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Harmonizing Cloud & Platform Modernization While Releasing New Features


Overview, a frontrunner in pharmaceutical data analysis, partnered with us to elevate their platform to unparalleled heights of innovation and compliance. Focused on modernizing their user interface and ensuring HIPAA compliance as they expanded, needed our expert guidance. Their data scientists and machine learning engineers had perfected their proprietary systems, but it was time to overhaul their user interface and migrate to a HIPAA-compliant cloud infrastructure.

Our team created a plan with minimal downtime, ensuring full HIPAA compliance and interface overhaul in a short period. Our detailed planning and execution modernized their platform and empowered their team, enhancing their capabilities and paving the way for continuous innovation. The successful collaboration was a testament to our expertise and commitment to driving transformative results.

Business Situation, a leading platform for pharmaceutical researchers to analyze data and derive insightful results, needed to modernize its platform and secure it for HIPAA compliance as it expanded its business. Their existing core development team comprised data scientists and machine learning engineers who were focused on expanding their data modeling algorithms and proprietary systems, leaving the organization needing a partner to aid with the user interfaces and platform infrastructure challenges they faced. had two primary goals:

  1. Modernize their user interface: Without a proper interface to interact with the data modeling, their powerful engine could not shine to its consumers.
  2. Migrate their infrastructure for compliance: As their algorithms operate on medical and research data, their data needs to be hosted in a manner compliant with HIPAA policies - a challenge they faced with their existing cloud provider.

Solutions selected us as their vendor due to our expert knowledge of Angular, their chosen framework, and its associated technologies while having expert capabilities in managing their cloud infrastructure needs.

Our strategy included:

  1. Assess the challenges they were facing with their existing technologies.
  2. Develop comprehensive, strategic plans to implement the necessary changes effectively.
  3. Execute and release the proposed changes.

I'm really pleased to have been working with This Dot developers for over a year now. In particular, I'm pleased with their technical expertise and fast on-boarding time for each project.

Jesse Paquette Co-founder and CSO,

Strategic Platform Modernization: Preparing for Next-Gen Features sought to do more than modernize its existing user interfaces. It wanted to accelerate its platform growth through intentional preparations for new features during the modernization. As such, our team at This Dot sat down with stakeholders to identify upcoming key features and requirements that were difficult to introduce or important for the user experience to best progress development forward to achieve the desired outcomes. We identified advanced data visualization features, data reporting capabilities, and an in-app editor for model customization as key features the platform would need to support.

The existing platform was built using AngularJS v1.6, which had recently announced its end-of-life date, noting an important need to migrate to a modern version of Angular, or a new framework. Upon inspecting the application, our experts identified that the application was well structured, enabling a shift to modern Angular in an acceptable time frame. We also determined key components of the application that could be improved to achieve the new features. This would allow to incrementally build upon the structure to rapidly launch new features using foundational building blocks for their interface.

Parallel Progress with New Feature Releases and Existing Feature Migrations could not pause new feature development while they waited for their platform to be migrated to a new technology. This is a common challenge many companies face when exploring modernization efforts. Thus, our engineers devised a plan porting essential code elements for new feature development first, allowing existing functionality to be supported on the new platform while enhancing it with new features.

This strategy was further supported by Angular's upgrade adapter, allowing incremental legacy application migrations to modern Angular. This enabled the team to operate legacy components in the upgraded application and only upgrade them when new functionality or fixes needed to be applied. When implementing new data visualizations, D3 was selected, and new components were built using modern Angular. However, the controls and filters could use some base elements, such as buttons and form inputs, that were leveraged from the legacy application. Having the ability to focus on the new features expedited the overall development efforts and led to a successful release of new features on time.

Navigating HIPAA-Compliance with AWS Solutions's platform leverages real-time database features and other cloud-based SAML solutions for authentication. Their selected vendor, Google's Firebase Real-Time Database, was not HIPAA compliant, which is an important compliance aspect for their platform. This required a cloud migration to a compliant vendor with similar features to avoid significant code rewrites. After our assessment, we determined they needed a platform that supported cloud functions, authentication, and real-time data.

Our experts investigated other solutions offered by Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and solutions by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The Google options lacked HIPAA compliance, though after the migration, Google Firestore announced HIPAA compliance. AWS's DynamoDB was selected for its comparable feature set, and the AWS platform also supported cloud functions through Lambda and SAML through Cognito. With these key features supported, the shift to AWS was determined as the best course of action, and work began.

There were no automated processes for this migration, so our team developed a custom [extract, transform, load (ETL)](,and%20machine%20learning%20(ML).) layer to shift the data to AWS from GCP. This allowed the team to continue developing the existing systems while changes were automatically synchronized to the new system. This allowed a seamless transition when the changes to connect to the new infrastructure were implemented and mitigated any development bottlenecks.

Let's see how This Dot can help you

Are you looking for a development consulting firm that can provide staff augmentation, architectural guidance, and consulting to your company? Look no further than This Dot Labs. Our team of experienced developers and managers can help you implement and teach modern web best practices, and deliver your projects on time and within budget. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your development goals.

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