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Story House Egmont – Digitized and Streamlined in Just Three Months

Through modernization measures, a tailored and user-adapted experience has been created. Egmont Entry is now a stable, efficient and user-friendly portal for handling Story House Egmont’s magazine orders.

Egmont is a prominent Nordic media company that plays a crucial role in the entertainment industry and delivers engaging stories to a wide audience. Story House Egmont is an innovative and dynamic company within Egmont that focuses on creating and distributing high-quality content. Through their extensive network of writers, artists, and creative talents, Story House Egmont manages to create inspiring and exciting stories across different media formats.

With a dedication to bringing stories to life in a unique and engaging way, Story House Egmont has established itself as a leading player in the entertainment industry where they constantly strive to deliver outstanding experiences to their audience.

The challenge

After completing a major lift and shift process, Story House Egmont is embarking on their journey to modernize the services that have been moved from on-premises to Azure. This journey involves both migrating existing applications from virtual machines and learning best practices in cloud-native application development. The Egmont Entry application was identified as the best showcase for leveraging Azure PaaS solutions to build more modern applications.

Egmont Entry serves as a portal for order management, including orders from internal and external partners. The application handles order validation, such as campaign code validation and order data enrichment, before forwarding them to an internal ERP system. The original implementation of Egmont Entry is based on SQL Server hosting on Azure Virtual Machines and executes business logic through stored procedures. This has created challenges in terms of system testing, fast and stable development, and system maintenance.

One of the primary goals of modernizing the application was to move away from the dependency on SQL Server on virtual machines and instead utilize more modern technologies and Azure PaaS solutions. These technologies are to be used to meet the requirements of a multi-tenant application with data separation and role management.

The development of Egmont Entry is based on Microsoft applications and data services such as:

  • Azure App Service

  • Azure CosmosDb

  • Azure RBAC

  • Azure DevOps

  • Blazor

The solution

The Egmont Entry portal was modernized by rewriting the application code using .NET and Blazor, which aligned with the existing skills of Egmont’s developers. This modernization enabled a more streamlined and efficient development process. As a result, the team was able to take over the code after the project’s completion, ensuring continuity and controlled maintenance.

To achieve rapid implementation and focus on the valuable aspects of the system, cVation’s (part of Skaylink) in-house developed CADD platform was utilized. This allowed developers to prioritize features and improvements for the benefit of users, instead of spending unnecessary time dealing with integrations with Azure PaaS solutions. This optimized development time and resources to achieve better results.

To ensure secure and reliable communication between different services, the system utilized system-assigned identities. This approach allows service components to authenticate with each other, ensuring seamless and secure information exchange. After introducing this method, Egmont plans to use it in multiple integrations in the future, as it ensures more efficient and streamlined integration between systems.

To organize and manage different user roles within the system, an efficient administration function was established through Azure AD. With this solution, Story House Egmont could define and assign different roles to users, granting them access to relevant features and information in the Egmont Entry portal. This made it possible to create a tailored and user-centric experience.

To ensure an agile development process, pipelines were set up to automate build, testing, and deployment processes, ensuring thorough testing of the code before it is rolled out to users. Automation increases efficiency and reliability in the development cycle, while improving the quality of the delivered work. Through these modernization efforts, Egmont Entry has become a more stable, efficient, and user-friendly portal for managing magazine orders. Additionally, developers’ skills have been matched effectively, ensuring continuous improvement and maintenance of the system.

“We are delighted to have accomplished this high impact project within such a short timeframe. The combination of curiosity and professionalism that cVation brought to the table played a large role in achieving speed in our project delivery. The cooperation has been effortless, but still creative and focused on the end result.”

Johan Friberg
Head of Subscription Systems, Story House Egmont 

The process

The project involved multiple parties working closely together to achieve the agreed-upon goals. Developers from cVation and Story House Egmont collaborated to review and understand the existing business logic and define requirements for the system. This collaboration was crucial in identifying necessary changes and improvements. A close collaboration with Egmont’s Corporate IT (Egmont IT) was also in place which served as an important sparring partner, particularly regarding infrastructure and internal development guidelines for the Azure cloud.

One area discussed in the collaboration was user administration and the use of Azure AD for this purpose. Egmont IT and Microsoft were both involved in deciding on a solution that met all requirements while resulting in a future-proof solution.

As part of the development process, it was initially decided to use cVation’s in-house developed platform, CADD, as a starting platform for Infrastructure as Code (IaC). CAAD facilitated rapid deployment of both code and infrastructure. Subsequently, the project was migrated to Egmont IT’s in-house developed IaC solution. This approach allowed the application to be quickly deployed to an Azure environment using CI/CD pipelines that handle build, testing, and resource provisioning, while IaC was developed by Egmont IT for self-administration after project delivery.

Through collaboration and efficient development and operational methods, a fast and streamlined implementation of the Egmont Entry application in the Azure environment was achieved. This ensured an agile development process and effective collaboration among different teams, while adhering to Egmont’s overall IT strategy and their requirements for security and stability.

The result

At the end of the project, an initial application with integration patterns and automated tests of the implemented features was set up. This laid the foundation, allowing Egmont to finalize the remaining features in a modern and streamlined manner. The project took approximately 3 months in total and could serve as a pilot project for Egmont if they decide to pursue similar development for their other systems and solutions in the future.

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