Management summary

Managing exponential growth of a software platform for financial institutions, Oradian case study

Fast-growing start-ups and established B2B companies struggle to find appropriate technology foundations that should be: 

  • scalable (able to manage the complexity and increased demand for the technology resources) 
  • backward-compatible (able to successfully use interfaces and data from earlier versions of the system) 
  • future-proof (upward -compatible and maintainable, in order to support emerging technologies) 
  • enabling a flexible and lean development cycle 

Having product and development teams that are diverse in both technology and technical expertise makes this choice of the foundation even more difficult.  

Is there a proven recipe to successfully tackle such a challenge?  

Here’s the real-life case study of Oradian, a B2B financial inclusion company that delivers a specially designed cloud-based core banking system to financial institutions in emerging markets.  

 

Starting point

 In 2016Oradian faced significant complexity increase and performance regressions on our existing system, the core-banking SaaS software called Instafin 

Although whad quickly realized that extensive refactoring was necessary to resolve entire classes of issues, the main challenge was how to select a reliable foundation, to help us grow a single product on hundreds of instances for the increasing number of new customers (banks) with increasing complexity requirementseventually providing great service (minimizing outage and achieving much faster system response). 

In short – We were fully aware that the foundation will need to ensure steep growth in client and account volumes, enabling fast transaction processing times and ad-hoc reporting, all while continuously adding new features to the system. Performance had to be significantly enhanced, while preserving efficiency to scale.

Solution and consequences of DSL implementation 

To achieve this level of service and performance, we chose a tool called Domain Specification Language (DSLhttps://dsl-platform.com/) which is based on Domain-Driven Design.   

SL enables you to model, build and maintain business applications in several mainstream technologies. After Oradian refactored and structured its code according to DSL principles, in less than a year we were able to comfortably support the exponential customer growth, with no performance problems, while reducing complexity.  

 

One of the biggest benefits we have seen is elimination of miscommunication. In DSL, we have the single source of truth for our entire domain. This greatly enhanced our communication between customers, business analysts, developers and even 3rd parties. There’s no more „lost in translation moments between frontend, backend and infra departments, because now they use the same, standardized DSL language to address the common issues.  Previously they were using the language of their respective technologies.  

Reporting benefits are numerous and include real-time analytics and customisable templates (https://templater.info/).  

Last but not least, by transitioning to DSL for complexity reduction and performance, we automatically transitioned to an “API first “model – since we gained out of the box DSL-generated APIs for our entire domain. 

We are more than satisfied with the yearly growth of our transactional database – from 600GB to 3.8TB in 2018.

Current state 

After catching up to competition via free tier of DSL Platform, we licensed it through a subscription-based model. This allowed us to leapfrog the competition with further complexity reduction and simplification of feature development. 

We are continuously extending the DSL, based on the best practices from the domain experts.  Front-end and Backend developers write various components, and DSL orchestrates them around. Since DSL has no runtime components, we can customize the code to fit our needs, so there is no fear of lock-in.  

All in all, the timely strategic move to adopt DSL and refactor the code according to DSL principles enabled Oradian to scale quickly and efficiently, making its services very reliable to its ever-growing number of customers with their complex requirements.