Case study

Meeting customer demands for software delivery


A European national airline


Lack of alignment between development and change management processes causing slow, unreliable deployments and downtime


Introducing version control and automation to database development with industry-standard tooling


Increased speed and reliability of deployments, reduced downtime, time freed for development teams

The customer

A European national airline, renowned for high-quality service, emerged from a period of modernizing the fleet to enhance and improve passenger experience. Focus now turned to the technical division, who were under pressure to review their innovation cycle and to drive customer-facing features and products that would cement further gains in an increasingly competitive market.

18 million passengers each year 9,000 employees globally 90 aircraft 100 destinations

The challenge

When it came to the digital customer experience, internal processes were seriously impeding progress. A lack of alignment between development and change management processes was slowing down delivery and triggering unreliable deployments, which in turn were causing downtime that was unnecessarily disruptive to customers and risked serious reputational impact.

Avoiding failed deployments is business-critical for this sector, so the IT executive set the BI & Data Warehouse team a six-month project to:

  • Align database and application development processes
  • Standardize the approach to change management
  • Implement a dedicated development environment

Once there was visibility of the processes in place across the different functions that were responsible for the software development cycle, the project lead identified that it was database deployment that was still heavily manual and slowing down the pipeline. Application development had already adopted more efficient methods and a best practice technology stack.

While application teams had the ability to commit and push changes to source control, the database teams were stuck creating their own scripts and sharing them via a file folder. This in turn revealed a compliance vulnerability: with no version history for the database, the team could be exposed in a reputation-damaging audit, for not having watertight processes around the appropriate handling of sensitive data.

The solution

It immediately became apparent that introducing version control and automation to database development would create the sought-for alignment, reduce the risk of errors, and deliver the greatest gains in efficiencies to speed up delivery.

As customers expect not only a world-class experience, but also that their data will be secure, the opportunity to create an audit trail of what changes had been made, when, where, and by who instantly offered an opportunity to reduce the compliance risk.

The team decided to:

  • Align database development processes and adopt industry standard tooling that integrated into the existing software development stack.
  • Increase the efficiency of creating production-like datasets, with tooling that enabled rapid full copies and backups of SQL Server databases and which used minimal disk space.

The results

  • Increased speed and reliability of deployments and reduce downtime, allowing the business to deliver value at scale faster, improving the reputation of the technology organization and the brand.
  • Development time was freed up to add value, instead of being spent on manual, time-consuming, repetitive tasks
  • Visible version history for the database, to aid auditing and compliance for the business
  • Cost saving using SQL Clone to reduce the size of development databases.

IDC Executive Brief:
Compliant Database DevOps

(IDC #EUR145261019 June 2019)

Download this free IDC Executive Brief for an invaluable understanding of the critical role database teams play in driving a leaner and faster development cycle.

"The ability to accelerate digital innovation at volume and pace will be the most critical new benchmark for organizations competing in the digital economy"

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