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Chapter 2. Blueprints > Forethought Brokerage

2.1. Forethought Brokerage

Like any good building, an application begins with a set of requirements, often having little to do with implementation details. The first challenge of constructing an application, then, is to translate these requirements into technological outlines and a plan for action. While this can be simple when the person or group defining these requirements is technical, it is far more often the case that this mapping of requirements to an application blueprint is the most difficult portion of architecting an application. A marketing or product management group explaining their needs rarely has an idea of what is technically feasible, or even possible, with today's programming languages. Additionally, these initial requirements have a way of changing during a project, resulting in a moving target for completing a "successful" application. In fact, this is the first lesson in building an application: an application that meets the initial set of requirements is not automatically a success! Instead, it must anticipate the changing of requirements and be able to adapt in kind. For this reason, a flexible architecture and well-designed set of blueprints can lead to customer sign-off, protecting the application designer from these changes, or at least providing a reasonable window of change when requirements do evolve. This is the kind of architecture and blueprint that must be developed for Forethought Brokerage.[1]

[1] Forethought Brokerage is a completely fictional company, and any resemblance to an existing or future company is purely accidental and unintentional.

2.1.1. The Company

Forethought Brokerage has been serving their clients in a traditional investment brokerage sense for nearly 20 years. Specializing in long-term clients and customer service, the brokerage has until recently run their entire operation largely through a paper office, using carbon receipts, conference calls, and face-to-face meetings. They have monitored their clients' funds through frequent phone calls, monitoring the market, and by sweat and hard work. Although this has succeeded in building their client base and keeping them in business for almost 20 years, it has also caused some problems. They have had to remain a locally based business, as they have no facility to handle clients around the country and the world, and their established pattern of personal consultations begins to break down over distance. Additionally, monitoring funds in 24 time zones instead of one is a significant increase in workload.


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