Axway realizes a 26x faster release cycle by switching from Subversion to GitLab

To help customers better leverage their data, Axway stays ahead of the market by releasing new code faster, using GitLab for source code management

Computer software
Paris, France and Phoenix, Arizona
Axway is a publicly held information technology company specializing in enterprise software, including business analytics, API management, and mobile app development
Connecting globally distributed R&D teams to implement DevOps
  • On-premise solution for enterprise source code management coupled with the most advanced feature set on the market

  • World-class integrations and flexible APIs enabled seamless workflows between GitLab, JIRA, and Jenkins

  • Simplified administration using one centralized instance for all repositories

developers onboarded
projects migrated
faster release cycles

the customer

Change agents tackling the toughest data challenges

Inventors of the world’s first business rules engine, Règle du Jeu (RDJ), Axway has been helping businesses unlock the value of their data for nearly two decades. Their cloud-enabled data integration and engagement platform, Axway AMPLIFY, orchestrates cohesive customer experience networks, enabling organizations to generate the speed, power, and agility required to meet skyrocketing customer expectations.

As change agents for data integration, keeping pace and adapting quickly to today’s fast and fluid digital customer is mission critical for Axway’s research and development (R&D) engineering services teams.

the challenge

Legacy source code management and toolchain complexity limits worldwide collaboration

Serving over 11,000 companies spanning 100 countries, Axway’s R&D engineering services teams are spread across continents and time zones. With the teams working from nine different sites and using Subversion (SVN) on local servers for source control management (SCM), collaboration between the globally distributed teams was suffering, preventing them from implementing DevOps.

“Our legacy toolchain was complex, disconnected, and difficult to manage and maintain,” said Eric Labourdette, Head of Global R&D Engineering Services and responsible for worldwide R&D operations including DevOps. “SVN was difficult to administer and didn’t scale, causing extra administrative overhead. It became unmanageable for our team size.”

As the organization looked to move to a microservices architecture and implement DevOps, they needed a solution for SCM that could foster collaboration across locations and projects, and support DevOps practices like continuous integration and automated deploys.

the solution

GitLab for SCM enables DevOps

A modern solution that can be hosted on-premise, GitLab provided a single instance of source code for the entire company. Leveraging a Git-based workflow, Axway’s worldwide R&D teams can now easily share and collaborate on code with nearly zero downtime and minimal administrative overhead. Leveraging the most robust Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) support of any SCM provider, with GitLab, Axway is able to manage access and permissions for 600 enterprise developers securely and consistently.

“GitLab offered the most advanced feature set on the market.”
Eric Labourdette
Head of Global R&D Engineering Services

“GitLab met our requirements and gave us the best value for the price,” said Labourdette. “The feature set with GitLab on-premise was more advanced than GitHub and we saw the pace and development [of GitLab] moving faster with a community that was active in delivering and contributing.”

Collaboration between development and operations teams improved, too. Using GitLab’s Jenkins integration, developers can trigger their own builds and see the output of the pipeline status in the same view as their code within GitLab.

“All of the development we have done starts with central source code management in GitLab. This is followed with ephemeral Jenkins through GitLab CI to “eat our own dog food” in creating pipelines that build and deploy images then QA them and execute a security scan. Immutable infrastructure and common continuous deployment using Artifactory and Bintray repositories allows us to deploy Docker container images into AWS. Our new development is based on microservices, Docker on Kubernetes with GitLab being the source of our DevOps pipelines,” Labourdette explains.

the results

Faster release cycles and soaring adoption

Now, with developers empowered to self-serve with minimal guidelines, the DevOps teams at Axway have improved their release cycle time from annual releases down to two weeks for some products.

In using a bottom-up approach to choose their SCM solution, adoption of GitLab was unsurprisingly fast and natural. In just one year, 630 users were onboarded and 3,000 projects were migrated. “Everyone was asking for it,” said Labourdette. “Now, every single developer is running on GitLab without enforcement.”

All information and persons involved in case study are accurate at the time of publication.

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