eCareSoft, Inc., based in Austin, Texas, offers hospitals and physicians cloud-based electronic health records software–eCS Nimbo and eCS Cirrus–which combines clinical, revenue cycle, financial management, and business intelligence onto one platform. Its affiliate eCareSoft Mexico, S.A. de C.V. is the largest provider of electronic medical records (EMR) software in Mexico.
Its mission is to provide healthcare executives with information they need to make the right decisions in a timely manner. With patients’ lives and critical operations on the line, 24/7 service uptime is critical.
The Release Process Prior to Using LiveRebel
Product releases are very carefully planned and were typical launched every two months to minimize downtime. The effort took about 15 engineers and 36 hours on average to see the process through. It included:
- informing customers about a release window that lasts as long as 4 hours
updating the application, database and dependent artifacts, after-hours
staging and monitoring the release for about 12 hours prior to taking it live
Miguel Rojas, R&D Manager at eCaresoft has committed himself to improve the engineering process at the company right from the start. He said:
When I came onboard, releases were done manually. Right from preparing builds from SVN to updating testing and productions environments by hand. I started by implementing Hudson/Jenkins and built bash scripts to automate tasks. With LiveRebel I now have a more agile release process.
Releasing apps with LiveRebel
eCareSoft chose LiveRebel when it was looking for a safe and automated means to deploy applications into staging and production environments, without impacting end users. By integrating LiveRebel with Jenkins, the team has been able to deploy new product releases with zero downtime, and without disrupting active user sessions in most cases.
With LiveRebel, Miguel’s team has been able to:
Mostly eliminate after- hours release windows:
Release windows were shortened by 90% when they included manually run database migrations. However, when updates involved code changes, the team released them during business hours, with no downtime.
Push updates every 3 weeks = happier customers:
With no downtime updates, the team was encouraged to release more frequently. Customers are happier because they are receiving updates more frequently than every two months.
Free up engineers to do work on important projects:
Releasing updates now takes 10 engineers over 24 hours; a reduction of 66% over releasing without LiveRebel.
Improved product quality:
By releasing minor updates more frequently, eCareSoft reduced the risk of releasing bugs. By testing continuously, the team was able to identify and repair errors before customers saw them. Furthermore, there has been about a 45% reduction in support tickets logged.
The Road Ahead
eCareSoft plans to scale up in production environments and further leverage other LiveRebel capabilities.
Miguel Rojas, R&D Manager at eCareSoft said:
Database migrations are a significant part of our product releases. Going forward, I plan to use LiveRebel to perform database updates as well, and go for 100% zero downtime updates. I’d also like to use it to run smoke tests automatically and rollback failed deployments before customers are impacted.
LiveRebel helps you release apps – code, database and scripts – across environments safely with no user interruption or downtime. All updates can be tested before real users access them, thereby always shielding users from deployment failures. Failures are fully rolled back.