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Using Microsoft Azure to Deliver Customer Results


14 Apr 2022 | Pawel Pindel

At gravity9 we have been leveraging Microsoft technology for some time and are delighted to say we are now a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. Read how we have used Microsoft Azure across a US based Real Estate client.

Microsoft has formed a significant element of several of our major digital transformation projects, with our expert System Architects having been hands-on with Azure cloud since its release.

How we used Azure to Deliver Customer Results

When leveraging Azure at gravity9, we typically use Azure Service Bus for domain events across micro-services, but for anything that requires high data throughput we have been using Azure Event Hubs to deliver at scale – from metrics, audits, and IoT signals to GPS coordinates of fleets of technicians as they move through the US to service their customers.

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) allowed us to easily adopt Kubernetes for this large client, demonstrating that having such an execution fabric will allow them to onboard new applications quickly and thus to stay ahead of their competition. Further onboarding of new micro-services or micro-frontends was a simple process, especially when combined with Azure DevOps and Helm.

Azure Functions and Logic Apps allowed us to build adapters to external systems, provide an anti-corruption layer to the new built platform and even encourage some non-technical members to introduce no-code integrations by defining the orchestration using a visual designer.

Azure Stream Analytics helped us to reduce the complexity of event streams by aggregating and projecting messages as they arrive before we send them to our integration adapters. In addition, we’re continuing to discuss a range of anti-fraud scenarios that this could also solve for our client, especially in conjunction with Cognitive Services.

Azure Cognitive Services has proven to be very effective in image recognition, which we used to extract contextual tags from the contents of images. This helped achieve a better search match to what the end user was searching for. Cropping of images with focal point detection was also easily added for our client that made his website content more appealing to their customers.

Azure AD B2C has proven to be flexible and simple enough to become the central identity solution for several gravity9 clients, especially when a mixed userbase has to be authenticated (customers, partners, vendors, and even internal employees). We also notice cost savings when compared with other identity SaaS offerings on the market, an added benefit for the client.

Azure DevOps has been much valued by our DevOps practice. gravity9 being a best practices software engineering firm, each of our projects requires a continuous integration pipeline to be delivered from Sprint 0. Azure DevOps allows us to quickly spin up pipelines for each of our clients.

Azure Blob Storage and Azure CDN helped our client to store content at low cost and deliver content blazingly fast. We have even arrived at a design where Azure Blob was used as the first upload and retrieve storage to deliver inspection pictures for a massive fleet of technicians in the US,  which reduced the load on a third party document management SaaS platform and resulted in better overall system performance.

Azure API Management Gateway helped us to expose and manage API access to external partner organizations that needed to tap into the service offerings for the platform we build for our clients. This allowed us to establish centralised metering and usage analytics, enabling us to understand who is using the platform and to what extent. Being able to add additional interceptors helped us to easily troubleshoot third-party integrations.

App Insights was a central place for anything related to monitoring of our applications, or infrastructure. Combined with Azure Dashboards our clients can gain insight into what is happening with their applications without having to buy costly third-party monitoring solutions.

Azure Redis Cache helped us to pull in an application cache layer quickly across a set of distributed apps where reconstructing cache data was rather costly. In addition, we can pull in Redis pub/sub for some of the inter-process coordination. Azure SignalR Service enables our UIs to become more user friendly by streaming data updates directly into the user’s screen.

Azure Front Door, Traffic Manager and other infrastructure related offerings allowed us to complete more network hybrid setups that subsequently enabled the newly built platform to coexist with the legacy systems.

These are just some Microsoft technologies that we have the pleasure of using across our client projects. We are happy to continue the digital transformation journey with Microsoft Azure, and are thrilled to hear about the upcoming innovations that Microsoft has on their roadmap.