This is the second year the NJLUG is reaching out an innovation award to the most prestigious Java project in the Netherlands. With this award we want to highlight cool and innovative projects in the Netherlands. Again it was not easy to come up with a winner. All the nominated projects were judged by a committee existing of the following seasoned Java experts: Bas Passon from First8, Jeroen Benckhuijsen from Group9 and Eddy Vos from ABN AMRO.

We took into account what the impact was of a project, which technology choices were made and how the projects were developed. After our initial review three candidate award winners remained: The Dutch Railways, NS, with project Donna, Project Navigate by Portbase and the Equality project at TenneT. The NS Donna project is about rebuilding a system for planning all trains, maintenance, materials and personnel in the Netherlands, while Navigate from Portbase is enabling the smart planning and handling of containers over multiple parties in the logistics chain and the Equality project at TenneT about the market management system that ensures that supply and demand in the Dutch electricity grid are balanced.

Let’s now have a look at who has won!

Tennet has won the award! It’s been a close call close call, but the jury is of the opinion that Tennet has done some impressive engineering.  Congratulations with the award!

The reason that we choose TenneT is because of the way it has renewed a complex platform that is crucial for the Dutch power supply. Read below for an interview with Maarten Abbenhuis, senior business manager, Caspar Derksen, project architect and Branko van Abel, developer!

Can you tell us a bit about what the platform actually does? 

It’s a grid operator. For example, the platform provides information on the Cobra cable about international trade The platform supports the users in carrying out the balancing and market processes of the TenneT, The National high voltage between Denmark and the Netherlands, the quantity of energy that is transported, the direction of this transport and the changes in volumes which can change every 15 minutes. The platform also calculates the set points, 5 minute based, for the actual control, steering and offline grid security analysis of the European high voltage grid.

That’s impressive. What technologies did you use and what kind of choices did you make with regards to the architecture? <vraag voor Caspar>

We have built the system on a traditional Java EE7 enterprise stack. We use HTML5 and Angular for the frontend. The most important design decision was to move from classic service orientation to event-driven microservices. This has enabled us to build a resilient system that we can incrementally evolve to modern Java stacks and cloud.

Just to make sure? It is already live?

Yes, the platform is already live. We have chosen to create a truly modular platform to make sure that we could put modules into operations independent from each other. By doing so we have created great flexibility in the program. We can prioritize modules based on business priority and CORBA had the highest priority for TenneT.

Thank you. Nice to know that Java technology is also helping to keep the light on in the Netherlands!