HQ: Berwyn, PA
Other offices: San Francisco, CA
Customers: 600 in December, 2009
Tools used: JIRA Studio & Confluence
Nucci Mitch Stewart
I recently had a chat with Rick Nucci, founder and CTO, and Mitch Stewart, Engineering Manager, of Boomi. Boomi has been using Atlassian’s hosted software development tool, JIRA Studio, since it was released a few years ago. Boomi was initially interested in JIRA Studio’s bug tracking and integrated Subversion capabilities. They are gradually getting around to using JIRA Studio’s various other product integrations.
Boomi is the market-leading provider of on-demand integration technology and the creator of AtomSphere, the industry’s first integration platform-as-a-service. Built using pure SaaS technology, AtomSphere connects any combination of SaaS, cloud and on-premises applications without the burden of installing and maintaining integration software or appliances. Boomi’s mission is to revolutionize integration and make it accessible and affordable to businesses of all sizes.
Boomi also just announced they were selected as the “Best Application Integration Solution” in the Software & Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) 25th Annual CODiE Awards. The CODiE Awards identify outstanding products and services in software, education technology and digital content; view the 2010 winners.
The Full Interview
Can you tell me about Boomi in your own words?
Boomi is a cloud integration provider. We have an integration cloud that we call AtomSphere. We help businesses connect their cloud computing applications to their existing on-premises applications. As organizations are looking at SaaS and cloud computing, and beginning to implement applications in the cloud, they have this hybrid environment where they need to connect those back to their on-premises environments and our integration cloud allows that connectivity to happen. It’s known as Application Integration, but we’re delivering it in the cloud.
When did you start using Atlassian tools?
We have been using Confluence, the enterprise wiki, since 2005 – a pretty long time ago! It might have even been 2004. In fact, help.boomi.com contains all of our documentation, reference manuals, best practices, tutorials, etc and it’s all powered by Confluence.
Regarding JIRA Studio, we needed a better issue tracking system than what we were using before. Because we were already using Confluence and liked it, we took a look at JIRA for a new issue tracking system. I was researching JIRA, and one day when I went back to your site, JIRA Studio was there so I started reading about it. We did a very light feature-review trial of JIRA Studio. We were pretty commited to switching to it at that point. We did not try out any other products – we went straight to JIRA Studio. We were initially most interested in JIRA Studio’s issue tracking capabilities and have been using it now for 2 years. Basically since it was released.
Did the other tools included in JIRA Studio attract you?
Subversion is a key part. The fact that Subversion and JIRA is integrated and all the links are in there is great. We have also used Crucible and are trying to get Bamboo up and running, we just haven’t had a lot of time to do that.
What are you using JIRA Studio for?
All of our engineering operations for our AtomSphere cloud platform, our main, flagship product.
We have 50+ projects set up. The AtomSphere flagship product is fairly modular, so we wanted to maintain different release schedules for different projects. We have various common libraries that we utilize across the other projects in there, so those are on a different release schedule.
However, we have 2 main projects that represent our main product, then on top of that we have ‘connectors.’ These are what connects our product to the Salesforce or Netsuite API. So those are in their own projects because those get released independently.
Who uses JIRA Studio in your company?
The developers and the internal support and services staff. They log issues and we will communicate using JIRA Studio as an audit and collaboration tool – it’s all put together. We also have projects for our web developers, but they don’t use it beyond any issues or tasks they need to fix the website.
Are people using it ways you hadn’t expected?
Not really. There has been some chances where people have wanted a general purpose task management system, so we have set up some projects for that. They can track tasks with basic workflows of ‘open’ and ‘closed.’
That brings to mind another project that is very specific and customized. We have a QA project that consists of test cases, which is a customized issue type, and sub-test cases. The QA team can build out a test case which goes through various workflows like ‘passed’, ‘failed’, ‘broken’, etc and it records every time if a test passes or fails. It is integrated into our automated testing platform which is built into our product. So, on a daily basis, regression tests run within our platform and update automatically all these tests which are marked to be automated. We are keeping track of whenever there is a failure; the QA team is notified via the regular JIRA Studio notifications if a test case has failed. It’s a pretty unique way of using JIRA Studio because we originally purchased it for keeping track of issues and source, but now our QA team uses it heavily to keep track of all their automated test cases.
How has it improved or change the way your team works?
It has definitely provided a centralized location for us to maintain communication between our department and the Services and Support departments. There is a lot of work that happens internally and delivering fixes externally, and without having any of that recorded or audited, we’d be lost. There would be no accountability. We know what needs to be completed to meet specific delivery dates, and we can meet those dates because it’s clearly outlined in JIRA Studio. It has helped to centralize all of that communication between the various departments. There were no adoption challenges; it was fairly 100% right away because we are a technical group and like to play with new things.
Have you integrated Google Apps with JIRA Studio?
We will. Just trying to get time to actually implement it. The devs want to do it. We are on Google Apps already.
Are you Agile?
Not formerly, but I’d say our style is agile-like. We do not use GreenHopper because we have so many projects and issues and GreenHopper is focused on a per-project basis, it’s not as useful as we want it to be. But, I would use it as a planning tool if I could see multiple projects in there, but it currently doesn’t do that.
What advice would you give a smaller dev shop considering JIRA Studio?
I’d suggest integrating as many of the tools that are in there as soon as you can. When we moved over, we were just looking at it in terms of a JIRA and Subversion perspective. We already had Confluence on a separate server. We also had Team City which was running our CI builds, so it has taken longer to integrate these two functions in our JIRA Studio usage. Integrating Bamboo, for instance, instead of using our external build system. So, I would recommend that another build shop uses as much of the JIRA Studio tools as they can up front. It will be easier down the line to make changes as opposed to attempting to integrate a new product into your workflow. There is so much there.