Using DevOps to improve deployments
Factor5™ Software aims to disrupt the way universities approach academic and student administration by modernising curriculum management. They do this through a highly configurable, cloud-based curriculum lifecycle management solution, CourseLoop™ (built on the third-party ServiceNow platform). Purpose built for universities, CourseLoop automates manual processes, improving time to market for new offerings, reducing administration burden on staff and students, and increases quality of curriculum design.
As a fast-moving start up, Factor5 has CourseLoop under active development, with frequent and continuous deployments. At the time, these deployments were very time consuming and did not always guarantee reliability. With Factor5 scaling to commence development on two more product offerings, the overhead strain was only going to become more exacerbated. Foreseeing this, the company wanted to implement a better and more sustainable way to perform and track deployments.
The team kicked off with a series of investigative workshops and quickly realised that the non-conventional nature of the development workflow running on top of the ServiceNow platform was going to require some creativity and a change in team practices. A hybrid solution which implemented bespoke and ServiceNow native elements was proposed. This paved the way for the team to implement a more automated deployment method, packaging the changes into a singular item which could also be extracted from the ServiceNow platform into a version control system.
The Factor5 team is now able to conduct deployments of CourseLoop much quicker than before. Importantly, they have the confidence that deployments will occur without issue and no longer depend on human intervention. These improvements in the way CourseLoop is built and deployed can also be applied to future product offerings where applicable, helping maintain efficiencies and manage team workflow.