Top Global Financial Institution Saves Time and Improves Quality of Application Development

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SUMMARY

A global financial institution uses CloudBees CI to give time back to developers

CHALLENGE

Centralize and secure the build process for a large, decentralized Jenkins deployment and gain the assurance of formal technical support

SOLUTION

Implement CloudBees CI for secure sharing of Jenkins build assets and expert technical support

RESULTS

  • Additional functionality gained for security, version control

  • Half-day of development time saved per application, per day

  • Build assets and best practices centralized

  • Access to formal technical support

SOFTWARE

  • CloudBees CI


The institution, one of the top four retail banks, globally, centralized the application build and integration process using CloudBees CI (formerly CloudBees Core), provided to them by UK-based Cachet Software. The institution offers private banking, corporate and investment banking, investment management and credit card services. It has a substantial international presence.

Prior to the Jenkins CI open source implementation, applications were being developed and maintained by the corporate branch of the bank, but there was no centralized management of the process and developers couldn’t always access build assets. This all caused problems, reengineering and wasted time.

"There was no central control, and developers in the organization felt they were constantly reinventing the wheel. We knew there had to be a better way,” said the bank’s development manager.

In addition to centralizing, standardization was needed. The team wanted to gain an automated process for application build services—one that was secure, able to be backed-up, offered audit capabilities to facilitate best practices and would eliminate local reengineering.

Implementing Jenkins meant the bank gained the desired standardization, along with other benefits of a centralized system that were needed—such as the sharing of assets between developers.

The development organization chose Jenkins because of its robustness and the availability of useful plugins to match their requirements. The team had used Jenkins before and they knew it was the right fit.

Having installed Jenkins to support continuous integration (CI) and monitor the build management process, the financial institution needed additional features and functionality that the standard open source solution didn’t offer. For example, when building new applications, there was a need to ensure that only approved software versions were used. Additionally, the applications needed to be secure, backed up and able to be audited.

Finally, since the Jenkins software is open source, no formal technical support is available from the Jenkins community. An inherent requirement for the bank for any application they use is that they be able to get technical support. Without such support, they would be dependent on the Jenkins community to address any issues raised. The community always has a backlog of issues and there is no guarantee that any given issue will ever be resolved. The bank felt it could not run the risk of having no SLA in place for issue resolution.

"The bank sees this use of the CloudBees CI as part of a larger, long-term project, a strategic goal of our organization, well beyond IT."

Development Manager
Global Financial Institution

SOLUTION: GAINING ADDITIONAL NECESSARY FUNCTIONALITY AND FORMAL TECHNICAL SUPPORT

To overcome these challenges, the bank evaluated and ultimately selected CloudBees CI. They had two primary reasons: the additional plugins that provide necessary functionality for large enterprises in the areas of backup, security, high availability and job organization and the ability to obtain formal technical support for open source Jenkins and all 600+ open source Jenkins plugins.

CloudBees CI has enabled the financial institution to offer Jenkins as a centralized enterprise-grade service; one that is secure and backed up. Its Role-based Access Control plugin ensures that each developer has access to the specific assets they need, as determined by their role and project responsibilities. Moreover, CloudBees CI has eliminated monitoring local instances of builds that previously took a large amount of resources. CloudBees CI has thus freed up the developers’ time so they can now focus on what they do well: develop applications.

The bank used technical support from CloudBees, initially, when setting up CloudBees CI. "The service and response times were excellent. But once the system was implemented, we haven’t had to raise any trouble tickets. The software just works. It doesn’t go wrong. However, we needed to have the on-going support for reassurance and risk compliance,” explained the development manager.

RESULTS

PLUGINS PROVIDE SECURITY AND ADDITIONAL ENTERPRISE-LEVEL FUNCTIONALITY.

The plugin that was most important for the bank was the Role-based Access Control (RBAC) plugin. The role-based functionality enables partitioning the job into secure folders. This means that developers can access specific folders with the reassurance that these are the appropriate ones for their role. "Role-based Access Control was, for us, the main selling point,” clarified the bank development manager. "It was an absolute must. Other plugins are also used by the bank, but Role-based Access Control, alone, was enough to justify our investment.” The team also wanted to offer version control and the functionality available from the Folders plugin within CloudBees CI ensures that only approved software versions are shared between teams, so project folders have the correct, approved project assets.

A HALF-DAY OF DEVELOPMENT TIME SAVED, PER APPLICATION.

"We’ve used the Templates plugin to make our builds much more consistent. That standardization has enabled our development tools team to focus on increasing reliability and efficiency instead of the quirks of every team’s unique build,” says the bank development manager. "Similarly, automated testing has freed our testers to focus on higher-value exploratory testing, instead of rote manual tests.”

ABILITY TO SHARE ASSETS AND BEST PRACTICES AMONG THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM.

Previously, all the developers in the bank worked in isolation, not sharing best practices or solutions. Now, with a centralized build process, they can collaborate more effectively, gain from each other’s experience and access available assets based on their role and responsibilities, thanks to offering Jenkins as a centralized service via CloudBees CI.