April 14, 2020 · 3 min read
Last Friday of March, APSL team received a call from the Barcelona City Council, who wanted to launch a website they were building together with OneBigRobot, for the children to be able to express their feelings and thoughts during the pandemic we all are going through. The site would allow kids to upload pics, write, draw and share their inner world creatively.
By Monday, March 30th the website was launched and every family in Barcelona was able to access the “Dear Diary…” initiative.
We were glad to receive the following note:
"I wish to send you all my gratitude!!! Having you all behind a project is a priceless guarantee!! This was completed in record time, and thanks to you it has been possible."
The launch of this interactive website in record time was possible thanks to teamwork and technology. The visual communication and design agency OneBigRobot and the Barcelona City Council led the project and together with APSL as certified AWS Partner, all the functionalities behind the site were deployed in just 3 days.
The challenge was not only about making a great design and ensure fast deployment of the production and development environments necessary to any website, it was also the integration of AWS Cloudfront in order to activate CDN functions, the set up of services like AWS SES (in order to send and receive emails), AWS S3 (to keep images of children’s drawings) and AWS Rekognition to filter inappropriate content, along with a simple interface to allow BCN city council to supervise the photos.
On top, there is always administrative stuff to manage, like external domains migration to AWS Route53 and the necessary documentation and inventory of applications following standard procedures to ensure the operations continuity. Some people forget about these details that are as important as creating something cool and new… ;)
Of course, all these different elements shall work for a website that is required to manage high traffic as this is a free public service, meaning the Reliability and High Availability of the system is a key feature that APSL SRE engineers are trained to design and develop.
Why is this a success case we wish to share with the world if APSL has done many of these things before and maybe others were more complicated than a children's diary?
Because of 3 main reasons:
1- It is for kids, and we love them :D We all are still kids no matter how much time it passes right?
2- It exemplifies the advantages of public + private collaboration to achieve goals. We believe this is a sustainable model. APSL was part of a team, not acting alone. OneBigRobot, the communications agency and front end team who designed the user interface and made the site attractive and easy to navigate was working with us as one.
3- It is also a success case because it takes advantage of the AWS Cloud technology now available. "Dear Diary BCN" demonstrates easily how it is feasible to set up a public service in just 3 days if necessary.
We love to provide fast solutions people can play with, we embrace agile ways of working. Of course the fact that the Barcelona City Council migrated to the Cloud made this whole success possible… but that is another story we plan to share soon!