Today we’d like to share the use case of Maggioli Group, a leader in Information Technology for Public Administration and Public Companies. Among the main services, they provide there are publishing, training, document management, consulting, outsourcing services and local revenue management. Nowadays, the group has over 15 offices in Italy, 3 abroad (Belgium, Albania and Spain), more than 1.400 employees and generates a revenue of 128 million euro for the year (2016). The company has different users, from small municipalities to major cities, provinces, regions, national government agencies, public and private companies operating within the public administration; and keeps the aim to improve their efficiency with the provided solutions.
Paolo Urbanetto, who is responsible for e-procurement and, as project manager, handles different important projects close to customers at Maggioli, discloses some details on using Jelastic Cloud Platform on top of dogado hosting provider since 2012.
What were the key reasons to host your project on Jelastic?
In 2012 we implemented an application for the Department of the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport. The project expected the implementation of a web application, available for all public administrations that would have used it for the publication of three-year public works programs. There were several thousands users of this application, but they intensively used it only in the defined periods of the year. Therefore, we were in need of a reliable and scalable (in case of intense loads) infrastructure. Who can do it better than Jelastic?
Jelastic also allowed us to host that project in a simple way with total cost control. I do not think there is yet another alternative PaaS for Java applications like Jelastic, that is so easy to understand and use, cost-effective, and efficient for projects that do not have the continuous intensive load.
What stacks do you use to run the project and how they are interconnected?
Our applications are developed with Java technology and designed for desktop users. In recent years, we provided some applications for mobile devices also, but our main focus is a professional market, where a mouse and a keyboard are still the most efficient tools.
Our preferred technology stack is based on servers with Linux as an operating system, Tomcat application server, Apache web server, PostgreSQL database and a client, using the most popular web browsers.
What were the reasons for choosing Java? Which alternatives did you consider?
We have come a long way – we wrote in Fortran, C, Uniface and PowerBuilder. We used proprietary databases and market standards like Oracle and SQL Server.
In 2007 we had to choose how to rewrite our products to bring them on the web. At that time, among the main options to consider were Java, PHP, and ASP. We chose Java because it was object-oriented and provided reliability, portability, scalability.
We`ve made a right choice, as the public administration has opted this open source software as a standard.
How is Java used in the product?
Java is used as a server-side writing language (Servlet and JSP). We naturally use open source frameworks such as Spring and Struts. Our solution consists of multiple applications integrated with each other through web services. We often use web services to integrate external applications. In the Italian public e-procurement, there are certain specifications for the interoperability of applications based on web services, that we have adapted to.
There are, however, examples of interoperability models in the public administration based on REST technology. We are working on the redesign of part of our applications on a distributed architectural API REST-based model since several months.
What was the cost difference?
We choose Jelastic in response to the needs of our customers. Most of our applications are intensively used only in some periods (which can last only a few days), and for the rest of the time usage is minimal. In this context, the scalability, offered by Jelastic is an outstanding leverage on both technical and economic points.
The average estimated cost reduction for us is 30% in comparison with non-elastic infrastructure.
Your general impression and highlights of using the platform.
Using Jelastic for our applications, we observe a significantly steady growth, mainly because it allows us to:
save costs due to paying only for the actual usage of resources;
define and control the cost limits to prevent surprise bills;
enjoy an easy to configure and manage environments;
automatically scale the resources for our applications when it is needed;
benefit from the platform’s guaranteed highest reliability.
All roads lead to PaaS! We are extremely happy that Jelastic met the needs of Maggioli in terms of scalability, user-friendly UI and pay as you use pricing approach that helps to save costs for applications hosting.