Development of a National Adult Protective Services Data System: Namrs Pilot Final Report (volume 2). 2. System Architecture


The NAMRS Pilot was a multi-tiered cloud application consisting of the user interface layer, business services layer, and the data layer. The user interface layer provided the web pages with control elements to access the various functionalities. The business rules and data processing were carried out in the business services layer, with each service implementing a particular function. Data were stored in the data layer using an advanced database management system. Figure 2.1 illustrates the NAMRS Pilot architecture on the cloud platform.

The NAMRS Pilot consisted of four main system components: (1) a website that users interacted with to upload data and obtain results; (2) an application called the "Loader" for validating the Case Component data files in Extensible Markup Language (XML) format and loading them into the database; (3) a database that stored all the data for the system; and (4) a data warehouse that stored all data to be accessed by analytical users. Additional cloud components that supported the operation of the main system components were the shared storage, email client, and the temporary cache.

The NAMRS Pilot was hosted in the Microsoft Azure Cloud service. It took advantage of the services that are provided in the cloud:

Azure Web Apps symbol. Azure Web Apps--This is a managed, secure, scalable, highly-available, load-balanced, and geographically load-balanced web application hosting service. It removes the need to implement a web server or virtual machine (VM).

Azure Redis Cache symbol. Azure Redis Cache--This is a managed implementation of the Redis Cache service. This provides secure, scalable, caching inside the Azure Cloud.

Azure Virtual Machine symbol.Azure Virtual Machine--This is a scalable, highly-available, secure, virtual server located inside the Azure Cloud. This server can be loaded with any operating system, software, and virtual networking/hardware resources needed.

Azure Blob Storage symbol.Azure Blob Storage--This is a scalable, highly-available, geographically redundant data storage service for files inside the Azure Cloud.

SendGrid Email symbol.Azure Service Marketplace--This is a marketplace for services from 3rd party vendors that are available inside the Azure Cloud.

There are many other services available inside the Microsoft Azure Cloud, but the ones above are the set that were used for the NAMRS Pilot.

The data centers for the Microsoft Azure Cloud are extremely secure, and they many different compliance certifications. More about their compliance can be found here:

FIGURE 2.1. NAMRS Pilot System Architecture
FIGURE 2.1. Flow Chart: This graphic is described within the report text.

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