Charter Manufacturing is a family-owned steel and iron production and manufacturing company headquartered in Wisconsin, USA. Investments in technology help fuel the company’s success, and Charter wanted to improve the speed, quality, and cost aspects of delivering software-based solutions for internal operations and to support customer- and partner-facing applications. A DevOps and Release Automation platform was needed to help address a number of challenges.
Provisioning and Deployment Challenges
Charter Manufacturing struggled with error-prone manual and scripted provisioning and deployment processes. In addition to issues with Oracle Fusion Middleware such as WebLogic, SOA Suite, ADF, and ODI, Charter also wanted to address application-level challenges with Oracle E-Business Suite customizations and functional setups and many non-Oracle technologies such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon EC2. The lack of a repeatable approach to provisioning environments and building/deploying software artifacts across environments impacted their ability to deliver applications and changes as rapidly and cost-effectively as desired. Additionally, limited visibility into what software versions were running in each environment led to difficulty in change and release management areas.
The Solution: FlexDeploy
Charter chose FlexDeploy, the market-leading DevOps and Release Automation software, to help solve their software delivery issues.
FlexDeploy modernizes how companies manage the software delivery lifecycle, from provisioning through release. FlexDeploy is the only integrated solution on the market, eliminating the complexity many companies see with other DevOps and Release Automation solutions. This platform has more features than other large-scale enterprise solutions, without the hefty price tag. “We have fundamentally changed the game in terms of how a vendor can help companies, from small/medium businesses up to the largest enterprises,” said Flexagon President Dan Goerdt. “FlexDeploy provides both breadth of features across the continuous delivery toolchain and depth of implementation for many commercial and open source tools and technologies. That means faster software delivery via high quality and repeatable processes. The way it should be.”
FlexDeploy Answers Charter’s Challenges Easily
After evaluating open source tools such as Jenkins and solutions from vendors such as CloudBees, Redgate, and Go Continuous Delivery, Charter selected FlexDeploy as the solution best suited to its needs. “We researched a lot of deployment related software, most of it fragmented with little to no support for Oracle” said Charter Middleware Engineer, Matt Gerkhardt. “FlexDeploy had us up and running in a matter of days and had all of the tools necessary to integrate into our broad Oracle technology footprint. It is more than a deployment engine, it’s an orchestration engine that provides consistent project execution.”
“FlexDeploy is more than a deployment engine; it’s an orchestration engine that provides consistent project execution.”
Charter has implemented a comprehensive solution to the challenges they had been facing. The company found that FlexDeploy’s performance met their high standards, and was leaps and bounds ahead of other products they had seen on the market. 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. Says Gerkhardt: “FlexDeploy provided us with a huge leap forward in terms of code and environment management and operational infrastructure automation.”
Charter has been able to achieve many hard and soft benefits:
- Reduced average deployment time by 60%
- Eliminated 25% of errors, reducing overall production outages and post go-live support
- Cut costs by 30% by removing the need to rely on outsourced and internal after-hours support
- Single platform allowed one person to orchestrate code moves and go-lives
- Industry: Manufacturing
- Oracle Database 12.1
- Oracle E-Business Suite 12.2.5
- Microsoft Azure
- Amazon EC2
- Fusion Middleware 11g and 12c WebLogic, SOA Suite, JMS, ODI, OBIEE, ADF, and APEX
Life Before FlexDeploy
- Error prone, inconsistent, and slow middleware provisioning led to speed and quality issues across environments.
- Lack of visibility to changes, product versions, etc. across environments.
- Manual and scripted build/deploy process were costly and led to outages impacting internal and external customers.
Life After FlexDeploy
- Significant acceleration of application deployments, with full visibility and controls.
- Full automation of WebLogic and SOA infrastructure provisioning.
- Reduced new server middleware deployment by 75%.
- Reduced EBS deployment time by 50%.
- Building once reduces missed objects and increases overall quality.
- ROI within 6 months.
- Centralized and simplified tooling.
“FlexDeploy provided us with a huge leap forward in terms of code and environment management and operational infrastructure automation.”