For Sanoma, fast and reliable digital news delivery is a critical capability. The platform was built to be modern, reliable and scalable. The architecture is modular and based on over 50 microservices. The omnichannel reader interface consists of mobile and desktop optimised web sites and native mobile apps. Editorial and newsdesk teams are equipped with article production and live article production tools, lane management tools and recommendation engine control tools. The platform also provides a wide variety of integrations, data collection, content repository, image service, tagging automation, content search services, commenting services, personalisation services, paywall, site admin services + dozens of other business-critical services.
Our team followed a user-centric and prototype driven design process. For example, when creating new tools for lane managers - the "front-page DJs” - Futurice’s team sat next to them and created new prototype versions in swift cycles while developing the tools iteratively until the “DJ” got more than they expected, faster than they could ever have hoped.
The team utilized AWS managed services and development automation tools to maximize productivity. The technical setup provides a smooth CI/CD pipeline for efficient development operations and is optimised to adapt to heavy loads of over 4 million users. The native AWS based PaaS setup makes the development fast and the deployment process so reliable that there is minimal need for release planning. Provisioning of environments as a self-service makes the team independent from external parties. Whenever possible, the team utilises managed services to reduce the maintenance load and increase productivity. AWS based CDN, caching, load balancing and auto-scaling services make the architecture more scalable as the load is often quite high with an active user base of ~4 million users. Large data volumes are handled by AWS data streaming tools.
For high availability, the team designed the architecture to be fault-tolerant through the principles of graceful degradation and by avoiding any single point of failures. Intelligent multi-layer caching combined with CDN offers additional reliability and boosts performance in delivering content to users.
The team follows a ’full-cycle development’ and a DevOps approach. They take end-to-end responsibility for design, architecture, development and maintenance, including being on call 24/7. Sanoma and Futurice continue the co-creative and evolutive DevOps style of development to make the platform better every day, frequently producing multiple production deployments per day.