How Rabobank Eliminated 99% of Release Errors

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Key Facts

Industry: Banking

Company: Rabobank

Employees: 60,000

One of the 30 largest financial institutions in the world


  • Unix
  • Linux
  • WebSphere, .Net, JBoss and WebLogic


  • Greatly accelerated application deployments
  • Eliminated deployment errors
  • Gained visibility into and oversight of development process
  • Enabled developers tofocus on building software with business value


The Rabobank Group is a multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in Utrecht, the Netherlands. It is a global leader in food and agri financing and in sustainability-oriented banking. Rabobank is one of the largest cooperatives in the Netherlands, with more than two million members. In terms of Tier 1 capital, the bank is one of the 30 largest financial institutions in the world.

The company has hundreds of in-house and customer-facing applications, written in various languages and frameworks, running on IBM Nonstop, z/OS, AIX, Red Hat Linux and Windows with various kinds of middleware. XL Deploy is being used in the WebSphere Applications Server environment

Rabobank Deployment Challenges

“Our biggest challenge was to create an infrastructure proposition that helped to greatly reduce the time to market of our product innovations and improvements,” said Sander Ettema, manager of Unix/Linux IT Infrastructure, Rabobank.

Another major challenge for Rabobank’s IT department: reduce the risk of downtime caused by deployments going wrong.

“Our primary focus was on improving the value of the IT infrastructure, not on cutting costs or reducing downtime,” Ettema notes. “However, we wanted to find a solution that would address all of those challenges. We were getting too many complaints about project delays due to configuration problems with IT infrastructure.”

Challenges before XL Deploy

  • Very long delays between idea generation and go-live application of these ideas 
  • Deployments were manually intensive 
  • Deployment failures were common: >20% failed or delayed

Life after XL Deploy

  • No agents to be installed on target servers
  • Powerful deployment model 
  • Highly efficient self-service user interface 
  • Powerful reporting and visibility
  • Fast ROI

The Solution: XL Deploy

Rabobank chose XL Deploy, the market-leading Application Release Automation software. XL Deploy helps customers across all industries drive financial and business value by automating application deployment, improving quality and ensuring compliance, while saving on operational costs.

XL Deploy transforms how enterprises release applications into middleware and cloud environments. The solution gives companies the power to automatically deploy applications securely and reliably. XL Deploy has proven to be the fastest, most cost-effective and most scalable way to deploy applications, particularly in complex multi-tier enterprise ecosystems.

XL Deploy Meets Rabobank’s Challenges with Ease

After evaluating products from vendors such as Nolio and Tibco, Rabobank selected XebiaLabs XL Deploy as the solution best suited to its needs.

“We carried out a brief proof of concept with XL Deploy,” said Ettema. “The software performed superbly with both our custom-built applications and commercial off-the-shelf software.

XL Deploy has allowed Rabobank to focus on quality by automating the process needed to develop, test and accept software. It reduced the time needed for software deployments from days to hours,” said Ettema.

“Before XL Deploy, it took us as long as four weeks to modify the infrastructure configuration for an application. This needed to be done for every environment: Development, Test, Acceptance and Production. Since this was carried out manually, configurations deviated from the given standards, which resulted in a lot of time spent dealing with exceptions and unexpected behavior, and making corrective changes to various services and systems.”

“Plus, we had to document everything, which took a tremendous amount of time. XL Deploy has made our lives so much easier and more efficient as it allows us to automate the entire deployment process. Infrastructure configurations are developed together with the application code and migrated with the software towards production.”

The Benefits

After only a year of using XL Deploy, Rabobank has been able to:

  • Reduce time spent carrying out software deployment by 60%
  • Implement continuous delivery of applications
  • Eliminate 99% of errors in the application release process
  • Accelerate time-to-market from weeks to hours
  • Cut development costs 
  • Free up developers to create software that adds value to Rabobank’s business

XL Deploy has also enabled us to reduce the cost of developing software, and to improve DevOps coordination,” said Ettema. “Developers can now spend most of their time on modeling and improving code, and do not have to waste time on documentation and deployment troubleshooting. In addition, XL Deploy has enabled us to eliminate all the glitches and misunderstandings that were endemic to the manual processes.”

“The cost savings are very gratifying because they were quite unexpected. The ROI more than justified the expenditure.” release time to market. We can now easily do things that were once a big pain to do. Deployments are seamless and rollbacks now run smoothly, mostly unattended,” added Julien.

“We’ve gained not only precious time, but valuable assurance that our actions will be 100% successful.”