FerryGateway Association is a digitalisation integration initiative by 8 major ferry companies in North-West Europe and the Mediterranean to unify and increase bookings between Ferry Operators, Agents and Leisure organizations under a common communication protocol.
FGA needs to create a high-performance Switch service that will allow communication and, mainly booking requests between the Agents and the Operators using the standard Ferry Gateway Protocol. The solution should include a management console and should be easy to connect through API to other related services. The solution also must be ready to become a true e-commerce platform.
CN Group was also required to ensure support & maintenance including technical coordination and communication with all involved agents and operators.
Project implementation, from the workshop to production release, took only 8 months.
Since the first agent was connected in June 2019 (which enabled Switch to start its business function) traffic has increased to 250,000 messages per month.
Over less than 7 months The Switch has already joined up agents from Asia, the US and Europe, and all the operators connected are getting around 200 new bookings per month. This number is constantly growing.
As a solution, the CN Group team created FerryGateway Switch, a cloud based high availability application providing an efficient bridge between all the connected ferry operators on one side and travel agents on the other, for fast and multiple bookings across all ferry companies. The system comprises 3 parts: Switch, Switch Configurator and Management Console. To be fast onto the market, we followed the MVP (Minimal Viable Product) approach in the implementation. During a joint workshop with FGA we turned a business idea into the user stories and the backlog. Our management of the project followed SCRUM and CN Group’s agile best practice.
The development started in April 2018 and after only 7 months we delivered the MVP version into production. FGA then ‘on-boarded’ Agents and Operators at the beginning of 2019. Project realisation was very smooth thanks to the high availability of the FGA Product Owner, tight collaboration, and proactivity of the whole team. As of January 2019, the Switch production environment has had no outages.
The solution runs entirely on Azure Cloud and leverages the newest technologies. The Switch application runs as a separate App Service and must be highly available, therefore, it is constantly monitored. In case of a sudden failure, not only is a notification sent, but the monitoring system proactively restarts the Switch.
The necessary configuration is loaded from a separate application, Switch Configuration. This service runs completely separately so that, even were it to fail, the Switch continues to run. Messages between Switch and Switch Configuration use the Azure Service Bus. Switch Configuration uses an event sourcing approach meaning there is a total and complete view of the history of changes for audit and for incident resolution purposes. Switch Transaction logs are saved into a Cosmos DB database where they are further processed. Transaction log metadata is automatically processed, and various running statistics are then saved into an Azure SQL database. Live reports are visible in the Switch Configuration dashboard. This gives the administrator an overall view of Switch activity and status. Historical reports and trends are also accessed in Power BI.