Finnish Electrotechnical Trade Association

The Finnish Electrotechnical Trade Association (STK) acts as a promoter of the competitiveness of the electrical trade sector and as a social influencer. In addition, STK represents the international ETIM standard for technical information on construction products in Finland. The association has worked with Pinja since 2009, when Pinja started developing the Sähkö database and web service. Pinja was also responsible for the cloud migration and renewal of the Sähkö service in spring 2023.

The cooperation in brief

Design and launch of the Sähkö service

The development project for the Sähkö service and the cooperation with Pinja started in 2009. At that time, the basis for a system running in a physical server environment was built, and the development of the system began.

Aiming for cloud migration in 2023

As the physical server was nearing the end of its lifetime, work started in 2021 to migrate the Sähkö service to the cloud. STK’s aim was to stop using and maintaining servers. It was a big project, so there had to be enough time and thought for the planning. The service also had to be available to users throughout the entire renewal process.

Cloud migration and modernization in one go

In spring 2023, after almost a year of groundwork, the cloud environment was taken into use. During the project, the necessary upgrades to the cloud environment and changes to allow further development of the system were implemented.

Pinja has always been available, and the cooperation is clear and seamless. Our long history shows.

Katri Huhtinen, STK’s Development Manager

The cloud migration project also anticipated future change needs

Planning for the cloud migration of the Sähkö service started when the physical server reached the end of its life. STK also wanted to give up the use and maintenance of these servers

The migration from a physical server to a cloud environment also required a major overhaul of the Sähkö system. The success of the project required a phased approach and a detailed plan. When planning for the cloud migration began, it was clear to both parties that significant time and resources would need to be spent on building system capability and planning for the cloud migration and the new environment; they didn’t want to stumble upon faults once the migration was underway. During the cloud migration project, STK and Pinja had many discussions about the options for implementing the renewal work, which allowed for long-term development. Quick solutions were rejected if they did not facilitate future development.

During the project, improvements to the Sähkö service were implemented, the functionality of the system was modified to suit the cloud environment, and changes were made to enable future development of the system. STK and Pinja regularly discussed proposals for developing the service and the benefits of the different options.

The Sähkö service was smoothly migrated to the cloud

Katri Huhtinen, STK’s Development Director, is pleased with the seamless cooperation: “Pinja has always provided good advice during the development phase, and ideas and suggestions for solutions. Pinja’s history in the development of the Sähkö service is valuable, as they have knowledge and insight into the system and the needs of our users. Our product information system has been around for a long time, and IT has evolved since the system was first introduced:” Pinja has been responsible for ensuring that the features and implementation of the Sähkö service have not remained in the past decades, but have responded to the needs of the client and the users of the service and to the new requirements of software development throughout its lifetime.

The transition to the new production environment went smoothly, and the users of the Sähkö service were kept up to date on the steps of the transition. The challenging areas were identified in advance, and their implementation was planned with particular care: Being well prepared ensured that the transition to the new system was smooth and trouble-free. “No panic button was needed”, says Huhtinen. “The service remained available for as long as possible, and the switch to the new environment took two days.”

Benefits of the cloud migration and renewal

After the renewal, the Sähkö service can now be monitored with new, better monitoring tools. The tools find the parts of the software that consume the most processing resources, for example. In this way, the software can be optimized, and we can even reduce its carbon footprint.

STK is pleased with the improved monitoring of the Sähkö service in the new environment. With cloud services, monitoring is “on the house”, and does not need to be implemented separately, and the data is easily accessible in the cloud, making monitoring fast and cost-effective.

The cloud migration project achieved all its objectives through excellent planning and good organization of work. Careful planning and implementation of the migration enables further development work in the future. The long cooperation between STK and Pinja is valuable, as the system upgrade can be carried out piece by piece, as the software developers are familiar with the system and its previous development stages.

Continuous development of product information and the Sähkö service

STK cannot and will not rest on its laurels, as the use of product information is constantly advancing, and now the entire construction industry is going digital. Information on the carbon footprint can already be added to the required product information, and in the future product information can also include, for example, a material description, a climate statement or a carbon handprint, which refers to the positive environmental impact of products- Information on the environmental impact of products is important for operators and authorities in the electrical engineering sector. “Product information already includes life-cycle data on the carbon footprint of product manufacturing. However, the situation is constantly evolving, and is partly open in terms of what information is required by regulators, and what is needed by operators; i.e. what we will start collecting as part of the database”, says Katri Huhtinen of STK.

The development of the features and interfaces of the system is continuous, as the industry is constantly evolving. Also, the parts that are visible to end users, such as the user interface, service functionalities, and usability improvements, cannot lag behind the development of other functionalities.

Pinja’s extensive expertise in modernizing legacy systems adds value

The introduction of modern software development methods and a modernized environment is important for STK: The new environment and methods improve software troubleshooting and repair, system monitoring and maintenance, development of new functionalities, and integration with other systems.

Because cloud technologies allow you to set up your environment quickly and automatically, it can be deployed on the developer’s computer, or from anywhere in the world.
If the service were to be rolled out internationally, cloud technology makes this easy and cost-effective. STK now has a modernized system that enables member companies and others using the product database to improve their productivity.

Image: Finnish Electrotechnical Trade Association

Finnish Electrotechnical Trade Association in a nutshell

100+ Number of member companies of the Finnish Electrotechnical Trade Association. The member companies of the Finnish Electrotechnical Trade Association are wholesalers, manufacturers, importers and co-operators of electrical products.

Interaction “Prosperity through electricity” Vision 2040 Cooperation between educational institutions, influencing

650,000 Number of products included in the Sähkö service

Sähkö 330,000 users per year, over 3,000,000 page views per year

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