AWS Developer Acceleration (DevAx) enablement program

Bringing cloud native concepts through DevAx to accelerate cloud journey for Big Red Group

DNX Solutions delivered the AWS Developer Acceleration (DevAx) enablement program to Big Red Group (BRG). The program is aimed at increasing the customers’ developer skills for cloud adoption and building developer cloud native fluency across their organisation. A major focus of AWS DevAx is the developer patterns and practices of modernisation and distributed system design, to break down and rearchitect monolithic application architectures.

The DNX team delivered the AWS DevAx enablement as a structured program by running a structured enablement program, working directly with BRG’s development teams for six weeks. A comprehensive curriculum taught through workshops and co-development sessions resulted in the upskilling of BRG’s internal development community.

What is the “Monoliths To Microservices” Program?

The migration from a monolithic architecture to microservices requires both a willingness on the part of the developer and the business as a whole, as well as a thorough understanding of the way in which architectures such as microservices design patterns can be used and the tools that can be utilised in order to deploy them.

The AWS DevAx “Monoliths to Microservices” program aims to increase developers’ knowledge and experience in distributed system design patterns, or to assist developers in gaining more experience in developing on AWS in general. The program takes a theory and patterns-first approach, then introduces the AWS developer tools. It, therefore, targets experienced developers looking to increase their skills, which perfectly reflects the BRG team that undertook the program with DNX Solutions.

Over the 6 weeks that DNX delivered the program, BRG developers started with a Java Springboot Monolith with a large RDBMS backend and methodically broke the monolith into a series of decoupled microservices. The DNX team rehosted the application in AWS, and then refactored the application architecture to utilise application release automation, bounded context based microservices, refactor and rearchitect the databases, implement an event driven system, implement authentication and authorisation systems, and create AI driven services. 

Topics like microservices security best practices are covered as a cross-cutting topic across all modules.

  • Module 1: Lift & Shift – Migrating The Monolith
  • Module 2: Application Release Automation
  • Module 3: Create a Microservice
  • Module 4: Refactor Your Database
  • Module 5: Microservices Decoupled Eventing & Messaging Architectures
  • Module 6: Creating an Authenticated Single Page App
  • Module 7: Creating Immersive AI Experiences

What is the value of the AWS DevAx program to BRG?

The DevAx enablement contributed to a mindset shift in the BRG Java developers, where they received the knowledge and tools required to alter their way of working from monolithic applications to a microservices-based architecture. This gave them the chance to understand the new technology, the different opportunities it provides and why it is worth adopting. For a company that is dealing with multiple brands all with unique infrastructures and functionalities, merging the data was a mammoth task that required an open-minded and educated developer team. As stated by the BRG Head of Engineering, this complexity is the reason “Devax Academy was extremely important in changing our team’s mindset, encouraging them to get involved with the project”. In addition, the deep understanding and insight into the patterns BRG’s teams need to break the monolithic across different types of architectures at speed will allow developers to reuse those same patterns in the future.

To move from monolith to microservices was a breakthrough for BRG. By moving away from long-running environments and drastically altering the development life cycle, teams can begin doing development with whatever the code repository is, allowing developers to spin up the environments. In addition, the cost of non-production is massively decreased by maintaining production and changing non-production as development is undertaken. In BRG’s case, the new confidence in breaking up and re-architecting monolithic applications that cannot be easily rehosted in the cloud has opened up many more doors, such as making it possible for them to build a secure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) that is simple to use and maintain. An additional benefit of microservices is the ability to implement Straight-Through Processing (STP). STP uses automation to increase the speed of financial transactions, which not only simplifies financial processes but its implementation at BRG has also saved them a huge amount in operational expenditure.

Upon completion of the program, the BRG team had gained a thorough foundation of knowledge and insight, meaning they are not only willing but also able, to strive for continual improvement. These benefits are just some of those gained by BRG due to the move from monolith to microservice technology, all of which can be achieved by any business willing to commit to the change.

DNX Solutions values sharing knowledge and is proud to be able to deliver comprehensive programs through the AWS DevAx enablement. For businesses that want to take control of their assets without having to rely on external resources, completing enablement through DevAx is a straightforward and valuable way to increase in-house skills. To see how your business can benefit from this program, contact DNX today.

Big red group

Big Red Group’s challenge to create a new infrastructure for multiple unique brands

Big Red Group (BRG) is the leading experience partner in Australia and New Zealand.

BRG is the parent company of major experience brands, such as RedBalloon, Adrenaline, Lime&Tonic, and Experience OZ. Each one of them have their unique value proposition to attract and engage diverse audiences, with exclusive distribution channels, B2C and B2B offerings, and unlock access to more than 10,000 experiences across Australia and New Zealand.

The Challenge

After acquiring new brands and inheriting their technology and infrastructure, BRG had to maintain multiple infrastructure sets resulting in the challenge of creating and maintaining new functionalities for each brand. In addition, they had the challenge of providing meaningful reports for the business due to their different data models.

BRG were seeking a cloud consultant partner that could assist them in building a secure infrastructure as a service that was simple to use and maintain from day one. They also sought increasingly leveraging microservices to ensure continuous, agile delivery and flexible deployment of complex, service-oriented applications.

DNX Solutions determined BRG’s business and technical capabilities, such as the interdependencies, storage constraints, release process, and level of security. With the required information at hand and BRG’s required technology, DNX developed a roadmap to meet BRG’s Technical and Business objectives, using AWS best practices “The 7R’s” (retire, retain, relocate, rehost, repurchase, replatform, and refactor).

The Solution

BRG’s project was implemented in two phases where an AWS Foundation, Application Platform (Containers), and Application BluePrints (Static frontEnd and Containers with full CI/CD PIpeline) were delivered.

DNX Well-Architected Foundation entails


AWS Application Platform

  • CloudFront + S3 (Static Application)
  • Application CI/CD Strategy
  • Monitoring strategy
  • Auto-scaling strategy
  • Logging strategy and retention 
  • Secrets management
  • Application BluePrints

The Outcome

The DNX team designed and implemented a safe infrastructure as a code for AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) in typescript to run inside the AWS cloud Formation for their entire foundation as per BRG’s prerequisites. 

The typescript was chosen by BRG’s team to provide them with an easier way to write and maintain not just the applications codebase but also infrastructure. TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript which primarily provides optional static typing, classes, and interfaces. One of the big benefits is to enable IDEs to provide a richer environment for spotting common errors as you type the code which BRG’s team was already very familiar with. 

It offers all the features of JavaScript, plus an additional layer on top of these – the TypeScript type system. This can help companies to build more robust code, reduce runtime type errors, take advantage of modern features before they are available in JavaScript, and work better with development teams. 

DNX also deployed Application Blueprints (Static frontEnd and Containers with full CI/CD Pipeline) so BRG’s team could deploy, migrate, manage and monitor their own applications in the AWS cloud in the future.

As with all of our projects, DNX delivered extensive documentation and sessions on transferring knowledge covering how DNX Foundations works, how to deploy applications, how to run CI/CD pipelines, and more.

Moreover, DNX delivered the AWS Devax Academy training program Monoliths to Microservices for Java developers for six weeks.


No matter your needs or requirements, DNX is able to deliver the right solution for your business.