Modernization of a complex legacy child support system


A state government in the United States had a 20-year old legacy system built on traditional technologies and databases for its child support services department. The complex legacy system handled child support services such as spousal support for divorced couples, economic aid to non-custodial parents, alimony transactions, etc. The system was created using legacy technology. This made the system difficult to extend,

scale and interface with other systems. In order to achieve these and provide a better experience to its users the organization decided to modernize the system. However, looking at the criticality of the functionality, massive data and the business logic involved, the organization decided to run the old and the new system in parallel to mitigate any risks that may arise due to missing functionality or inconsistent data during the modernization.

Zogato Solution

Zogato developed a new age solution to perform the same functions for the end users. Zogato also built data migration tools to periodically and incrementally migrate the data from the old system to the new. This enabled running of the old and the new system in parallel for a while.

Zogato analyzed and documented the functionality of the old system. As the old system was created more than 20 years ago, getting developers to understand the old programing language and its constructs was a challenge. The data was stored in flat files without any hierarchy or master/transaction tables. Hence understanding and analyzing the old data model was a challenge. Post analysis, Zogato created a new architecture which would enable implementation of all the functionality of the old system and at the same time be extensible and scalable. A SoA suited the best as the old system had many independent functions which could be decoupled from each other. A new data model was also created along with the architecture to accommodate all the entities and relations between them.

Functionality was incrementally ported from the old to the new system after considering the priorities from end users and the interdependencies between the functions.A UI prototype was shared with the end users for each functionality which,

after review and incorporation of any usability suggestions was finalized. The functionality was then developed using the finalized UI design. The technical design was also reviewed and approved for the architects on the customer side.

Business logic was exposed as RESTful web services. UI as well as other external systems were able to interact with the new implementation using web services. A new configurable workflow engine was developed to cater to complex workflow requirements. Zogato also created SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) packages to extract data from the legacy database to the modernized database. The packages helped ensure consistency and regular updates with validations in both the systems. The new UI, APIs as well as the data migration packages went through rigorous automation testing to ensure accuracy and consistency with the old system. Zogato also conducted performance tests on the APIs to identify any performance bottlenecks and optimize the low performance tasks.

Zogato helped the customer develop an XML based information exchange format in compliance with the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) to exchange information with external systems from other government bodies.

  • Extensibility
  • Scalability
  • Interface with other systems.
  • Enhanced user experience
  • Consistency between the old and the new systems
  • Time and cost savings due to
    • Optimized workflows
    • Automation
    • Better user experience
    • Performance improvements
    • Lower hardware and infrastructure requirements
Tools and Technologies:
  • Microsoft
  • .NET
  • SQL Server
  • JPostgreSQL