CASE STUDY

 

Reduce a Build-Deploy-Test Workflow From Days to Minutes

Background

 

The Company is the world’s largest software and data solutions company exclusively serving the oil and gas industry. The Company has approximately 700 employees in key energy capitals worldwide.

 

Challenges & Opportunities

 

managing-people-globally-pg-1Time-consuming Manual Processes. A huge challenge was the generation of updates (patches) for a 4.5M lines of code land management application. The update process for the complex product was extremely complex, involving numerous engineers across several locations and time zones. This often resulted in a multi-day operation to produce the updates.

Among the challenges were coordination issues, technical difficulties, people of specific areas of expertise required to create the update (e.g. databases, product code, documentation generation, and project management tasks), and time-consuming manual processes that were not well documented.

Quality Issues. Because of the complexity, the probability of human error was high, and, subsequently the quality of the updates was often suspect.  More than 35.

 

Crosslake created an automated solution for a build-deploy-test workflow that was previously done manually, creating a much more robust process and saving hours and hours of effort in update creation. Crosslake was relentless in its efforts to provide a clean and effective solution, and it certainly has been a great pleasure working with them. I look forward to more opportunities down the road for us to interact.

Raju G.

Lead Developer

Solution

 

Crosslake collaborated with the engineering team to understand the existing manual process and determined a suitable architecture for the solution, accounting for all aspects of the process to be automated.

First, the team incrementally created an automated build process for the binaries to be included in an update.

Next, a master PowerShell script was developed that would drive the build process and leverage Team Foundation Server (TFS) Lab Management to automatically build the components, deploy them to a test environment, execute the automated tests (using HP QTP), and report the results back to TFS with thorough logging.

With the click of a button, an update is generated by pulling in the appropriate change sets from TFS, versioning the components, preparing database upgrade scripts and invoking the build-deploy-test workflow.

 

Results

 

Faster update creation. Crosslake removed the manual intervention resulting in minimization of errors, taking a multi-step manual process and reducing it to two steps: (1) update configuration and (2) execution. Patch generation that previously took several days now takes less than one hour.

Maximize update quality. With automated processes, the probability for human error is significantly reduced. Additionally, all configuration is managed in one place.

Automated validation. Automating the entire build-deploy-test workflow allows patch validation across different environments ensuring customers don’t find the issues. In addition, if errors are found during validation, a new patch can be generated in minutes, vastly improving delivery time to QA and to customers.

 

Conclusion

 

Crosslake turned a completely manual process into a fully automated one to deliver significant time savings and cost reduction in the generation of updates for a very complex product. Although custom development projects are not our primary business, Crosslake’s long-standing successful relationship with The Company lead them to insist and trust that we would do the work thoroughly, and to an exceptional level of quality.