We recently announced the arrival of our Live DevOps Innovation Platform built in-house here at Sandhata. I wanted to share some of the tools we have used for it so far, as well as my personal experiences on this platform, as it has been very interesting and a big learning experience for me.
The DevOps Innovation Platform project was launched in August 2016. We began by building a very simple application, called Sandhata Bank, using public APIs available from the Open Bank Project. This meant we didn’t have to build an entire banking back-end.
From there we have continued to integrate open source tools, including:
- Gradle for build automation
- SonarQube for quality control
- Junit for unit testing
- Karma and Selenium for web testing
- BIRT for transactional dashboards
- Zabbix for monitoring
Once we had a good working open source model, we started to incorporate enterprise-licensed products. We have analysed the market and sought to include the products we believe are industry-leading in various areas.
So far, in addition to the many open source products, the Platform features:
- AWS as a cloud provider
- digital.ai Deploy for deployment automation (formerly XebiaLabs XL Deploy)
- digital.ai Release for release management (formerly XebiaLabs XL Release)
- IBM Rational Test Workbench for Message Based Test Automation & Service Virtualisation
- CA DevTest for Test Automation & Service Virtualisation
- TIBCO BWCE for micro services
- CA Test Data Manager for test data management
- CA Agile Requirements Designer for Requirements Modelling & Test Case Design
- CA API Gateway or API Management
- TIBCO Spotfire for KPIs and business intelligence
From the very beginning, we have followed DevOps principles of continuous improvement and collaboration in working as a team. We started out using Phabricator as our task management system, while following Agile practices (sprints, scrum meetings etc). We have since progressed to using Agile Central as our task management system as it offers more mature features.
This open way of working has allowed us to evaluate more than 30 different tools and has given each team member responsibility for their area of focus and the tools available.
The DevOps Innovation Platform project has been a great opportunity for every member of the DevOps Platform team to work with many new technologies and gain a real breadth of skills. Each person has been involved in researching the wide spectrum of new technologies and building POCs to gain deeper understanding of the products, whilst helping to ultimately decide which tools should be included.
Continuous customer feedback
I personally have found this process incredibly interesting, and a great opportunity to get my hands on some of the hottest tools around. With each tool and process addition to the Platform, we have demonstrated these to our clients, and their feedback has kept us eager to keep going.
Our conversations with clients and partners have been so enriched by this Platform, as it allows us to easily demonstrate our understanding and experience of each focus area, that it is a springboard for meaningful discussion.
The other brilliant aspect of this Platform is that it is a working, complete real-life application ecosystem. So when new tools come along, we already have the perfect playground to download, install, and play around with the tool to get up close and personal with it. As we already have hands-on experience with the tools, we can provide better, completely personalised advice to clients based on our breadth of experience with the different toolsets available.
We are working on enhancing the Platform as I write, and adding new features and tools all the time.
I look forward to keeping you up to date with our new additions as they come through!
Want to know more?
Take a look at the Platform page or contact us on +44 20 7680 7105 for a no-obligation product review.
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