Airbus is an international pioneer in the aerospace industry. The organization is a worldwide leader in designing, manufacturing and delivering aerospace products, services and solutions. They use cutting-edge technology and advanced science to provide their global customer-base, and offer a wide range of flexible service options. Since 2015, Airbus has performed a huge change in its mindset. They tend to become more and more digitalized, therefore obviously relying more and more on Open Source. To support this new way of working, building an agile environment was required: a goal they finally reached thanks to Tuleap, the Open-Source Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) software.

airbus business fields

Speakers

Nicolas Fanjeau, Airbus IT Infrastructure

Alain Bernard, Flight physics department

At the occasion of our annual conference, the TuleapCon, but also at an EclipseCon event, Nicolas and Alain shared how both Airbus IT Infrastructure and R&D teams have solved their software development challenges with Tuleap.

♖ Challenge

  • For the IT Department: provide an Open Source and cost-effective Agile Application Lifecycle Management tool with low maintenance
  • For the R&D teams: build tailored workspaces to make their job easier and deliver faster

★ Solution

Subscription to Tuleap Enterprise Edition

Nicolas Fanjeau

Tuleap is the ALM of the future. It will be the masterpiece of Airbus’ DevOps strategy.

Nicolas Fanjeau, IT Services Tool Start-up Leader, Airbus IT Infrastructure

✔ Results

2.291 users worldwide in one year

Tuleap is used company-wide. An internal customer survey even proved Tuleap to be the "Preferred Solution"

A reliable ALM solution for critical environments

Airbus IT Department has achieved their goal to deploy a cost-effective agile and DevOps solution, fast and easy to maintain, designed as a self-service mode

happier and empowered internal customers

Internal teams are now autonomous in creating customized workspaces for Research, Software Development and more

The challenge: tooling thousands of people around the world with one unique flexible solution

Airbus IT Department needed an ALM solution to develop their own applications but also to provide R&D and software teams with a flexible tool. Open Source was a key point in the selection criteria. No doubt Tuleap was the only solution to match all their expectations.


The global challenge of Airbus is “How to deliver more and more aircraft, faster.” At the moment, Airbus builds more than 2 aircraft per day. Airbus is continuously in search of innovative solutions to even faster this pace. To expand their capabilities, Airbus IT infrastructure is here to support the whole company : all Airbus and Airbus Group employees but also suppliers and customers, a total of 380.000 people.

These are the reasons why Airbus wanted an Application Lifecycle Management solution:

  • Supervise the application lifecycle
  • Be able to move to DevOps philosophy: “For us, Tuleap has been a very easy way to move to DevOps. We needed a kind of core, and we rely on Tuleap for that.”
  • Ensure traceability: start at the initial planning, to finish at the retirement
  • Improve collaboration and avoid duplicate effort: “When you have a team of developers in Bagalore (India) and one in Toulouse, if they do not exchange well together and do not share a repository, duplicates exist and usually this creates bugs.”
  • Increase quality
  • Reduce maintenance cost

If Airbus IT infrastructure did not find the appropriate solution, this would have led to more shadow IT.

We know that people do not want the current solutions.

And if people do not find tools they like to do their job, they DIYing their IT whether it is troubleshooting issues, setting up their own tools.

Airbus conference: “An ALM for what?”

Airbus IT requirements

Open Source

For some years, Airbus has performed a huge change in its mindset: the increasing digitalization of the organization lead to even more Open Source values, technologies… and finally a full-on Open Source strategy:

Boost the use of Open Source software

  • Leverage Enterprise Open Source advantages:
    • Lower TCO,
    • Quicker implementations,
    • Better quality and security, etc
  • Reduce the dependency from classical software suppliers. “We want to be free. We avoid vendor-locking.”
  • Increase innovation and interoperability

Embrace the Open way of working

Improve the motivation and efficiency of collaborators and make it more attractive through for 4 golden rules:

  • Transparency
  • Collaboration
  • Sharing
  • Empowerment

“For us this means: you are able to take the decision you have to take. You do not rely on your manager, who relies on another manager and so on. You have a mission, you are able to make the best decisions to reach your goals yourself.”

Designed as self-service mode

“We wanted teams to be able to get a ready-to-use workspace in less than 24 hours. They need a new project? They have it. We wanted something « easy to consume for our customers », a tool to be autonomous with. No long purchasing process. A tool with which the project leaders could administrate and configure their projects, create new workflows, add new fields. We did not want them to ask us every 5 minutes to change something. This is valuable for us because we are quite busy people.”

High flexibility

“We talk about Agile and DevOps but every one has its own approach. No two Scrum teams work the same way. Each project manager has its own method. It can be a bit frustrating if the tool enforces you to do Scrum “this way”. How will you be able to leverage your experience in using Scrum and think: “For this project, it will be better if I do “like this.”, and that you cannot implement it in the tool?”

