The highly successful Pulse news alert system has gone global. Read our blog to find out more about the changes needed to make this possible. And about the role our engineers have played…
Pulse news alert system
The Pulse news alert system was originally developed by BSL on behalf of PwC NL, and was hosted in the Netherlands. Our engineers designed and developed this custom software application using Oracle and Exalead. At any one time, Pulse has direct access to more than 15 million articles. The system adds up to 100,000 new articles each day. They are refreshed from some 600 premium sources, including Factiva and the Financieele Dagblad (the Dutch Financial Times). Pulse needs to manage this huge amount of new content, so that users have quick access to the most important news every morning. Pulse automatically indexes and classifies the news, creating targeted news alerts to which employees can subscribe. A unique solution, adding value and providing PwC employees with a great service…
Following its launch, Pwc soon rolled out Pulse to ‘territories’ (countries) outside the Netherlands. PwC professionals from nine countries had access to thousands of profiled newsfeeds. Simply by subscribing to topics of particular interest to them, PwC consultants automatically receive articles via e-mail or on their smartphone.
Because of its success, PwC decided to promote the Pulse news alert system as a Global Service. So PwC employees throughout the world can use the application. To achieve this goal, PwC and BSL first needed to carry out a range of complex technical, functional and contractual changes. And equally important, the system needed to meet requirements specified by the Global Hosting Centre (GHC). Over the last year, our team has been busy working towards introducing the global Pulse news alert system.
A range of changes were necessary:
- Before the Pulse news alert system could be rolled out, we first had to adapt the software for worldwide access. Until now, Pulse users were verified by means of a Dutch LDAP service. But the migration meant this was no longer possible. Our developers therefore integrated a global Identity Management System into Pulse, known as IdAM. Users now access Pulse using a verified identity (Single Sign-On). This can be shared with other PwC services.
- Pulse automatically imports content from RSS feeds every day. In the new Pulse system, PwC information specialists must actively confirm that PwC has the right to make use of these RSS feeds. Making this modification is just one of the ways our engineers ensured Pulse meets global PwC requirements.
- We also made approximately 900 changes to the Pulse code. These changes were necessary to guarantee the application meets GHC standards. They were the result of extensive security checks performed by our developers, using Fortify on Demand. Fortify is one of the best Source Code Analysis services available for identifying security leaks and to identify coding issues.
- Pulse uses Open Source software libraries and plug-in licenses supplied by third parties. Before launching the new global Pulse system, PwC needed to check the validity of every license used. A total of 25 open source licenses. And for one – TinyMCE – BSL had to arrange a totally new license.
By working closely together, PwC and BSL completed the challenging preparation work successfully. PwC migrated the system last weekend, and Pulse is now running in PWC’s GHC. Which means employees in PwC offices throughout the world can aslo benefit from profiled newsfeeds.
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