April 12, 2024

Transforming Taxation with AWS: An R&G Brenner and Rootstrap Success Story

In the ever-evolving world of tax preparation, standing out requires excellent service and leveraging the best in technology. That's precisely what R&G Brenner, a distinguished name in income tax preparation since 1941, aimed for when they decided to revamp their mobile application. With a legacy of serving over a million clients globally, R&G Brenner's commitment to integrating cutting-edge technology to enhance user experience has been unwavering. This commitment led them to collaborate with Rootstrap to significantly transform their TaxApp powered by AWS technologies.

The Challenge: Legacy Application Modernization

The R&G Brenner TaxApp, essential for clients in over 100 countries, needed a major overhaul to meet modern performance and usability standards. With the U.S. tax season looming, the stakes were high to deliver a stable solution that offered a superior user experience. The initial assessment pointed towards a complete rebuild instead of patching the existing application. This task demanded a blend of technical prowess, strategic thinking, and a deep understanding of R&G Brenner's vision.

Choosing The Right AWS Cloud Architecture

Leveraging AWS was a natural progression for R&G Brenner, given their current use of various AWS services and features. Specific AWS offerings, such as Lambda Functions, CodeBuild, and CodePipeline, among others, promised a reduction in operational costs and development times—critical factors for the project's success. AWS's robust, scalable, and secure infrastructure made it the perfect backbone for the new TaxApp.

AWS Solution

AWS Solution

Core Infrastructure:

  • Amazon AuroraDB Cluster: Positioned within private subnets across two Availability Zones (AZs), this relational database cluster offers storage scalability, high performance and improved availability. It leverages Aurora, a MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible database known for its high performance and reliability.
  • Elasticache DB: This in-memory cache sits within the private subnet, improving database performance by caching frequently accessed data.

Compute and Orchestration:

  • Elastic Container Service (ECS): ECS is utilized for Docker container management, streamlining the deployment and operation of containerized applications for R&G Brenner. By employing ECS alongside Fargate, a serverless compute engine specifically designed for containers, we effectively abstract infrastructure management complexities.


  • NAT Gateway: This is deployed in the public subnet to allow instances in the private subnet to access the internet for updates and patches while remaining unreachable from the outside.


  • Security Groups: Virtual firewalls governing the type of traffic allowed to and from resources like ECS tasks and the bastion host.
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF): Protects the application from web exploits and common web application vulnerabilities.

Storage and Content Delivery:

  • S3 Bucket and Frontend: Amazon S3 hosts static assets, and potentially the frontend of the application, enabling scalability and data durability.
  • AWS CloudFront: A content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs with low latency and high transfer speeds.

Domain Name System (DNS) and Routing:

  • Route 53: Manages DNS records and routes end-user requests to the application's internet-facing endpoint.

Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD):

  • AWS CodePipeline and CodeBuild: Automates the build, test, and deploy phases of the release process every time there is a code change.

Security and Encryption:

  • SSL Endpoint: SSL certificates are used to encrypt data in transit for secure communication over the internet.

Monitoring and Management:

  • AWS Cloudwatch & CloudTrail Logs: Shows logs collected from the infrastructure, database, and application, divided into Log Groups that can be consulted through the AWS Management Console.
  • Third-Party Tooling for Monitoring: We have the DataDog agent configured as a secondary container running on the ECS cluster for infrastructure monitoring.  


  • Internet Gateway: A horizontally scaled, redundant, and highly available VPC component that allows communication between the VPC and the internet.

The Outcome: A New Era for R&G Brenner Tax Services

In conclusion, the strategic implementation of AWS technologies, including the Amazon AuroraDB Cluster, ECS with AWS Fargate, and robust security measures like WAF and SSL endpoints, has transformed R&G Brenner's TaxApp into a highly reliable, scalable, and secure platform. This upgrade ensures uninterrupted service during peak tax seasons, meets the dynamic demands of customers, and protects sensitive data. Additionally, tools like AWS CodePipeline and CodeBuild streamline updates and enhancements, ensuring the TaxApp remains at the forefront of tax preparation technology. This forward-looking infrastructure lays a solid foundation for R&G Brenner's continued growth and innovation in the digital era.

The launch of the new TaxApp was a resounding success. The application's robust architecture and enhanced features have set a new standard for customer satisfaction and operational excellence in tax services.

Our Commitment to Excellence

For more insights into our work and how we can help your business leverage the latest technology, stay tuned to our blog and contact us for a consultation. Together, let's redefine what's possible.

Authors*: Diego Lopez, Camila Riveron, Jose Ignacio Varela