Banklet Lab – The Architecture behind
June 24, 2022. Knowledge Lab AG has recently introduced "Banklet Lab", a unique web banking service. In this article, you will learn more about the technical architecture behind it. Furthermore, it details the technology stack and the delivery and integration patterns.
Banklet Lab is a newly developed and unique service that enables genuinely individualized e-banking solutions based on Avaloq's Web Banking product enriched with components that make clients' interactions with their banks an exclusive experience. You can find more information about the Banklet Lab in the following article: Introducing the Banklet Lab.
Logical Architecture Overview
The diagram below shows the main components of a web banking solution enhanced with Banklet Lab components, including their dependencies.
The standard Avaloq Web Banking stack is shown on the right-hand side of the diagram. The yellow box on the left illustrates Knowledge Lab’s extension with the Banklet Lab components:
- K-Lab Banklets (front-end):
These are front-end components based on the Angular framework that feature the same theming API as the Avaloq Web Banking product. Avaloq provides a widget library and development kit named UI-SDK, following the well-established Material Design concept. Banklet Lab uses this UI-SDK to guarantee a seamless user experience between Avaloq products and K-Lab Banklets.
- K-Lab Banklet API (back-end):
A Java/Spring Boot-based back-end component integrates all relevant downstream systems and provides a front-end-optimized RESTful API.
Downstream systems may include Avaloq and any other API-enabled back-end for which self-service processes should be made available to clients using the e-banking channel. To integrate Avaloq data and processes, both the Web Banking application services and Avaloq's Community API are used.
Required Skills and DevOps tooling
You may ask yourself, why use Knowledge Lab’s Banklet Lab service? Couldn’t we do that ourselves?
Yes, Avaloq has developed a very flexible Web Banking platform, so that banks can evolve their desired components. However, engineering Banklets requires by far more skills than simply customising the Avaloq standard product.
The key aspects which should be considered are the following:
- Full-stack development skills (Angular, Typescript, SCSS, Java, Spring Boot…)
- Local development environment with fast feedback loops and debugging capabilities (build - deploy - test is by far too slow)
- CI/CD automation
- Test automation on all layers including front-end and quality gates
- Integration with Avaloq AFP and ACP development environment
- ACPR compliant OpenShift cluster
At Knowledge Lab, we cover all the above aspects. We operate our own on-prem ACPR cluster (including the Avaloq Community API) as well as an entire Avaloq Core Modelbank and an AFP Web Banking environment. We have fully automated the build, test, and deployment processes using Gitlab and Helm charts for OpenShift. Test automation up to end-to-end testing based on Cypress is a matter of course for us.
In combination with our best-sourcing center in Serbia, we are additionally able to deliver cost-efficiently.
Delivery and Integration Options
As part of the Banklet Lab service, Knowledge Lab does not only offer the development of custom Banklets, but also full customization and implementation of the Web Banking front-end. Based on the chosen service different integration and delivery options are recommended by Knowledge Lab:
A) Delivery Option Software Package
Recommended when Knowledge Lab only delivers Banklets. The key features are:
- Banklet front-end component delivered as a library (NPM package) through Knowledge-Lab's community NPM registry.
- Front-end integration through well-defined Typescript Banklet API done by the bank's Web Banking development team or in the case of Avaloq Sourcing customers through the corresponding service team.
- Banklet API/back-end delivered as container image through Knowledge Lab's community Docker registry.
B) Delivery Option "Software as a Service" (SaaS)
Recommended when Knowledge Lab is responsible for the whole Web Banking solution. Although, the former delivery option can also be applied for this service type. The key features are:
- Integration on the Web Application Firewall tier through a secure channel (typically VPN).
- Secure channel to the downstream systems hosted at the bank's infrastructure service provider.
- Service-based license model including maintenance & operations (care-free solution).
Thanks to David Wegmüller and to the development team in Zurich and Belgrad: Angelo Brillout, Slavisa Avramović, Ivana Bašić, Danilo Ivanović, Djordje Radisavljević, Sasa Dević, Radovan Makoysý, Zarko Maksović.