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E*Trade Financial
E*Trade Financial

Client Objective

The client wanted to correct the operation of the display system at the E*Trade Center, a one-of-a-kind financial services mega-store located on Madison Avenue in the heart of New York City, with additional objectives as follows:

  • There could be no interruption of the center's operation, which houses a state-of-the-art broadcast facility and production studio alongside an array of flat panel screens displaying up to the minute news and market data for visitors and clients.
  • The system's operation required conversion to use encryption for secure transmission of financial data.
  • The client needed to locate a technology firm with a diverse skill set to diagnose and solve the problem. The server and display components of the system are built from entirely different technologies - not typically the strength of any one firm.

Our Approach

  • We performed an analysis of the system (which included a custom Java application server and data display components built with Macromedia's Flash, Director, and Generator components).
  • We explored modular ways to add security without rewriting the entire server.
  • We made code modifications to monitor and record the activity during the normal operation of the system.
  • We re-deployed the software to collect data as the system ran and the problem recurred.
  • We analyzed the logs to detect the deficiency in order to make recommendations on eliminating the problem.

Our Solution

  • We made code changes to the system components responsible for displaying the market data to account for an unhandled error condition.
  • We exploited the object-oriented design of the server to add security without a system rewrite.
  • The system was simplified by removing two complete server sub-systems, thus eliminating two major points of failure and reducing network traffic.

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