Learn How Kiabi Reduced Time-to-Release from Months to Days

The Environment

  • Industry: e-commerce
  • Company:
  • Objective: Increase the deployment frequency and reduce deployment time at
  • Environment: Linux OS, Java, Tomcat 7, Apache ServiceMix, Oracle DB, Jenkins with XL Deploy, Jenkins with Maven, scripts declared infrastructure

The Challenge

“Although Agile methods had been in place for a while, the deployment was still a blocking step of the process used,” explains Johan Blondeau, web architect at Kiabi. “Also, the deployment methods used were not the same for everyone: the developers and the production team were using their own tools, which did not work the same way. This system was also hard to maintain because nobody was responsible for general deployment, and the configurations and other less important components were managed by hand.”

  • Deployment as a blocking step
  • Homemade scripts to deploy, difficult to maintain and unreliable
  • Responsibility conflicts between the teams
  • No rollbacks allowed, inconvenient configuration file management

The Solution started to look at the automation solutions in order to fix its issues. After a two-month trial period with a proof of concept, XL Deploy was chosen over Capistrano and Ansible. “When you try it for real, you can only love it,” says Blondeau.


  • Decreased delay between releases from 6 weeks to 1 week
  • Decreased deployment time from 2 hours to 45 minutes
  • XL Deploy as the configuration reference
  • Increased deployment process reliability

As the primary benefit, XL Deploy brought reliability into the Continuous Delivery process. Now there is no more risk in deploying an application, and the team is more comfortable with the deployment. The time between starting production for each release has dropped from 6 weeks to 1 week.

The configuration management through XL Deploy also allowed the team to better secure data; for example, in case of server failure. The software now acts as the configuration repository for the organization.

Beyond the Deployment

Blondeau also emphasizes that XL Deploy has allowed the teams to reflect on their own architectures and ways of building in order to to improve the process. The changes have also helped the team identify obsolete, outdated, and unmaintained elements so they can fix these issues.

Accessible and Efficient

Today, the Production and Development teams have fully adopted the software, since it’s “really easy to use.” Deployments no longer last 2 hours; they now happen in less than 45 minutes

“When you try it for real, you can only love it.”

—Johan Blondeau, Web Architect at Kiabi