Replace a rudimentary source code repository to support Schneider Electric’s increasingly sophisticated software development and release processes.
To run its global operations efficiently, Schneider Electric relies on a wide portfolio of software products supporting its field personnel. Many of these tools are custom-built and hosted on engineering software platforms which are supported throughout three time zones and need to be available 24/7. Every single software product has a different licensing model and method, all of which need to be captured and tracked to ensure service continuity.
In the early 2000s, Schneider used Microsoft Visual SourceSafe to help manage its source code, as Peter Angus, Software Test Manager at Schneider Electric, recalls: “SourceSafe was quite rudimentary, really just a repository where we could check code in and out. It didn’t have real configuration management functionality and its versioning control was poor. The database wasn’t properly structured, so we couldn’t host it on a server subject to regular backups. This gave us security concerns. As our software development and release processes matured we just felt we outgrew SourceSafe. We embarked on developing embedded, multi-processor projects and couldn’t see how SourceSafe could support us in this.
He adds: “If we wanted to add 15 new hardware platforms to the support of our software codebase, we would need to take a codebase copy, work on it, separately test the same functionality in 15 versions, and then release it. If anything went wrong, an engineer would fix it and it would need to be tested 15 times again. It made the whole process miserable and time consuming and we knew we could do better.”
Schneider Electric looked for a solution with better stream and configuration management to support parallel development efforts.