seerene-customers-techniker-krankenkasse-headquarter

Techniker Krankenkasse

  • Industry: Healthcare
  • Revenue: € 30.9 billion
  • Employees: ca. 13,199
  • Headquarters: Hamburg, Germany
  • Dr. Frank Griffel, Head of IT Systems
  • Industry: Healthcare
  • Revenue: € 30.9 billion
  • Employees: ca. 13,199
  • Headquarters: Hamburg, Germany
  • Dr. Frank Griffel, Head of IT Systems

Summary
“Through seerene, a lot of time can be saved, specifically in tracing initial trends and corroborating any suspicions in the case of errors,” said Griffel. “It is a welcome opportunity to enhance the classic software development process in order to maintain the sustainability and agility of our software.”

 

Software at Techniker Krankenkasse in good health after seereneTM Integration

Challenge:
Techniker Krankenkasse is Germany’s largest insurance fund, providing coverage for 9.5 million Germans. The company uses a central software system, TKeasy, to support its core social insurance business. TKeasy is a Java 4-tier IT architecture built in-house. The company is in charge of keeping the system up to date from a technical, architectural and professional perspective, meaning the employees implement all functions of the in-house IT solution, irrespective of manufacturers’ product cycles.

According to Dr. Frank Griffel, Head of IT Systems at the Techniker Krankenkasse, there was just one goal for the software that would evaluate TKeasy: “I would like to be able to see the internal workings of our central operating system, quickly and at a glance.”

But with 14 million lines of code and 54 billion object transactions daily, a glance presents a great challenge. Take this example of dependency management in architecture maintenance:

If a business object, such as the “insured person,” is changed because a legislative regulation creates new constraints, this change can also affect other parts of the code, regardless of any object-oriented encapsulation. Further complicating matters, the more dependencies there are within the code, the more rigid the system will be to changes and further developments. This in turn drives up costs for maintaining the system and can lead to a loss of quality. The notion of “structural aging,” as it is called, is a recognized problem but it is still often underestimated or neglected; however, not at the TK.
Solution:
The TK knows the solution they need – one that analyzes their complex system to identify dependencies, prepare reviews and flag issues quickly – is a rare find. For this reason they continuously monitor the market for new technologies that could serve this purpose, according to Dr. Frank Griffel, Head of IT Systems at the Techniker Krankenkasse. The TK evaluated several external software packages in their search for a solution that could actually import the entire TKeasy code and then display its quality in a meaningful way. The tool would need to function without external support to enable a neutral comparison of in-house and external analyses. seereneTM was the only solution that fit the bill.

seereneTM visualizes software landscapes as three-dimensional cityscape maps, which allows the TK to assess the complexity of the code, spot frequent problem areas and address “knowledge risks,” areas where only one developer is familiar with the code.

The software shows buildings in different colors based on their risk profiles. Blue indicates the code is in good shape, orange denotes areas where regular checks are advisable and red flag areas requiring immediate action. A building might appear in red if the code contains a high degree of complexity or is modified frequently.

The map is powered by business intelligence that links and analyzes all raw data, including source code and repositories. seereneTM measures the source code’s capacity to be customized and made future-proof. The software also looks at repositories to determine if the code stands up to the tasks of configuration or change management. Finally, seereneTM considers whether the code is protected by automatic tests or used by end consumers. All of this information is accounted for by the cityscape, which reflects in building dimensions the amount of effort needed for adoption and configuration.

Dr. Griffel noted that seereneTM comes particularly in handy when the TK releases new Tkeasy software, which happens about five times per year. The software cities are essential to the quality assurance process for the installation of new releases. seerene provides a way to compare the old version and newly installed release immediately on a variety of factors.

“The flexibility of the tool is precisely what makes it so powerful for the user,” Griffel said. “It is impressive to see our system visualized as a large city.”
Summary:
The TK has been using seereneTM since 2013 and it’s paid off. The company’s developers have kept millions of lines of source code in peak condition by skipping endless lists and maintaining an overview with the help of visual representations. In seerene of the Potsdam company, the TK has found an instrument with which it can continuously test the fitness of TKeasy.

“Through seerene, a lot of time can be saved, specifically in tracing initial trends and corroborating any suspicions in the case of errors,” said Griffel. “It is a welcome opportunity to enhance the classic software development process in order to maintain the sustainability and agility of our software.”

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