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Business expertise combined with technical expertise

The main challenge to find a solution to a problem comprises correctly understanding that problem. EF focuses on the strength of its technical expertise and business knowledge as a way of meeting the needs of its customers.

A good technical solution must answer the needs of improving the efficiency and profitability of business processes, translating into added value for the customer, whether by reducing operating costs, reducing risk, increasing productivity, differentiation and improving the customer’s image in the marketplace through innovative services, among others.

In this regard, EF focuses on the comprehensive specialisation of its teams in the business areas linked to the financial sector, so as to combine its technical expertise with its business expertise. The combination of these two forms of expertise allows EF to better understand its customers’ requirements at all times and assist it in analytical processes. The teams of EF, to achieve this, contain senior technicians trained in IT sciences and in the banking business and bank management.

Over the years, we have been consolidating experience with knowledge, so that today our teams can successfully provide support to customers in various areas, such as: credit, cards, domestic and international transfers, payment of services, documentary credits, funds and securities, regulatory reporting, accounts, direct debits, simulations and financial plans, cheques, statements for account holders, client online services, over-the-counter operations, end of day processes, accounting integration, authorizing transactions and managing account movement conditions and AML conditions (Anti Money Laundering).

Technical expertise

The development process of EF, since it is primarily a company of a technological nature, is governed by guidelines set by software architects. These architects constantly accompany technological developments and best practices in software development areas. The main guidelines, in terms of design, are to ensure continuity, scalability, robustness and security of the solutions developed.

We maintain a neutral position in relation to technologies and solutions existing in the market, which allows us to always have an independent opinion when choosing the most appropriate technology and share it with our customers. Here are some references of the main technologies we currently use, and we do not restrict our operations just to these. We are always ready and motivated for new challenges and the appraisal of new technology.

Programming frameworks
EF uses Java as the reference technology for the development of robust and scalable systems. Java is today one of the world’s reference programming languages, with a broad support base. One of its main advantages, among others, is its portability across different systems.
Spring Framework
EF has heavily invested in developments on this framework since 2009, with positive results in the productivity of programmers and in code quality (mainly visible through the potential for reuse and the creation of unit tests for components). It is currently the basis of the vast majority of the systems maintained by EF.
JPA / Hibernate
This technology is being increasingly used by EF, by simplifying the implementation of persistence without compromising performance too much, provided it is prudently used. This technology is increasingly used in new projects. It is only not used in systems that require very fine control of database integration (i.e. performance requirements are significantly more important than the need for simplification of the implementation and maintenance of the code).
Struts 2
This was once the main framework used by EF to develop Web interfaces. It allows, following the MVC standard (Model-View-Controller), the implementation of structured Web applications with little effort. While some applications are still based on Struts 2, the trend is to replace this technology for JSF.
EF has gradually been adopting since 2011 Java Server Faces as the framework for creating new Web applications. As it is a much more evolved Framework, based on components, it permits lower development and maintenance costs than Struts 2, in the long term.
Primefaces is a HTML5 framework of graphics components for JSF-based applications, which is supported on jQuery. It enables the effective creation of Web applications with a complex, attractive and easy to use graphics interface. It adds to JSF that which was needed to make the JSF/Primefaces pair the reference framework for developing Web applications here in EF.
As this is a de facto standard in terms of JavaScript library to build Web graphics components (supporting HTM5, CSS3and multiple browsers), its use in EF has gradually become ubiquitous. Whether indirectly through other frameworks (such as PrimeFaces) or directly, by the need to make use of a particular component, it is difficult to find an application maintained by EF where JQuery is not present.
Mobile applications
EF builds mobile native applications using manufacturers’ recommended development environments and tools to maximize the user experience consistency and the quality of the developed applications.

For native iOS applications, EF uses Apple’s integrated development environment (xCodeXcode) and ObjectiveC and Swift programming languages.

For native Android applications, EF uses Android Studio and Android SDK java based frameworks.
Backbase is a leading software company specialized in omni-channel digital banking portal. Backbase portal solutions empowers financial institutions to create a new user experience layer that streamlines their online customer interactions across multiple devices including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

EF Implements omni-chanel digital banking solutions based on Backbase Portal Platforms (CXP and DBP).
Oracle, SQLServer, Informix, mySQL, PostgreSQL
Reporting tools
Oracle OBIEE answers, Oracle BIP, BIRT, Jasper
Operating Systems
Both internally and for customers/partners, EF has a team specialized in the management and support of platforms based on Unix operating systems, namely Oracle Solaris and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. EF primarily provides this service in customer environments that support its platform, which allows it to offer complete customer integration.
Virtualization platforms
Vmware - Founded in 1998, Vmware has established itself in the market as the strongest competitor in the area of systems’ virtualization. EF has a team specialized in the design and maintenance of virtualization platforms based on Vmware Vsphere.

Dockers - EF has been increasingly using this virtualization technology for containers, in both development and testing environments, as well as in some production environments.

The advantages of using Dockers are significant, as it provides the possibility of easily create new instances of an application system for testing or demonstration purposes. The ability to maintain a homogeneity of environments in the life cycle of an application, from development to production, is also an important aspect of this technology.

Monitoring Platforms
In order to better provide the service of maintenance and management of the platforms it provides, EF has become specialized in the Nagios monitoring platform. The Nagios platform, which has existed since 1999, has established itself as the standard in OpenSource monitoring platforms. EF provides the service of analysis, design and implementation of these platforms in customer systems, whether supplied by the customer or not.
Backup Platforms
EF has capabilities in the area of ​​installation, configuration and management of various backup and data recovery platforms. Of note here is its experience with the Symantec Netbackup platform or Veeam Backup & Replication platform.
Security and Firewalls
EF has a security team with experience in the analysis, design, installation and management of firewalls, in particular Fortigate and Kerio Control.
Application servers
Apache HTTPD
Web server of proven worth across the internet. It is used and recommended by EF whenever there are no specific customer requirements. It is mainly used as an entry point for HTTP/S requests, making the bridge between the application servers, solving security aspects and distributing loads.
Apache Tomcat
The reference Web Container, used for development purposes, although it is perfectly capable of providing support to even the most demanding production environments. It is the Web Container recommended by EF whenever there are no requirements for a full J2EE Application Server or more advanced management the Web Container such as those offered by commercial products such as Oracle Weblogic.
Commercial J2EE application server that is highly regarded in the market for its enterprise features and general robustness. It is used in production environments of various customers of EF.

Test automation frameworks

The recognition of the vital importance of testing in the software development process and, in particular, the possibility of automating testing has been strong motivation for research and use of test automation tools in the solutions developed by EF.

The JUnit Framework has already been successfully used by EF for around a decade, initially only for simple unit tests, but gradually also supporting integration testing.
A tool that combines a wiki with an engine to automatically perform testing. As it allows non-technical teams to perform and even define, to a certain extent, some tests it drives the creation of more complete batteries of tests. This set of features has allowed a desired shift in the development methodology of EF towards the paradigm of Test Driven Development.