CA Technologies Application Release Automation Platform Enables
CUSTOMER SUCCESS STORY | November 2013
CA Technologies Application
Release Automation Platform
Enables Tesco to Reach Previously
Company: Tesco Plc
Revenue: £64.826 billion
Global Fortune 50 retailer
Tesco is the third largest
merchant in the world; it
operates over 3,700 stores
internationally and is rapidly
expanding its online
markets as diverse as motor
insurance, home electrical
appliances and clothing.
Tesco needed to accelerate
efficiency and reduce
errors in order to meet
the milestones required
for an ambitious
CA Lisa Release Automation
established an incremental
dynamic elements of
application release from
fixed processes, enabling
Tesco to keep the same fixed
processes and concentrate
on changing only the
dynamic elements that need
to be updated each time.
With the new processes
95 percent of applications
were deployed into staging
by week two, by which time
the manifest and supporting
processes had been fully
were then released reliably
and predictably, without
the need to modify the
2 | Customer Success Story: Tesco | November 2013
A retailer with a pioneering spirit
Technological advancement is the driving force of Tesco’s future and one of the retailer’s key
objectives lies in the expansion of online international projects. True to its pioneering spirit, Tesco
was the first retailer in the world to offer a robust home shopping service in 1996 and Tesco.com
was formally launched in 2000. Tesco currently has online operations in Britain, the Republic of
Ireland and South Korea.
Tesco aims to open at least 15 new online stores over the next 3 years. This is a highly lucrative
market which Tesco is keen to enter quickly, but there are very high expectations with the project
and it must be delivered smoothly, accurately and efficiently.
Paving the way for the future
To ensure rapid and constant deployments of online updates and applications, Tesco is working
towards continuous integration. The retailer began implementing agile (sprint and scrum)
methodologies, which dramatically increased the volume and frequency of application releases
and R&D deliverables.
However, numerous complexities in the application deployments meant that Tesco’s manual
release processes were severely inadequate for agile methodologies. Some applications took
days to deploy and required the expertise of many highly-skilled workers. An operational bottleneck
formed, impairing Tesco’s release throughput and delaying critical application updates, patches
and future enhancements.
Tesco urgently needed to accelerate its time-to-market, increase efficiency and reduce errors before it
could embark on its ambitious international project.
Tesco adopted CA Lisa Release Automation as its standard solution for application release automation
All Tesco’s application release processes start at R&D – the very beginning of the application lifecycle.
Therefore, Tesco invited Alon Eizenman, CTO and Co-Founder of Nolio, now part of CA Technologies, to
its International R&D headquarters in India for on-the-job training and support in order to finish the
processes as quickly and efficiently as possible. Alon worked with the Change and Configuration
Department for two weeks.
Tesco employs a Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) to define deployment work items and
include all the information needed for a release.
3 | Customer Success Story: Tesco | November 2013
Every application release contains numerous complexities and variable components. Tesco’s
applications are divided into four distinct sectors (in-store, application stores, OMS and TIBCO)
with a total of 74 different services offered.
Each application deployment contains a different set of resources and each set can contain limitless
combinations of the 74 services. To further exacerbate complexities, deployments run across five
environments: development, integration, staging, pre-production and production. Each region runs
across all environments and, as the international project is planned for 15 countries, there are
potentially 75 different environments to be taken into consideration.
Prior to CA Technologies intervention, release managers were building each process from scratch
every time they needed to deploy a new application change – which involved creating custom scripts
for each release. Resources were manually taken from TFS version control by release engineers before
the application was deployed. This was an extremely time-consuming, error-prone and intricate
process which offered zero visibility, predictability and traceability.
Establishing An Incremental Manifest
Automation expert Alon identified the current processes as inefficient and impossible to maintain.
“Once a process has already been built, you can’t keep going back and changing it. This is incredibly
high-maintenance. When I arrived at Tesco they were building new workflows for each release, which
was putting them behind schedule and open to errors. For their international projects to be a success,
I realised that we would need to rebuild their entire release process based on CA’s automation
capabilities.” comments Alon.
Alon immediately halted the practice of creating new workflows for each release and established
an incremental manifest, which separates the dynamic elements of the application release from the
fixed processes. This separation enables Tesco to keep the same fixed processes in place and
concentrate on changing only the dynamic elements that need to be updated each time.
The dynamic elements of the manifest are the specific set of application resources that are needed
for each release. The manifest deployment puts all application resource descriptive inside an xml file
– detailing which resources should be taken, their specific location (i.e. VCS, network storage, etc.)
and version. Details of this descriptive can be changed quickly and easily per release.
The CA Technologies solution’s workflow directs how the release process should be executed. This is
a simple fixed process that can be employed and repeated time and time again. Numerous manifests
can be executed through this one fixed process that orchestrates complex multi-tier release
deployments with full visibility and traceability.
This manifest creates processes that can deploy numerous sets of applications and services in all
environments throughout all regions. Rigorous safeguards are in place to assure quality control, IT
governance and compliance. The manifest is kept in a version control system (VCS), which can only
be modified by the release manager. The release manager is solely responsible for determining the
content of release and documenting it in the manifest and the process can be repeatedly relied upon
for any application deployment.
4 | Customer Success Story: Tesco | November 2013
Putting Tesco back on schedule
Prior to the implementation of CA Technologies incremental manifest concept, Tesco had never
successfully achieved automated deployment of TIBCO into the staging environment. With the new
processes, the Tesco R&D teams reached the following milestones:
• 67 percent of applications were deployed into staging by the end of the first week
• 95 percent of applications were deployed into staging by the middle of the second week.
By the end of the second week, the manifest and supporting processes were fully implemented.
Deployments could then be released to pre-production and production environments, reliably
and predictably, without the need to modify the deployment process – putting Tesco directly back
“We have transformed our
processes and achieved previously
R&D Manager of Tesco’s International Project
The manifest and accompanying workflows, which took just two weeks to build, can be applied
to unlimited regions across five environments and cut release times from days to minutes.
In the words of Siddhartha Roy, R&D Manager of Tesco’s International Project, “We have transformed
our application release processes and achieved previously untouched milestones. With CA Technologies
release manifest concept, we were able to set up an automated deployment of TIBCO to production,
which was a first in the entire history of Tesco.com. It was a very proud moment for the International
Project teams. In just three minutes and 41 seconds we deployed to all 16 application stores. Everyone
here is impressed and happy.”
5 | Customer Success Story: Tesco | November 2013
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