I get the honour of the final blog post of 2015, and it’s a pleasing one to be able to write as we look back on what the team in TfL Online have achieved during this year.
We started off the year accomplishing one deployment of new code to the website every two weeks, and that’s increased to the point where we’ve now managed our 57th release to the site in 2015. There are a lot of variables and moving parts that we monitor and co-ordinate simultaneously to deliver a safe, quality assured, zero defect, zero outage deployment to the website every single week.
For more detail, see my posts on Blue/Green deployments and Agile continuous delivery in the cloud (in 3 parts).
While we’ve successfully made these 57 separate releases of code, optimisations, reference data refresh, bug fixes, enhancements and new features to tfl.gov.uk, we’ve managed to do all this seamlessly without a single planned maintenance window, so our customers haven’t experienced any down-time at all while we’ve been making these improvements.
So, here’s how we believe we’ve fed into the ‘Every Journey Matters’ ethos:
It matters that you have access to new features and enhancements on the website quickly – WebCAT, Roads VMS, Unified API, Live Bus Arrivals, Integration of TfL Rail & West Anglia, to name but a few
It matters that the site is available 24/7 365 days a year. Even though we’ve been deploying new code, features, bug fixes, enhancements and services every single week to tfl.gov.uk, we’ve never had to use a maintenance or outage window to do this.
It matters that tfl.gov.uk can easily scale up or down according to demand, especially when you need it most, so we have hosted it in the cloud and use automatic-scaling up and down for capacity.
It matters that you can use the website on the go, so our website is responsive and seamlessly snaps to size on smart phones, tablets or desktop.
It matters that the website is continuously improving and kept up to date, so far this year we have made 57 successful separate release & deployments to the website.
It matters that you have a reliable, modern, quick and easy journey planner experience, so we updated and migrated JP infrastructure into the cloud
It matters that when we do a blue/green switch to make live a new version of the website, our customer databases are not interrupted, so we transitioned to Amazon Relational Database Service, providing seamless blue/green switches.
It matters that TfL Online digital services are continuously improving with greater customer enhancements, so we are investigating ways to increase our deployment frequency even further. Watch this space.
We’ll be back with more Digital Blog posts in the new year, so in the meantime have a great Christmas and a happy New Year to everyone!