Case study

Iterative platform development with HM Passport Office to support new content guidance service

Two British passports.

Establishing a baseline approach for deploying to new ‘platform as a service’ infrastructure

Digirati delivered a new guidance content platform to support the HM Passport Office staff in their processing of passport applications. As part of this program of work, this self-contained content delivery platform needed to be developed and delivered to fit into a new high availability ‘platform as a service’ infrastructure.

That new service infrastructure (EBSA platform) formed part of a wider initiative delivered by the Home Office through its Technical Design Authority, and is an evolving collection of cloud services, commodity products and bespoke frameworks that underpin digital service delivery for multiple government departments.

The challenge for our team and the client was to establish the baseline approach with which we could develop the content service platform, addressing the known requirements and non-functional requirements with the knowledge that the service into which the platform would be deployed would naturally evolve as it was being designed and developed.

To achieve this, we needed to:

  • Evaluate the emerging ‘platform as a service’ infrastructure blueprint and guidelines to determine a sensible starting point for an initial solution prototype
  • Develop, validate and iterate the prototype, adopting a containerised approach using confirmed tools where known (including for example Kubernetes, Helm, Terraform, Jenkins) within an initial dedicated cloud estate
  • Apply best practice continuous integration / continuous delivery approaches to ensure our approach wouldn’t require significant change as the wider platform evolved
  • Deliver a stable, scalable highly available platform for the content service that supported iterative development and testing of the guidance solution for our cross organisation, combined Agile delivery teams

This enabled our team to be effective in both progressing the functional platform development, and validating core aspects of the high availability infrastructure. This provided our client with the reassurance of rapid delivery, whilst the wider service platform was still in development.

An exemplar service to inform and validate further platform development

Working with the HMPO team, we then collaboratively reviewed the developments within the EBSA platform at an agreed milestone, to establish how to most effectively deliver the migration of the content platform.

We were able to effectively migrate the guidance content platform into an early iteration of the new EBSA platform, providing an exemplar approach for other digital service projects to follow.

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