This case study has been made with Patrick Plichart, Director of Software Development at Open Assessment Technologies S.A. (also known as OAT). He is responsible for engineering and professional services.
Open Assessment Technologies (OAT) is the publisher of TAO, the world’s leading open source assessment platform. TAO started in late 2002 as a joint project between the public research center Henri Tudor and the University of Luxembourg.
OAT has customers worldwide, including PARCC in the United States and OECD in Europe.
What makes OAT unique is that it’s Open Source and an Open Standard. Open Source gives TAO users the flexibility to create effective and engaging assessment content; while Open Standards make interoperability possible. Altogether, it offers TAO users significant cost savings and investment protection.
The Challenge and Opportunity :
Our offering contained a Cloud Infrastructure with High Availability that allows our customers to define their own specifications and to support up to 10,000 concurrent test-takers. To manage this kind of infrastructure we needed a fast application and test packages created and deployed on the application cluster, and based on test-taker demand.
The Solution :
The application deployment was difficult to manage. Thanks to continuousphp, we now have a tested package available for deployment at any time.
We have large phpunit code coverage and continuousphp ensures that our integration tests are executed before deployment. Packaging our application is an important part of our continuous deployment practice as we need to quickly update and scale our application cluster.
AWS enabled us to code our infrastructure, create it on demand, tweak it to optimize costs, and customize it based on customer specifications and the number of concurrent test-takers. We use CloudFormation, EC2 ELB, autoscaling, CloudFront, RDS, DynamoDB, S3, Route53, CloudWatch for system and application monitoring and CodeDeploy with continuousphp, which allows us to deploy our application on our Web Server cluster.
The Continuous Team took care of all the infrastructure development and coached us on how to use it. They are truly agile. They took care of priority changes coming from our customers, which included security requirements.
Wrap up :
Thanks to continuousphp, we now have permanently available test packages that we can deploy at any time on the application cluster, based on the number of concurrent test-takers. It gave us the agility to quickly update and scale our application cluster.