The technical centre for agriculture and rural cooperation.

Setting up and operating the AWS environment, managing the application layer, and revitalizing the solution with application development

The Challenge.

The Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is an organization committed to helping African, Caribbean and Pacific states in advancing food and nutritional security, improving livelihoods and encouraging sound natural resource management. The key method in advancing this mission is providing information to stakeholders in all of the countries. As with any modern solution, CTA recognized that the best way to implement the solution was on the public cloud for which they chose the market leader AWS. The solution was designed from the beginning to separate the content from the presentation with a modular software architecture utilizing an API layer and a container based frontend.

The Solution.

CTA first designed a division of responsibilities that called for Nordcloud to set up, manage and operate the AWS environment on top of which the development of the APIs, the CMS and the web applications was done by other vendors. As the solution gained maturity CTA decided to look for a new provider for the managed services on the application layer. In addition to maturity, the application had accumulated a backlog of change needs and quite a bit of technical debt. CTA searched for the right partner to both implement the changes and revitalize the platform as well as to manage the application layer.

Since Nordcloud had proved itself with the high quality of the Managed Cloud Environments services and was able to assure CTA on the skills also with Application Development and Managed Cloud Applications services, Nordcloud was the selected partner and the scope of our services increased to encompass the whole solution.

The Results.

Access to the right knowledge has been reliably delivered to CTA’s stakeholders all through the implementation of the changes to the solution. This includes several major updates to libraries, runtimes, and components used in the solution that not only make the further development more efficient, but also improve the security of the solution while driving down the running costs. For example, the original Named Entity Recognition implemented using Apache Stanbol and Neo4J was migrated to a cloud native fully managed alternative solution using AWS Comprehend. This successfully addressed the technical debt represented by the no longer actively supported Stanbol solution.

Nordcloud continues to guarantee  that the solution keeps functioning well and has a good joint backlog with CTA on developing the solution. The services will enable CTA to fulfill its mission and improve the lives of millions of people across the globe.

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Ilja Summala