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Partnering for speed

Moving to a microservices architecture would enable teams to develop and deploy independently, without breaking the system. eMoney looked to Headspring not just for our microservices-savvy, but also our pragmatic approach to building right sized systems and processes that work with the speed of the business. We didn’t waltz in waving our own tool sets, rather, we spent six weeks getting to know eMoney’s business goals, assessing the technical landscape, and providing recommendations based on eMoney’s current system and future vision. We interviewed stakeholders and collaborated with tech teams, worked through all levels of the organization to communicate value, and so became trusted guides on the first leg of eMoney’s microservices journey.

Creating the gold standard

So what to tackle first? We analyzed the system to determine which services we could break out, drawing clear connections between business functions and technical dependencies of the system. Analytics stood out as the first service to break apart and establish as the gold standard for future microservices. We suggested NServiceBus and RabbitMQ for messaging, and even custom built parts of the message transport service, making the microservices properly autonomous.

Autonomy that scales

The first service was successfully decoupled and, in the first four months, processed 4 million web requests and 1 million messages without a hitch. This service stands not as a singular success, but as a springboard for launching eMoney into the future. The patterns and processes we implemented are now being used by other development teams as they build out additional microservices. By harnessing an MVP approach, we delivered something that works in practice and can be built upon continuously and with ease.

Moving faster in fintech

The ability to scale services independently from the rest of the application is a huge boon for eMoney as it continues to grow with its customers. It can now add new servers to support a continued influx of users and maintain existing services while updating and adding new features for its increasingly savvy set of financial services clients.

Under the monolith system, it takes 54 minutes to build and run unit tests on the application. It takes only two minutes to build and run unit tests on the new microservice. That’s 96% faster.

eMoney is now able to iterate, update, and better meet the needs of the customers who propel the business forward.

Stronger at the core

Change gets you thinking. The thought leadership we provided got both development teams and business leaders thinking in service-oriented terms. The organization embraced the value that a microservices architecture could bring. As an already-agile organization, they were able to embrace the benefits by giving development teams the power to build and deploy autonomously.

Driving the mission forward

Engagement drives collaboration. Autonomy empowers teams. Scalability leads to growth.

Ultimately, paving the path to microservices transformation enables eMoney to realize its own mission of transforming the way financial professionals deliver scalable advice and build collaborative relationships. A successful microservice is more than a drop in the bucket—it’s a success that can be replicated at scale, generating value that will ripple within the business and through to customers.

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