Using Git and Bitbucket, Met Office launches Space Weather app


Industry

Government

Location

Exeter, England

Products

Bitbucket

Jira Software

The British are known for their obsession with the weather, so it's no surprise that the UK’s weather service, the Met Office (short for Meteorological Office), is considered a national treasure. The organization employs around 2,000 staff in 60 locations across the globe, and each day, using 10 million weather observations, it creates over 3,000 tailored forecasts and briefings.

Challenge
In October 2014, the Met Office, in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the US, unveiled its Space Weather app. The first of its kind, the app forecasts terrestrial weather conditions and indicates when and for how long weather patterns in the upper atmosphere will disrupt Earth-based infrastructure such as navigation systems, mobile networks, and GPS readings.

According to Alan Morbey, configuration management team leader at the Met Office, "We were looking for a solution to meet our version control and configuration management needs.”

Solution
Already users of Jira and Sourcetree, the Met Office turned to Git and Bitbucket to build the Space Weather app. Git is a distributed version control system that speeds up the software development process and enhances team collaboration, while Bitbucket is a Git repository management tool that enables development teams to easily collaborate on Git repositories.

Using Bitbucket, the Met Office firmly established its branch and merging methodology, enabling the organization to move faster and deliver quicker turnarounds on projects. Bitbucket also helped ease code management for Morbey's team when it worked with external suppliers and organizations.

In conjunction with Bitbucket, Morbey's team used Jira to manage software delivery. Easy to integrate with mainstream open source tools, Jira was central to the Met Office's management of agile sprints for the Space Weather app.

The products were purchased through Atlassian's Platinum Partner, Clearvision, which also provided initial training in the use of Git and Jira and technical health checks of the Atlassian products installed at the Met Office.

Benefits
"We would not have been able to deliver this project without Bitbucket," says Morbey. "We particularly benefited from its easy-to-use branching model, which gives us the ability to tightly control access rights.” Bitbucket also allows the Met Office to maintain a controlled instance of its software and facilitate a methodical backup capability for all its software repositories.

"Jira allows all team members – especially those working remotely – to view both the work backlog and current work very easily from the dashboard," explains Morbey. "Jira is an integral part of our workflow methodology, and we make full use of Jira across the company."

Building on its success, the Met Office is now planning to manage all its ongoing projects and services via Git and Bitbucket. So, while the infamous British weather may be unreliable, the software team responsible for delivering the apps that help predict it certainly won’t be.


Bitbucket gives us new flexibility in how we work as a team and how we collaborate. It's also seen our ongoing CM support costs drop by 75%.— Alan Morbey, configuration management team leader, Met Office