SoftwareOne case study

The digital city – Application Modernization of business-critical apps

An aerial view of the city of frankfurt at sunset.

City council improves productivity & security by modernizing six customized business-critical apps

Many offices of the Frankfurt am Main city administration in Germany have used specialized applications to support their daily work for many years. But technical components of these applications needed updates, and after examining possible procurement channels, the city administration selected the SoftwareOne Application Modernization Service to help introduce the latest technologies. SoftwareOne supported the city rebuild its application portfolio and reduce its complex technical legacy and unnecessary IT expenses. Six applications were rapidly modernized and adapted to current business and security requirements.

Stadt Frankfurt am Main logo
City of Frankfurt am Main
Public sector
Application Modernization
We could not modernize the affected applications effectively, as a variety of tasks had to be managed in addition to these challenges. However, it was necessary to replace the outdated applications. With the help of customized solutions from SoftwareOne, we can now apply tailor-made applications that not only correspond to current technical capabilities but also the latest security standards.

Paul Junck
Office for Information and Communication Technology, City of Frankfurt am Main Council

About the client

In the heart of Europe, Frankfurt am Main is the largest city in the German federal state of Hesse and it forms the center of the Frankfurt / Rhine-Main metropolitan region, home to 5.8 million people. One of the most important international financial centers, Frankfurt am Main, is the seat of the European Central Bank, the Deutsche Bundesbank, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and numerous financial institutions and supervisory authorities. In addition, as the birthplace of the world-renowned writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and organizer of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt has always been a center of art and culture.

Frankfurt is more than 1000 years old and comprises 46 districts. The city administration includes more than 60 offices and companies staffed by over 13,000 people who offer Frankfurt's residents a wide range of facilities and services.

The challenge

The Frankfurt am Main metropolis is characterized by exciting contrasts of tradition and modernity, culture and trade, bustle and tranquility. The city’s challenges are as diverse as the city itself. With digitization as the engine of modern urban development, the city administration wanted to modernize several applications to make procedures and processes more efficient.

Frankfurt’s government offices have long used several applications based on Microsoft Visual Basic 6 (VB6). However, with the introduction of Visual Basic .NET, the end of publisher support was expected – the outdated programming language has not been actively supported by Microsoft since 2008. Adapting existing applications was not feasible, and continuing use would mean performance losses, demanding maintenance, and increased administrative costs.

Facing diminished efficiency and productivity, Frankfurt’s central IT office decided that all affected applications should be fundamentally modernized and made platform-independent to support city business processes effectively.

A view of the city of frankfurt, germany.

The solution

Outdated specialist applications pose a business risk that should not be underestimated. However, the offices of Frankfurt am Main depended on its business-critical specialist procedures. The city’s goal was to meet the standards of modern IT security while transforming its existing applications into flexible, high-performance, and user-friendly applications. After a thorough market review, and due to a very successful existing partnership, Frankfurt am Main selected SoftwareOne's Application Modernization Service to remake the city’s business applications.

With more than 20 years of project experience, excellent expertise in application development, and application services, including managed support services, SoftwareOne was exactly the right choice. A detailed analysis helped select the technological frameworks to best serve the varied business processes and user groups.

In addition to the pure application modernization, the development included infrastructure elements. Complex authorization structures and security requirements were also considered, including application high availability requirements.

As a result, six web-based, browser-independent, responsive, and barrier-free applications were created for the city council of Frankfurt am Main. In addition, SoftwareOne provides ongoing support for the applications to guarantee safe and trouble-free operation.

The result

  • High performance & flexibility: With the help of SoftwareOne's Application Modernization Service, six outdated business-critical applications were transformed into high-performance, flexible, and secure applications.
  • Productivity & efficiency: The modernization of the specialist applications makes handling the applications safer and enables a high degree of productivity and efficiency in an employee’s daily work.
  • Customized solutions: The city of Frankfurt am Main now has custom apps available that comply with today's technologies and security standards.
  • Improved user experience thanks to user-friendly application operation.
  • Cost reduction is delivered by using the latest cloud technologies.
  • Short reaction times: The city of Frankfurt am Main can now take new business requirements into account and adapt its apps in an agile and timely manner.
  • Comprehensive app services portfolio: With SoftwareOne, the city of Frankfurt am Main has a strong partner at its side delivering extensive project experience for the public sector, excellent expertise in the field of application development, and an extensive application services portfolio.
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