This case study demonstrates the implementation of a complex integration use case using Kovair Omnibus. Kovair Omnibus provides the unique ability to both Sync and Link data coming from different integrated tools. The decision to use synchronization or linking is not dictated by the Omnibus platform and is left to the users based on the best fit to the required use case. The tools used in this scenario are as follows – Salesforce (Custom Force.com application), IBM Rational Team Concert (RTC), HP Quality Center (QC) and Jenkins- a build tool.
The Company is a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest independent software products corporations in the world. It is an American multinational publicly held company. The company creates systems software and applications software that runs in mainframes, distributed computing, virtual machines and cloud computing environments. Its products are used by a majority of the Forbes Global 2000 companies. It has offices in more than 45 countries.
The product delivery teams of this company were using a mix of best of breed tools from different vendors and some home grown tools to support individual phases of Software Development and delivery. The company needed an open integration framework that can connect all the engineering tools in a simple and effective manner and also seamlessly accommodate new tools in the future.
The tools were not well connected with each other and the information flow between the tools was mostly manual – lacking coordination and synchronization. Lot of productive time was being wasted in manually synchronizing work items. The tools used were heavily customized and required tailor made integrations. Adding to the challenges was the fact that there was a large number of users and projects and the project teams were distributed. Other vendors had done Proof of Technology projects to implement the use cases and failed to satisfy the stake holders.
- Kovair Global Lifecycle with its built-in Process technology – Omniprocess, Workflow for IT™ and Integration technology – Omnibus, Integration Bus for IT™ addresses all the challenges the world’s leading Bank faced.
- Kovair Omniprocess Process Automation System is the industry’s leading IT and SDLC/ALM (Software Development Lifecycle/Application Lifecycle Management) process automation technology. Out of many cutting edge technological features of Kovair Global Lifecycle, in this study, we shall discuss only a few which directly contributed to the success of the implementation of the complex process at the Bank. These are the same features which are typically missing from most of the other tools which world’s leading bank had already evaluated for implementing their Incident and Change management processes.
- Omniprocess’ browser based process designer allows the Bank to create and manage processes without the need of any expensive IT resources. In Kovair, all configurations including process designs are achieved with drag-and-drop and mouse-clicks without a single line of coding.
- Multi-level Role Resolution for implementing a complex process with various personnel playing different roles in various conditions is very useful. A typical example is – assign the Production Incidents related to Database to John but related to UI to Mary. All others can be handled by both John and Mary equally. A more traditional workflow system will need some coding to implement various such business rules, but Kovair can implement these very easily just by drag-and-drop Role configuration.
- Automatic Conditional Branching allows automatic routing of the Production Incidents in different alternate paths based on some complex conditions. For example Production Incidents for database with high severity may follow a different path from low severity Incidents. In the traditional process automation tools often the path to be taken is to be manually selected rather than automatically followed based on the values of various attributes.
- Omniprocess’ Task based process engine can handle parallel simultaneous activities and cut down the overall cycle time of the process. Unlike State based process engines which can do one thing at any time, Task based process engine helps the Bank to model a real life process more closely and also reduce the cycle time from that of a single sequence of states.
- Kovair Omnibus Integration is an open and seamless integration framework with all essential services like collaboration, traceability, process automation, security, reporting and analytics built-in in a single repository. Omnibus enables the Bank to make its 3rd party and internal tools active participants in the Incident Management and other processes as part of a Service-Oriented-Architecture (SOA). With Omnibus’ Hub or Bus architecture the complexity of multiple tool integration is drastically reduced from that for a point-to-point integration architecture. Omnibus is based on Web service standards using SOAP protocol. This means all 3rd party tools, applications and legacy software can be integrated independent of their Hardware/OS, technology platforms or locations. This standard being firewall friendly, will allow these tools be integrated even when they reside behind multiple enterprise firewalls without compromising the Bank’s stringent security standards.
- Using the Omnibus, the Bank is integrating various tools used by various groups to provide an unprecedented integrated ecosystem of IT tools. This ecosystem includes a tool for test management – Quality Center from HP/ Mercury, an internal helpdesk ticket management system used by the application support group, software configuration management software from Perforce for the development group, internal release management tool used by the markets and banking group and Microsoft SharePoint used across bank. With some of the unique features of Omnibus, the Bank can achieve business values which are not implemented with ease in any other way including building custom point-to-point integration coding.