7 reasons why Airbus chose Tuleap as its Agile and DevOps solution

1. Open Source
2. High level of configuration
3. Excellent user experience
4. Data segregation with secure private project workspaces
5. Fine-grained access control
6. Git integration, to have full traceability
7. Common technologies and infrastructure.

For us, it has been quite easy to deploy. Thanks to Tuleap, our only role as an IT department, is limited to the availability of the platform.

How Tuleap proved to be a flexible interoperable ALM

With Open Source, the source code of the software is accessible. This allows a high degree of flexibility and individual adaptations. This was a key point for Airbus IT Infrastructure and is really appreciated in Tuleap. The IT service underlines here below 6 capabilities of Tuleap people particularly enjoy:

  • Easy integration with other applications: Tuleap provides REST APIs and webhooks. “For example, as Airbus teams are worldwide, developers needed to be updated about Git pushes in real-time; so we’ve linked Tuleap to our Mattermost, an open source instant messaging platform.”
  • Interfaces based with technology standards
  • All functionalities are available through the interfaces
  • Excellent performance: “Thousands of people use Tuleap every day, and we have never heard complaints of any kind regarding it.”
  • Possible to extend
  • Fast evolution based on users needs and markets trends

With Tuleap, you are capable. You are able to create your workflow, to customize, to configure the application. You make your own project management. This is why Tuleap has been so successful.

Tuleap is a dynamic project that moves all the time to match expectations of customers. Monthly releases embedding new features prove that Tuleap is the ALM of the future.

Nicolas Fanjeau, Airbus IT Infrastructure

How does Airbus use Tuleap?

The integration of Git in Tuleap allowed Airbus to ensure full traceability on their projects, from the expression of customer needs to code versions pushed by developers, which is critical for their daily work where traceability is required in all their activities.


Automated resolution of incidents at Airbus IT Infrastructure

In the IT Infrastructure, we are developers and Ops working in agile. We do not follow Scrum or any classical agile approaches. We have re-created our own agile and DevOps method to support our operations maintenance.
We use Tuleap to automate actions to manage the workflow for change notes i.e, any internal customers request. Even if our incident management workflow can be seen as complex, with Tuleap, it is very simple and end-user oriented.

Tuleap is not only about project management. In addition, we can track the quotation of any change and recharge the requesting services.

Nicolas Fanjeau

For us, Tuleap has been a very easy way to move to DevOps. We needed a kind of core, and we now rely on Tuleap for that.

Nicolas Fanjeau, Airbus IT Infrastructure

Streamlined development workflow at Flight Physics department

Flight Physics at Airbus is a department of 800 people studying the impacts of external physics on aircraft. It covers 5 disciplines: handing qualities, aerodynamics, performance, mass properties, loads and aeroelastics. A transversal service called Capabilities and Research is in charge of ensuring that the tools used are permanently available and running smoothly.

There are 250 applications to manage with very different constraints. Some are critical because directly embedded in the aircraft, others made computation in one second, others in 3 weeks.

In the Flight Physics department, people use Tuleap for:

  • developing applications,
  • portfolio management,
  • following quality costs,
  • tracking incidents.
Alain Bernard

Now, we provide one single entry point for our customers and our developers.

Alain BERNARD, Flight Physics Future Capabilities Architect, Airbus
  • In the engineering field, Tuleap is integrated with Eclipse (another tool), to automatically send and monitor errors from the end-users applications to the server. The Flight Physics department needed a tool to build a bridge between the 800 users (the customers) and the developers, a way to unify the way the customers submitted issues on applications. Before, this was only made by emails or Excel sheets, far from the industrial way.
  • On the development side, Tuleap is used along with Git, Jenkins, Eclipse IDE and Sonar.
    Using the Eclipse Mylyn connector for Tuleap, developers better understand customer requests, using contextual information of the incident, and track resolution status. This fine integration between tools makes developers’ job a lot more easier.
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Results


2.291 users

266 projects

5.200 pages seems per day

Achieved goals for the IT Department

  • Reliable in critical environment and performant in high-demanding conditions
  • Easy to maintain and install. “We do an update every two months and it is very quick.”
  • Open Source is a key solution to ensure innovation application and fast delivery
  • A strong partnership between the IT Department and internal customers: “We involved Airbus internal customers in the development of the solution and we let final users free to leverage the open aspect of Tuleap.”
  • Self-service is the requirement to reach customers satisfaction, avoid shadow IT and meet company’s objectives.

Satisfaction of Internal customers

  • Personalized solution: trackers, project dashboards. “Before Tuleap, we get other solutions but they did not get as much success. Why? Because, we were forced to do as the tool. The difference between Tuleap and the other solutions is that you can do your OWN project management, and then, improve.
  • Autonomy: “Teams are totally independents. They are empowered.”
  • Interoperable with other applications. “Some teams did crazy things with the REST interfaces.”

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