Redesign of a banner management product in Adform's platform

ClientAdform
IndustryDigital Advertising
RegionEurope
Work implementedUser Interface Upgrade, Test Coverage, Top-Notch Code Base
Adform is an independent, full-stack advertising tech platform that encompasses creativity, data and trading, as well as servicing media agencies, trading desks, brands and publishers globally. All of their solutions are modular and fully interoperable with all major technologies used throughout their digital advertising ecosystem.

Founded in Denmark in 2002, Adform is among the world's largest private, independent advertising technology companies with over 700 employees globally and offices in 18 countries throughout Europe, North America, and APAC.
Challenges
Being a highly sophisticated business, the software developed by Adform for its clients has to be the highest quality. The key challenges to overcome in achieving full compliance with Adform's quality standards were as follows:
  • Code readability and structure compliance with all the general rules inside and outside of Adform
  • Performance is a priority
  • All code must be covered by unit, integration and end-to-end tests
  • All the possible and probable edge cases must be handled in advance
Goals
The main goal of the project was to create redesigned web pages under a banner ecosystem, retaining all the previous functionality, as well as a brand new user experience. The entire code base would then go through their internal team's reviews and release processes. Our objectives for the cooperation were as follows:
  • Implement all the required pages until proposed deadlines
  • Submit code for internal reviews that would have as few comments from the client's side as possible
  • Client's QA experts shouldn't be able to find any corner cases that we haven't found ourselves
Created Value
During our partnership with Adform, we recreated a total of 4 different web pages and one back-end solution, as well as developed numerous mini components for the user-interface. Given the fact that all of the projects demanded high-quality solutions, we devoted extra attention to technical and architectural decisions. All solutions were meticulously designed from a number of different angles:

  • Application runtimes were based on robust and widely used technologies
  • Best programming practices were implemented at all times
  • Systems architecture allows for easy addition of new features
  • Fully test-covered code makes it very simple to maintain


Finished product - adform.com
AgileIn order to maintain flexibility in achieving progress on the project, we decided to rely on the agile principles. More specifically, we used the Kanban methodology as it seemed to be the most productive for the partnership. Adform was in need of providing its customers with incremental improvements. Moreover, one of the most popular alternatives to Kanban – Scrum – was deemed too structured and time-consuming for our mission at Adform. The Kanban board allowed us to efficiently organize work on our side, as well as on Adform's, which enabled us to track progress and prioritize the most important tasks
Code QualityIn most cases, business needs outweigh technical requirements. Adform, however, was different. Even though time to market was still a priority, the end product was deemed more important still. Adform demanded top quality across the board – from user experience down to the very last line of code. For this reason, following best practices for every solution was an absolute necessity – no “hacks”, no technical debts, just pure, high-performance code that's highly scalable and testable, as well as easy to maintain and understand for everyone. In addition to being close-to-perfect, the code was also fully covered not only by unit but also by integration tests.
Fast AdaptationAdform's platform is huge. With a platform that has had hundreds of developers since its launch in 2002, you need to have a great deal of knowledge to make an impact without inadvertently crashing the system on the other end. Our team was working on 4 different projects all of which had many integrations with others. Quick adaptation to key parts of the system was decisive in ensuring success in our partnership with Adform, allowing us to have an instant impact and make the client happy.
OutcomeOur team was able to provide enterprise solution development services – full integration with the current system and performance improvements, as well as new UI and API applications compliant with best practices. The result – a flawless experience for the end customer.

Smooth cooperation was made possible by the Kanban process for project management. Adform always demands ultra-high quality, and we are happy to fulfill its needs.
Technologies
Banner management redesign was more of a UI project, making UI technologies the most important aspect during this period. For web development we went with AngularJS, which allowed us to create a variety of separate user interface components hassle-free. With this, we were able to easily reuse the already error-prone code structures with the same functionality and user experience in the new web pages.

In terms of the development process itself, minifying, uglifying, compiling, preparing release packs, serving locally, and running tests were all automated using primarily Node.js and Gulp.

In addition to UI development, we also had a chance to flex our code muscles in creating a number of RESTful API projects. During back-end development, .NET was mostly used together with MsSQL databases. The fast APIs we developed for the applications ensured a top-notch user experience.

Thanks to these technologies, all of the developed solutions are blazing-fast and easy to maintain.
Skills
  • Angular
  • MSSQL
  • Node.js
  • .NET
  • TeamCity
  • PowerShell
  • Enterprise Software
  • Project Management
  • Integrations
  • Requirements Analysis
“We work with Toughlex 2 months already and during this time Toughlex team puts effort to essentially solve our business problem, not simply do the tasks. Their constructive communication helped to achieve high quality results quickly.”Danil MichailovasUnit Lead at Adform
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