- Linking and tracing objects in different tools integrated with Omnibus is an invaluable capability for exposing the inherent relationships among objects and determining the impact of changes in one item to the rest of the ecosystem. It happens quite often that one critical item is changed but no one was informed and as a result other parts of the organization broke. Once all the important tools are integrated with each other using Omnibus, the Bank not only can avoid these costly mistakes, it can effortlessly create high level management reports of various information trapped in different tools, in the context of each other.
- Separating out the data integration from the business logic in the Omnibus adapters allows the Bank to create and manage the business rules like ‘replicate ONLY the tickets of the type Incident from the internal ticketing system to Kovair Incident Management system’ just by drag-and-drop without any help from the developers to change the adapter code. Unlike other integration technology and any custom integration coding, Kovair adapters do not have any hardcoded business rules. This makes the integration management extremely easy and put it in the hands of the users rather than the developers.
- Process enabling the integrated external tools is one of the major benefits of integrating different tools using Omnibus. Though tools like Quality Center or the internal tools don’t have any built-in process automation capability, by virtue of integration with Omnibus, these tools now become Process enabled. If required, the Bank can now automate many of these processes, a capability that did not exist before.
- Kovair Global Lifecycle’s active mobile access makes it easier for Kovair users to be involved in the processes even when they are on the move. The Bank’s strict security requirements do not allow browser on mobile phones to access any website including Kovair application behind the firewall. To address this problem, typical in most of the large corporations, Kovair has developed a unique email based interface technology that allows users to participate in the processes from Blackberry devices, phones with Windows Mobile Operating System or any other mobile device with email capability. Using this unique feature of Kovair, users can access and review data, edit items, complete tasks and approve works not just from their email capable mobile phones, but from any email system even if they don’t have access to the browser and access to the Kovair application behind a corporate firewall.
Kovair executed a Proof of Concept project demonstrating successfully how Omnibus can connect the tools supporting various application lifecycle phases to provide an Integrated Software Development environment for this Company. Kovair integration ensured cross-lifecycle transparency, macro and micro level process automation and correspondence of activities across disciplines. The Omnibus Platform and the required adapters for all the related tools were set up on-premise on a POC server and the Use Cases were configured on the system over web meetings. Five integration use cases defined by the Company were configured using Kovair Omnibus and demonstrated to the stakeholders of the Company. Out of these five use cases the details of one are given below –
- Custom Force.com application – for tracking Requirements, Epics and Stories
- Rational Team Concert(RTC) – for tracking Tasks, Source Control, Defects
- Jenkins – for build
- HP Quality Center – for Test Lab, Test Cases, Defect
- The use case starts after the system adds stories in RTC based on user stories in the custom Salesforce application.
- The system replicates each RTC story in QC as a requirement.
- For each requirement in HP QC, the system automatically creates appropriate tests and test labs in HP QC and links them with the requirement.
- The Tester then needs to only add the Test Steps within the Tests.
- To implement a Requirement and accomplish the corresponding task in RTC, the Developer modifies the code file associated with the RTC task and checks it in.
- Based on the code file check-in, the system triggers a build in Jenkins and updates the build status of the Task in RTC.
- Once the build is completed, the deployment files get dropped at the Test server automatically and the Tester executes the test lab in HP QC.
- If the Test fails then the following takes place –
- The system creates a defect in HP QC and replicates it in RTC.
- The system links (OSLC) defects in RTC with appropriate tests and defects in QC.
- The Developer changes the status of a defect in RTC to ‘In Progress’.
- The system changes the status of the corresponding HP QC defect to ‘In Progress’.
- The Developer modifies the code files and associates them with the Defect and checks in the code files in RTC.
- Based on the code file check-in, the system triggers a build in Jenkins and updates the build status in RTC.
- If the Build is successful then the system updates the status of the RTC Defect to ‘Implemented’.
- The system also updates status of the build in the RTC Task.
- The Tester executes the test lab in HP QC.
- If the Tests pass then the system updates the defect status to ‘Verified’ and ‘Resolved’ in RTC and HP QC.
- If the Tests pass then the following takes place –
- The RTC Task status is automatically modified to ‘Done’
- The RTC Story status gets modified to ‘Implemented’
- The User Story status in Salesforce gets updated to ‘Implemented’
Minimum amount of customization of the Kovair Omnibus adapters was required to achieve the tailor made integration scenario that was asked for. The installation and configuration of the software on the Customer’s premises was done through screen sharing in the presence of their administrators. The codeless configuration of the Kovair Omnibus solution was also demonstrated to the administrators. The POC project was very successful and Kovair was able to demonstrate all the five use cases to the satisfaction of the stake holders. A flawless final demonstration of the use cases was held with lot of senior stakeholders of the Company where Kovair was able to win their confidence about the integration solution.