MTA – managed tactical applications

a framework for building and centrally managing tactical applications.


Finance Information System Using Tactical Technologies

In a fast-paced working environment sometimes ASAP just isn’t soon enough.

Which is why tactical applications – quick-fix solutions built to fulfill a specific, usually short-term requirement – still play such a key role in our day-to-day functions. But the use of unstable solutions can lead to key-man dependency, a high cost of ownership and considerable risk.

The Problem With Quick Fixes

Having been in existence for over two decades, it’s widely accepted that desktop programs (non-server based systems) still have a key role. Because most base technologies like Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel are primarly user-tools, the majority of applications in the industry are built by end-users. The benefits of a standard tactical applications are well known:

  • Faster time to market
  • Responsive to change
  • Relatively inexpensive to build
  • Inexpensive hardware requirement
  • Performance for low volume of concurrent users and record numbers below the millions

But whilst these solutions can render immediate productivity gains for individual users, they are often built by end-users without formal training or detailed knowledge of the technologies and can leave your organization subject to a high level of key-man dependency and potentially elevated long-term costs of ownership and risk. Furthermore, without usage information or performance data, it is impossible to know who the real customers of the application are, and to what extent they are actually using the application. The solution is at risk of providing an un-validated, and extremely limited, output.

The quick fix you can rely on

4FRONT’s Managed Tactical Applications take the key characteristics of a quick-fix solution, using Microsoft Access and including an additional list of services consistent with those of a larger banking information system. These include:

  • Security
  • Back-ups
  • Archiving
  • Audit trails
  • Support tools

The application originator can make any fixes and adjustments, thereby minimizing cost and risk. The solution therefore provides a validated output that can be easily monitored.

Core Functionalities

4FRONT Tactical Managed Applications are built around a ‘shell’ application that has been refined over 15 years of development. The Banking Information System Core


  • Management Console
  • Documentation
  • Attachment Management
  • Separating Data and Application
  • Distribution and Version control
  • User management and security
  • Error Management
  • User Interface
  • Import Manager/Rules Engine
  • Event/Audit Logs
  • Meta-Data

By focusing on building and polishing this shell, we have established a powerful set of core components that the can be re-used to great effect. A quick-fix is elevated to a managed solution that can release developers to concentrate on other, more specific functionality demands, and any adjustments can easily made by individuals with no specific knowledge of the application.

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