Since 1925, Pella® Corporation has been a leader in designing and manufacturing windows and doors for residential homes and commercial applications. The company continually receives high praise for its products and quality service and was awarded Most Innovative Design Company by Fast Company in 2022. However, they struggled with code deployment as it lacked visibility—who’s changing what, when—with manual and error-prone processes, making the ability to audit nearly impossible.
Pella first deployed Oracle’s E-Business Suite (EBS) back in 2000, when they also purchased a tool for code migrations for all EBS technologies. Initially, the tool did an excellent job separating duties—from developer to QA to product systems administration. Yet when Pella started leveraging more of Oracle’s middleware technologies, they found their tool out-of-the-box did not support them. That left more code being deployed manually than through the code release product—which, in turn, led to a lot of handholding and handoff communication from developers to administrators. Manual deployment processes were too slow and error-prone, resulting in far too much time fixing issues rather than innovating and delivering business value.
After evaluating open-source options and the third-party tool upgrade, Pella selected FlexDeploy as the solution best suited to its needs. Pella understood that it would take more work to expand the capabilities of the tool they were currently working with; despite already having it installed, they felt they could get there more quickly and have the results they needed with FlexDeploy. As Flexagon President Dan Goerdt said, “Companies need only one tool to anchor their automation platform, significantly cutting initial implementation time and cost and providing an easier-to-manage and more cost-effective solution over time.”
FlexDeploy was the only integrated solution on the market that would eliminate the “tool sprawl” seen with other release automation solutions—providing all the features of other large-scale enterprise solutions without the hefty price tag. Not only would it handle all the various Oracle technologies, but Pella could also leverage it for essentially all technologies.
After a short, two-week proof of concept (POC), they had the confidence that FlexDeploy could cover the primary technologies they needed—and they could use FlexDeploy and no other tools. Financially speaking, because FlexDeploy is a subscription-based model, they felt there was no risk or large capital investment. FlexDeploy’s service model also played a big part in Pella’s decision. “The support team was always there to make the POC work and fully engaged. It gave us a high degree of confidence that it wasn’t just part of a sales process, but it was how they operate,” said Pella IT Manager Brad Postma. He added, “I truly feel like they hear us, are willing to work with us to improve the product and are incredibly responsive to issues and requests. The support and partnership have been wonderful; a first-class example of what customer/vendor relationships should be about.”
With FlexDeploy, Pella got comprehensive coverage, eliminating manual code moves. They found they had one tool which supported code and configuration changes across technologies and platforms—a tool designed for extensibility as their technologies/platforms evolved.
In addition, they now had a repeatable process that increased the speed and quality of changes, with visibility into real-time and historical changes across environments. “We are seeing the benefit that a common platform provides in multiple ways,” said the Pella IT manager. “Our teams can use one tool for our broad technology landscape, and multiple roles (developers, operations, testers, management) are all seeing the same information.”
What’s more, E-Business Suite support within FlexDeploy was extensive and provided flexibility to use several models of build/deployment while supporting the operational aspects of managing the E-Business Suite implementation. The FlexDeploy plugins for technologies like WebLogic, SOA, ADF, APEX, and ORDS resulted in fully automated delivery of changes across the IT landscape—eliminating manual work and scripting, with all out-of-the-box operations, significantly accelerating application deployments and time to value.