Capital One uses the Hygieia DevOps dashboard during software development to give teams and leaders a snapshot view of progress and the health of the development pipeline. Most DevOps tools only cover a portion of the pipeline such as quality or environment health, not offering a comprehensive view, Capital One officials said.
The bank realized this when it looked for a dashboard it could use with its Agile development teams. Finding all the existing dashboards lacking, a Capital One development team took matters into its own hands and developed a comprehensive dashboard to provide customizable widgets for all of the steps in the software development life cycle.
Tools are key to today’s Agile and DevOps methodologies. A typical project deals with Agile project management tools, source control, continuous integration (CI) tools, testing tools, static code analysis and security scanning tools, and deployment and monitoring tools, to name a few, said Tapabrata Pal, director of Next Generation Infrastructure at Capital One. Large enterprises and complex systems sometimes use multiple CI, testing and scanning tools, each of which has nice dashboards to present key information stored in it. But what is lacking is a single, comprehensive end-to-end view of the state of a delivery pipeline in near real time, he said.
“We looked for a visualization tool in the commercial market as well as in the open source community,” Pal said in a post on the Capital One Engineering blog. “There are some excellent commercial Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools that allow one to visualize traceability between stories, code, tests and builds. These tools, however, do not cross over from build to deployment, meaning they do not provide visibility into deployment activities in the same dashboard. There are some good commercial Operations tools that provide visibility into server and applications’ run-time health, metrics, analytics, etc. These also do not provide visibility into the development and build activities. Open source tools/frameworks, such as Grafana, provide generic framework to build a dashboard, but collecting data from the DevOps tools is still a challenge.”
Hygieia (pronounced hi-gee-ya) is named for the ancient Greek goddess of health and hygiene to reflect the importance of the DevOps dashboard in maintaining a healthy development pipeline. Capital One’s Lisa Rossi and Tom Givens, who led the team through a series of brainstorming exercises, named the product and are working to determine a naming architecture for all of the company’s future open-source contributions.
Pal said the dashboard provides two views: a widget view and a pipeline view. The widget view shows information about features in the current sprint, code contribution activities, continuous integration activities, code analysis, security analysis, unit and functional test results, deployment and environment status. The pipeline view shows the components’ life cycle progression through DEV, INT, QA, PERF and PROD.
“The main purpose of this dashboard is to make any clog in the pipeline easily visible so that a member of the team can take immediate action to remove it,” Pal said.
Out of the box, the Hygieia dashboard application integrates with VersionOne, Jira, Subversion, GitHub, Hudson/Jenkins, Sonar, HP Fortify, Cucumber/Selenium and IBM Urbancode Deploy.
Capital One takes pride in its DevOps dashboard and its open-source roots. The company built the technology to share it with others.
“When designing and building the dashboard, we focused on making it simple to configure and easy to use,” Pal said. “Plus, since we knew it would be useful to others, we built it with the intention of sharing it with the world and offering an open source version.”
Capital One engineers said that unlike proprietary, licensed software, with open-source software, the underlying code is free to all developers to snag, bring into their environments, use for their own projects and then give back by sharing enhancements and improvements with the rest of the community.
Open source has evolved to be a win-win approach to rapid cycle development. Companies can still keep proprietary code to themselves, while sharing blocks of more generic functionality. Many view open-source software as the standard for foundational software. And with the launch of Hygieia, Capital One is now on the radar among large organizations contributing open-source technology to the community. And the company has additional open-source products in the pipeline.
Pal said Capital One is building new features and enhancements to Hygieia and is asking for feedback from many external organizations. “So far, we have received awesome input from tools vendors and many big enterprises,” he said. “Going forward we are hoping for contributions from Open Source communities as well as commercial tools vendors.”