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Case Studies:Leading Energy Provider Powers its Workforce with DevOps, CI/CD, and Automation

The Challenge

This large energy provider saw value in growing their in-house IT capabilities, enabling agility and productivity through agile processes, automated continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) processes, and a DevOps culture. They were stuck in a world of on-premises build servers, manual processes, limited resources, and slow release cycles needing a solution to bring their technology and processes into the 21st century.

The Solution

AIS created pipelines in Azure DevOps for build and release to enable a DevOps culture, and migrated source code from the legacy Team Foundation Server (TFS) into Azure DevOps Repose Git. We worked with the team, shared our best practices and lessons learned, and created standards for automation, including organization, naming, tagging, and policies.

The Results

The internal DevOps team is now operating more efficiently and effectively with the use of Azure DevOps pipelines, enabling automation, reducing manual errors, delivering more frequent releases, and giving them the ability to scale their operations with ease.

Using CI/CD to deliver better products, faster

We used automation tools to create integrated build and test processes with a focus on a software-defined life cycle that facilitates a seamless transition from development to deployment. The introduction of CI/CD practices resulted in agility with software changes that could reach production more frequently and without as much manual effort. Now, developers are armed with easy, instant rollbacks and zero downtime release capabilities.

The Software as a Service (SaaS) model of Azure DevOps allows the team to eliminate the brittle and bloated environment they were working with, reducing the maintenance and upkeep that detracted from their ability to be agile and innovative.

Reducing time-to-market with automated testing

The length of releases was a big pain point for the entire team. It took a long time to get from development to production with manually tested software and code. By introducing a custom automated testing framework that uses Visual Studio and Azure DevOps paired with Browser Stack and Mocha, testing is now automated across several browsers and devices for both web applications and mobile apps.

Creating standards for automation

Standards help us avoid messes. And no one wants a mess of code. We’ve done a lot of work setting up projects in Azure DevOps, which is one of the ways we help folks adhere to standards. We spin up new environments, so they have a place to deploy, edit and manage the code, to ensure there’s a sound environment for building and testing, as well as a pathway to push the code into production.

One example of this is the automated gates we’ve placed in between the different pipeline stages, so there is quality control before it’s merged into the main code base. The automated gates enforce code quality standards.

Doing and showing — power to the people

During this project and in many other engagements, we do more than apply technology to solve problems. We ingrain ourselves in the organizations we partner with to empower them through technology and training, giving them both the tools and the know-how to deliver effectively.

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