Orange Labs is the research and development division of French telecommunications multinational Orange SA. The research and innovation teams operate at 13 laboratories worldwide and four special technocentres in France, Japan, Poland and the UK. This global research and development network focuses on visualizing the future by exploring and constructing opportunities, using new technologies to satisfy customer needs, building strategic assets and feeding innovative ideas to products and services.
Delivering applications rapidly is the most important aspect of the software development process in today’s highly competitive telecommunications market. Traditional methodologies such as the Verification and Validation model (V-model) with their sequential path of processes therefore place businesses at a disadvantage as they are inflexible and do not generate early software prototypes.
Identifying a single unified Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solution which developers and testers can use alike, that employs both non-Agile and Agile methodologies is particularly difficult. This was the challenge faced by Orange Labs while implementing a DevOps transitioning strategy.
“Like many global companies, we need to move faster, become more agile and deliver products to customers more rapidly,” explains Yann Helleboid, testing community manager, Orange Labs. “Yet, when developers operate in an Agile DevOps environment while testers use the classical V-model and each team employs different testing products, transitioning fully to a DevOps methodology is problematic without a single ALM offering. The new ALM solution also needed to support fully automated testing across all our Fluide IT projects while integrating with Jenkins for continuous integration and deployment.”
After using various Micro Focus software solutions including Quality Center and earlier versions of ALM for almost 20 years, Orange Labs turned yet again to its long-term software partner. “Earlier ALM solutions could only work in the Windows environment but our developers now work with the Linux and Macintosh operating systems,” adds Helleboid.
When Orange Labs heard about the next-generation ALM Octane platform, the organization committed to the beta testing program. “ALM Octane responds to all our needs,” reveals Yann Helleboid, testing community manager, Orange Labs. “The platform offers workstation compatibility, integrates Agile methodologies, automates testing fully and delivers openness to the ecosystem via open source and main configuration items.
“We carefully tested ALM Octane from its beta version onward and really appreciated the responsiveness of the products research and development team, allowing us to evaluate the platform’s ability to meet our needs,” continues Helleboid.
“From the end of 2016 to April 2017 we piloted ALM Octane. From May 2017, ALM Octane went into production for all new projects and as well as projects migrated from the existing solution ALM.net. With over 3,000 users and 1,300 projects, our objective is to become 100% Agile.”
The ALM Octane platform helps software developers plan, define, build, test, track and deliver high-quality, high-performance applications more quickly. Operating as an on-premise or as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering, this unified platform defines, manages and automates activities while gaining insight to deliver applications from conception to production.
This streamlined ALM platform uses popular developer toolsets like Jenkins and GIT to deliver continuous quality while the solution’s software lifecycle management capabilities specifically suit organizations with Lean, Agile and DevOps-focused teams. Moreover, the solution operates at enterprise, team and individual levels.
After deploying the functionally-rich ALM Octane platform, Orange Labs has successfully introduced an Agile methodology to the testing team, fulfilling a strategy to transform the software development process to a unified DevOps environment.
"ALM Octane has really helped to satisfy our transformational objectives by addressing various challenges,” says Helleboid. “We’re producing releases faster. We’ve automated testing and we’ve introduced continuous integration and continuous delivery into each project. Furthermore, all projects employ a single ALM platform making for easier management and providing both the development and testing team’s access to the same levels of agility.”
ALM Octane offers users a real-time panoramic overview of the development process and readily aids a move to automated testing while quickly identifying any build issues. Unlike earlier offerings, the testers also appreciate the platform’s ability to focus on software quality as well as the agile process while developers value the solution’s analytical capability
“We’re now clearly heading towards a full DevOps environment. When we’re conducting a product build, we now generate releases several times a day and our goal is to move everything from our previous ALM solution to ALM Octane. With ALM Octane, we’re in a new era as we produce full versions every three months. So, we’re really entering the DevOps world,” concludes Helleboid.
ALM Octane has really helped to satisfy our transformational objectives. We’re producing releases faster. We’ve automated testing and we’ve introduced continuous integration and continuous delivery into each project.
We carefully tested ALM Octane from its beta version onward and really appreciated the responsiveness of [Micro Focus] Research and Development