Charter Manufacturing, a privately owned steel and iron production and manufacturing company headquartered in Wisconsin, was looking to improve their provisioning and deployment processes. Their manual and scripted processes were error-prone, inconsistent and slow, and added to the IT organization’s costs. Charter chose FlexDeploy for DevOps and Release Automation to boost processes, accuracy and visibility.
Software and application delivery was consistently a pain point for Charter as manual and scripted build and deploy processes were costly and led to outages impacting internal and external customers. In addition to issues with Oracle Fusion Middleware, Charter also wanted to address application-level challenges with Oracle E-Business Suite and many non-Oracle technologies such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon EC2.
There was no repeatable approach to provisioning environments or building or deploying software artifacts. As a result, their ability to deliver applications and changes rapidly and cost-effectively was impaired. Any time the team needed to migrate changes to another environment, there was no consistency from one to the next. There were multiple handoffs during the process, and for each migration the team had to coordinate with various people throughout the IT department. Visibility was lacking as there was no reporting of what was migrated when. Which software versions were running where? Is it safe to approve a change or release? Not being able to easily answer these questions led to difficulty in change and release management areas.
After evaluating several automation tools, including Jenkins, Redgate and Go Continuous Delivery, Charter chose FlexDeploy. They found FlexDeploy a comprehensive solution, providing support for both Oracle and non-Oracle technologies. It was lightweight and user-friendly, and integrated quickly; FlexDeploy was up and running at Charter in a matter of days. Plus, it could integrate into the broad Oracle technology footprint initially, then extend across the enterprise seamlessly. Lastly, the company found FlexDeploy more than a deployment engine; it’s also an orchestration engine that provides consistent project execution.
Charter has achieved several soft and hard benefits since integrating FlexDeploy. The company has seen a significant acceleration of application deployments, with full visibility, reporting and controls. Centralized and simplified tooling has also been realized across the enterprise, and building once reduces missed objects and increases overall quality. To date, Charter has full automation of WebLogic and SOA infrastructure provisioning. In addition to leveraging the out-of-the-box support for the Oracle Fusion Middleware and E-Business Suite products, Charter is utilizing FlexDeploy for their large Microsoft Azure and Kentico footprints.
On the horizon is Oracle Database automation, including the Oracle Database plugin to manage structural changes, extending automation to other data-related areas, and database patch management. What’s more, they foresee DevSecOps maturity and evolution, including Agile Project Management/Jira integration, functional and security test automation, Secrets Management integration, and Enterprise Service Management integration with BMC Helix.
“FlexDeploy is more than a deployment engine; it’s an orchestration engine that provides consistent project execution.”