CapitalOne, based in Richmond, VA, and with
facilities throughout North America, is one of the
largest issuers of credit cards in the United States.
Over the years Capital One has increased its focus on
leveraging IT to gather customer profile information
using techniques such as data mining and CRM algorithms.
In 1998, Capital One was in the midst of a major IT
initiative to convert its mainframe based Billing System
to a more robust multi-tiered CORBA based technology. In
addition to meeting the challenges of this new
technology, Capital One executives wanted to expand into
the Northern Virginia area in order to gain access to a
larger labor pool.
Silicon Spirit provided a
team-lead/application-architect and a lead developer to
start the first satellite team for this project in
Northern Virginia. The team faced technical and
logistical challenges. Component development was in its
infancy and container based packages such as EJB was
nonexistent. In addition, the Northern Virginia facility
lacked infrastructure in terms of facilities, process,
Silicon Spirit Solution
The architecture and design took into consideration
the large-scale nature of the application. Over 20
million credit card transactions were to be processed on
a daily basis. The team had to instrument coarse grained
architecture patterns into the application in order to
meet the performance requirements. Several distributed
application patterns were crafted to compensate for
deficiencies in the early versions of CORBA
Under direction from the Architecture Team in
Richmond, Silicon Spirit was instrumental in building a
remote application team within weeks and delivered the
first functional release of the MGP (Maintain Global
Parameters) application to the system testers in
Richmond within 6 months on time and on budget. The
staff faced and surmounted several cultural and
Silicon Spirit produced the following
- Business Use Cases and Technical Use Cases
- Application Architecture Specification.
- Architecture specification to represent the 4+1
architectural views for a multi-tiered architecture.
- A Framework design document.
- Detailed Design documents using Rational Rose
class diagrams, sequence diagrams, and state
Technologies that were used in this effort included
- NT based development, Solaris based deployment
- Netscape Suitespot for web server, Java AWT for
- Iona OrbixWeb Java client
- Iona Orbix C++ server.
- Persistence object to relational mapping tool.
- Oracle database
- PVCS and Symantec Visual Café for development
- Rational Rose for object modeling.
Following the first functional release, Silicon
Spirit staff performed a technology transfer to a
Capital One technical leads and stayed on the project as