The government keeps a lot of data in authentic sources. This is done at both federal and regional level. Think – for example – of the National Register, the Crossroads Bank for Vehicles (DIV), the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (KBO) or the Learning and Experience Database (LED).
In Flanders, MAGDA (MAximal Data Sharing between Administrations) ensures that all bodies with the appropriate authorization have access to these sources. MAGDA offers an electronic service package for this purpose and guarantees that data are exchanged securely and in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation. MAGDA is therefore crucial for the digitalization of services of the Flemish and local authorities.
CRONOS has been a partner of Digitaal Vlaanderen for many years. In terms of developments, the Customer is in charge and takes the lead. CRONOS puts a broad set of experts and services at its disposal to complement the capacity of the Agency on the one hand and to contribute to the evolution and high availability of the MAGDA platform and services on the other.
COVALENS hereby acts as a technology- and vendor-independent Team within the CRONOS group, supporting the customer in its strategic decision-making and bridging the gap between business needs and technological capabilities.
Regarding the platform and platform services, COVALENS takes full operational responsibility across the various Cronos Competence Centres. In close cooperation with the development teams and MAGDA management, we have taken the necessary steps to improve the existing platform and to roll out a new environment for future-oriented developments.
The diagram below gives a macro overview of the evolution of the cooperation between the Agency and CRONOS regarding the MAGDA environment:
Our cooperation is based on a principle of continuous improvement and innovation, in small steps, but based on a well-founded long-term vision.
With COVALENS, we guide the transition to a new development model, based on a micro-service application architecture, further advanced agile development methodologies and container technology.
We also helped support the customer in their conversion from a traditional waterfall approach to a more agile methodology, supplemented by DevOps practices.
With COVALENS we also supported to align and optimize people, processes and tooling, especially in view of the new MAGDA 3.0 environment and objectives.
COVALENS takes care of the end-to-end day-to-day management of the MAGDA platform: from the underlying datacenter network layer to the final application, including managing and monitoring all information flows.
From our standardized “transition & transformation” approach, we also started the transformation of the MAGDA 2.0 environment after the transition, to increase the scalability of the environment and the speed of bringing new MAGDA services into production, while reducing the overall cost of the environment.
Although the full transition to MAGDA 3.0 has not yet been fully realized, we are already measuring a 33% cost reduction per transaction.
For this new MAGDA 3.0 environment, we moved away from the classic Oracle Enterprise platform and deliberately chose to use “enterprise grade” container-based technology from RedHat, specifically the OpenShift Container Platform (OCP).
The new environment also aims to comply much better with the information security regulations of the Flemish Government regarding class 4 data.
With the continuous expansion of the MAGDA environment and the increasing number of transactions handled by the platform, the need to convert data processing with associated metadata into information is increasing. Therefore, adjustments have already been made to the platform to offer an OLAP environment in addition to the OLTP environment on which numerous data analyses can already be done.
Together with the customer, we are also looking at a more advanced data warehouse environment that considers both functional and non-functional needs (security and data protection). In doing so, we offer several, possible solutions from the CRONOS group.
Traditionally, the MAGDA environment handles relatively slow-changing data in the handling of its transactional processes. With the proliferation in the number of IoT-driven environments, the MAGDA platform must also be able to handle fast data, such as – for example – the data from roadside ANPR cameras. For this, new solutions need to be worked out with their own characteristics and specific preconditions.
Here too, the CRONOS group we can offer the possibility to choose between five different solutions, with variations in terms of architecture and the underlying platforms, both in the public Cloud and our private Cloud. COVALENS always acts as a technology- and vendor-independent trusted advisor for Digitaal Vlaanderen, making sure that the customer gets the solutions that align best to their ever-changing business needs.