Social Network

Social Network

Engineering the Next Generation Platform of Well-Known Social Network with Over 5 Million Active Users

Client

The customer is a free Social Network Platform with over 5,000,000 active users, combining social networking with a number of integrated services dedicated to the use of a wide range of communication tools.

Challenge

Our customer had experienced a significant growth in recent years due to their unique positioning among competitors and the exceptional value their social network provides. As a result, the existing software solutions couldn’t handle the expanding number of users and services required, leading to the old system’s performance and scalability becoming a serious issue. Consequently, the customer decided to architect a new, more scalable and more sophisticated social networking platform with upgraded design and functionality. Our company was approached by the customer due to our strong expertise in LAMP technologies and robust experience in the development of scalable, highly efficient web-based solutions. One of the challenges we met was participation in a multi-cultural development team, distributed among five regions around the world.

Solution

Due to massive technical requirements, serious integration issues, state-of-the-art design and time-constrained milestones, the engineering side looked very complicated. For this reason, we decided to go with SCRUM as our main project management methodology, in order to allow the development process to operate in a well-organized process iterated in stages (sprints). On the software engineering side, there were three dedicated teams working on the project from our development centers in Ukraine. The first team was responsible for front-end development, utilizing our broad expertise in engineering sophisticated Rich Internet Applications. The second team was responsible for back-end development, dealing with scalability, performance and integration issues. The third was a dedicated team of quality assurance engineers, responsible for testing and project documentation.

During development, our engineers demonstrated high level of expertise in LAMP technologies, implementing a number of high-priority solutions, such as:

  • Engineering the next-generation solution of the social networking platform
  • Overseeing a smooth transition from the old platform to the new
  • Architecture of numerous platform extensions in cooperation with three other development teams distributed around the world
  • Quality assurance covering installation, deployment configuration, acceptance, localization, performance and automated testing
  • Developing and deploying product to the Amazon EC2 cloud environment
  • Technical support and ongoing maintenance

Benefits

Despite the complexity of the platform architecture, the demanding time constraints, and pressure from the investors, the project was delivered on time and according to the specifications. In addition, significant cost savings were achieved via the improved overall efficiency of the development process. As a result of the release of the new generation platform, our customer has extensively strengthened their position versus competitors and significantly increased their number of active users, as well as receiving positive feedback in the news and throughout the Internet community.

Technologies

  • PHP 5.3, MySQL 5.1, MongoDB 2.0, Redis, Apache 2, Ubuntu Linux 11.04, Apache Thrift, HTML 5, Javascript, CSS 3, Responsive Web Design, Amazon EC2
  • Development Environment: Netbeans IDE, Symfony Framework
  • Collaboration Tools: GIT, Atlassian JIRA, GreenHopper plugin for agile development
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