Newline Financial’s web app gains future-proof functionality with shift to Google Cloud Platform
Since 2013, Newline Financial has provided specialty finance and property rehabilitation to property owners and counties. Newline purchases and services tax liens nationwide, by utilizing a team of professionals, technologies, and backend analytics.
To optimize efficiency, Newline Financial launched an internal web app to collect taxes and repay them to property owners with interest. While in the early growth stages of the company, Newline chose to develop the web app using the WaveMaker Platform, hosted on Azure cloud, which could save time and money.
However, as Newline began to experience growth, the need to implement new features and functions to the web app became critical. The WaveMaker platform, which made app creation initially easy and quick to implement, had proven to be restrictive and problematic. Issues occurred when the WaveMaker Platform failed to integrate Newline’s new features and functionality. Newline wanted to scale its business offering, but the WaveMaker Platform had become the bottleneck.
Newline’s team searched for a solution to upgrade or replace the WaveMaker Platform and turned to Sphere Software to find a solution.
How We Solved It
After much discovery and analysis, Sphere recommended that Newline migrates from WaveMaker to the more scalable and robust Google Cloud Platform, written in the Ruby on Rails programming language. However, the transition wouldn’t be a smooth one.
Issues arose when Sphere identified that the current app architecture was based mostly on the database, and to store the logic in the database layer (as a storage procedure). While this is an acceptable approach, the following problems caused issues and limitations from a platform migration standpoint.
- It’s difficult to decouple the logic.
- It’s complicated to experiment with new functionality.
- It’s a vendor lock (unable to alter the database engine).
- It affects the development process and locks the user to platform-specific solutions.
To avoid any possible disruption to the business, Sphere decided to take a gradual approach in the implementation. Sphere proposed to implement some functionality as a separate app that would shadow the current app parts while using the same database as the main source of data. If the experiment proved to be successful, Sphere would then transition the entire web app, in increments, to the new platform.
During the experiments, Sphere found the following benefits in transitioning to Google Cloud Platform:
The transition from MS Azure SQL server to GCP SQL can add up to 20% more performance, simply by using a standard tier.
Compared to Azure, using GCP resulted in a cost savings of 5-10%.
With GCP in place, Newline is able to achieve the scalability it needs to incorporate new, innovative features quickly. The entire app was containerized and moved to GCP Kubernetes cluster, which quickly responds to auto-scale events, to meet demand instantly.
The current implementation is fully vendor-agnostic. It uses open-source technology, such as Ruby on Rails, as a backend framework and Kubernetes cluster for managing infrastructure.
Sphere uses an internal framework that helps to deliver better and more predictable results in hosting solutions. Receiving the most current technologies and expertise in development and deployment allows Sphere clients like Newline Financial, to bring more stability and predictability to their business and customers.