Founded in 1997, Turnitin is an internet-based plagiarism detection service. Universities and high schools use their SaaS-based website to check submitted documents against content in its database to check for plagiarism. Their mission is to “ensure the integrity of global education and meaningfully improve learning outcomes.”
The Turnitin team found that their day-to-day work was becoming more difficult as the business grew. Deployments were taking far too long, especially when they were deploying them on a regular basis. They would also constantly worry about overwriting changes and not having the code quality check to ensure that code was following best practices. The team simply had to tackle these challenges as they happened, by implementing changes directly in production and/or by using Changesets (standard Salesforce functionality). They also, very quickly, realized that the processes they were following started to cause other underlying issues. As these underlying issues started to cause a dent in their system and to their end users, Turnitin decided to expand the team and focus on cleaning up their Salesforce instance. This is when they turned to Flosum.
One of the major challenges they were able to overcome was the ability to transition from making direct changes in Production. Flosum bridged the code quality gap and provided merge capabilities that saved a tremendous amount of time. Turnitin’s org has a lot of business processes, flows and code that run on the back end. Having the ability to make changes natively (impact analysis feature) saved they a tremendous amount of time as well as prevented code being overwritten. To further enforce code quality, they implemented the use of pull requests that allow their developers to review code before it’s deployed. The inline comments are a favorite feature of the team. Another feature that has provided great success is the pipeline functionality. We all know that time is very valuable especially when tackling major projects. Initially, Flosum and release management would take up most of the day, but ever since they started to implement automation, they are able to focus on other key areas as well as Flosum. The team loves the fact that they can create their own logic between branches/orgs and even the repository.
Flosum has given the Turnitin team an overview on how they are managing their environments. Every single time they performed an impact analysis, they would see differences that they did not recognize. Also, implementing the comparison functionality allowed them to understand the lack of data between their test environments and production. They were able to schedule sandbox refreshes accordingly to ensure that data matched production. This improved testing, eliminated major differences, and again saved time. It boosted their confidence to take ownership of managing the environment. Furthermore, they have seen improvement in deployment success. Previously, there would be a lot of failures and code coverage issues. Ever since they acquired Flosum, it has improved our deployment rate & success significantly. The fact that they were able to rollback changes gives Turnitin that extra assurance that no work can be lost/damaged. They have also noticed that Flosum has done a fantastic job to eliminate the chance for code being overwritten with the branch merge functionality. They are now able to compare branches seamlessly and prevent any code work being lost. On top of that, the pull request functionality provides that extra layer of security. Flosum has improved their system. They can deploy changes frequently and effectively. Their Salesforce instance is becoming more stable and are now able to tackle problems with ease. Previously, they would have scratched their heads thinking of a way to streamline their process to prevent problems, but now they can confidently identify the problem and fix it immediately knowing that they have the perfect release management tool. “It has also had a positive impact on me personally,” says Faizan Ali, Salesforce Consultant for Turnitin. “With the great automation functionality Flosum provides, I am able to manage my time more effectively and diverse my knowledge into other areas. I can complete other tasks knowing that I have an automated tool (pipelines) to handle my daily tasks (such as deployment, committing to the repo).” Faizan continues to say, “I have not only learned a tremendous amount, but gained confidence in my role. I wanted to try something different and release management was something I always wanted to dig my hands in. When trying something new, it always scares you. But when I started using Flosum it made me love my job. I was able to view release management from a whole different perspective. I was able to come up with new processes and ideas that allow me to improve our system.” Since the implementation of Flosum, Turnitin’s team has seen 98% deployment success and has saved 45% of their developer’s time.
“Flosum is the best native release management tool that you will fall in love with. I have gained confidence in my role and has given me the ability to view release management from a whole different perspective.”