Upgrading and securing online student platforms



UvA & HvA



The Background

It was 2012 when the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) and the Hogeschool van Amsterdam (HvA) first connected with Trifork. They had a need to upgrade their mijnresultaten website, where students were able to consult their grades, initiating the start of a long-lasting collaboration. The initial outcome of this collaboration was a brand new web application, that is currently integrated with a different system.

The next opportunity came soon after, at the end of 2013 when Trifork built the first pilot version of NRA (Niet Reguliere Aanmeldingen), where non-regular students register for university courses, conferences, and summer school, followed by changes in 2015.

Simultaneously, Trifork was working on Vakaanmelden , a platform that allows students to enroll and disenrol from courses and any other course-related activities such as study groups or practical assignments.

The Need

A few years later, in 2019, the two universities returned to Trifork with a new project request. Succeeding an internal audit conducted by an external party, they discovered that their online platforms, Vakaanmelden and NRA, needed a security upgrade to meet the modern standards.

As time went by, their platforms had inevitably turned into what are known as legacy systems,  outdated systems that were no longer meeting technology standards. Therefore, Trifork’s involvement was essential in guaranteeing these systems were upgraded, secure, and that the intelligence required to maintain them in the future stayed in-house with the UvA and HvA.

To ensure this project was optimal, however, two aspects had to be considered:

  • If there is only one login access point working as a gateway to multiple systems it is possible to have a better overview of the users’ activity (internal or external).
  • End users are more satisfied when other types of login are available that are seen as safer and faster such as social media, face or fingerprint recognition and other types of SSO (single sign-on solutions).

The Approach

Trifork together with the UvA and HvA joined their efforts to guarantee the upgraded systems were both secure and ready to be continuously maintained by the universities. Both teams worked closely to secure their software with the latest frameworks, including present-day versions of Spring, Spring Boot and Java.

And although Trifork’s involvement has been primarily on the backend architecture and features, Trifork’s consultancy services have helped UvA and HvA’s team craft a strong frontend system to match the revived backend functionality. Thus Trifork’s Application Development team together with UvA and HvA’s developer team exchange knowledge to guarantee that these systems will stay secure, taking into account the vast amount of student data they hold.

The Result

Trifork’ Application Development team developed an upgraded and highly secure backend system for the UvA and HvA. Currently, the teams are working to update the frontend of all systems through a modern software engineering approach with the help of the latest technologies.

After this process is completed, UvA and HvA will be ready to take full ownership of the systems’ maintenance, which is an essential part of Trifork’s modus operandi. Nonetheless, when requested Trifork can continuously maintain the systems through our experienced in-house operations team.

As security standards are continuously improving, we support enterprises to meet the latest security requirements on their IT infrastructure. Whether you are looking to overcome certain bottlenecks or are at risk of a security breach with your legacy systems, Trifork can facilitate upgrading and securing your business by designing the most effective plan that takes into account your business needs.

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