On our routing gateway PayPipe we recently reduced the release interval for client projects from five weeks to seven days. The outcome: ‘smaller’ functions which have been requested by clients go live almost immediately. In the case larger software developments, partial results can already be seen and tested quickly. Accordingly, the entire process is not only considerably faster for our clients, but also very transparent. For this, PAY.ON provides continuous delivery, an exemplary system within the payment sector. Our head of development Josef Etz and our head of operations Alexander Winkler answer to the most important questions.
Which added value does the reduced interval time offer in terms of client projects?
Josef: Our clients can now see and test the results of the commissioned development work at practically any time. The whole functions or milestones in case of larger projects are now available in the productive system after only seven days. As a result, we also receive client feedback earlier and more regularly, which simplifies and further accelerates completion on both sides. Thus, every software development that is commissioned by our clients benefits from the new interval time, whether larger or small.
What impact will the reduced release interval have on the quality of the software?
Josef: Our ‘build quality’ has always been guaranteed through extensive testing before and during integration and not through a downstream testing process. For the client this means that our software results are largely error-free from the very beginning. Thanks to the new release cycle, the amount of time and effort spent on debugging and implementing modification requests is also reduced, because the scope of the project no longer dates back six weeks, but just seven days. Accordingly, we are increasing the quality of the software and our focus on clients at the same time.
That sounds like a complex process. How did PAY.ON get here?
Josef: We have been conducting external unit and integration testing since the early days. Reproducible, automated tests with a high degree of code coverage are just as important for every project from the very beginning. Corresponding release automation supports our continuous integration. Due to constant optimisation, driven by a mindset that is focused on it and supported by the use of the latest tools, we ultimately reached the point where we asked ourselves why we don’t actually release things more often.
What are the new cornerstones of the new continuous delivery?
Josef: We release PayPipe every Tuesday at 10:45 a.m. CET. Naturally with no downtime. That is of course a precondition for releasing that often and we practice it successfully for half a year now.
The quality net is finely woven. But what if an error nonetheless slips through?
Alexander: In the operations area we have an extensive monitoring set-up for all application services – we are currently controlling und securing our system with more than 16,000 internal and external monitoring checks. Release automation also ensures that only a part of the new release is activated; the subsequent part is only rolled out after successful verification. These measures provide a high degree of stability and security. Should things not run as planned, the previous release can be restored almost immediately.