Grand Slam tennis events serve up quality mobile apps faster

IBM Interactive solution boosts speed and consistency across multiple mobile devices

Published on 31-Jul-2012

"You could easily spend two or three days trying to understand an application, looking at it line by line, whereas with the IBM Rational software, you can gain a thorough understanding inside half an hour." - David Provan, senior IT specialist, IBM Interactive

Customer:
IBM Interactive team

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
United States

Overview

The IBM® Interactive team, a group within IBM Global Business Services®, provides website development services for tennis Grand Slam events such as Wimbledon, the Roland Garros and Australian Open tennis tournaments, and the US Open Tennis Championships.

Business need:
To deliver high-quality applications for the web and mobile devices for events such as Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, the IBM Interactive team needed the right set of development tools.

Solution:
The team used IBM Rational software to gain modeling and Java coding capabilities, along with defect tracking and task management to achieve its goals for ensuring the highest website and application quality.

Benefits:
Visual models help reduce risk when updating applications, improving application quality and increasing productivity by 10 percent. Work item tracking and dashboards boost efficiency by 5 percent.

Case Study

The IBM® Interactive team, a group within IBM Global Business Services®, provides website development services for tennis Grand Slam events such as Wimbledon, the French Open and Australian Open tennis tournaments, and the US Open Tennis Championships.

Maintaining consistent content across a growing number of devices
When creating websites for such high-profile events, it’s essential that each event’s web content be high-quality, up-to-the-minute and delivered consistently, whether fans visit the event site on a PC, tablet or smartphone. However, ensuring that web content is consistent across devices has become more challenging over the past few years. Increasing numbers of fans access web sites using an ever-growing array of mobile devices, including iPhones, Android phones, iPads, Kindles and other tablets. In the past, the IBM Interactive team would create a single website per event. Now, in addition to the primary event website, the team must create multiple mobile applications for iPhones, Android devices and iPads, as well as browser-based, optimized experiences for iPhones, Android devices and tablets. “The entire industry is challenged to get content to the widest audience,” says David Provan, senior IT specialist, IBM Interactive, IBM. Further, the team must be able to simultaneously update all of these experiences and applications so fans can get up-to-the-minute information about the event as it occurs. When the team gets the content for a player interview, for example, it must send the interview out to the primary website, mobile sites for multiple devices and multiple mobile applications, all in the proper format.

Building a website for an event typically takes about nine months. The final two to three weeks involve an extremely high volume of changes to the site, as last-minute details are finalized and the event unfolds. The IBM Interactive development team needed tools to increase productivity in designing, developing and delivering changes into production on an increasing number of devices. It sought tools to help it more easily create and update content, including player biographies, statistics, live scores and results, especially right before and during events when dynamic information and online traffic peak. The team also needed to be able to deliver this content across multiple mobile applications.

Meeting ambitious goals for application quality
The IBM Interactive team chose IBM Rational® Software Architect and IBM Rational Team Concert software to help improve its ability to meet deadlines and achieve its goals for creating websites and mobile applications, while ensuring the highest quality.

Rational Software Architect software helps enable the team to create visual representations of the large, complicated applications involved in event site publishing. These visual models, created with the Unified Modeling Language (UML), make it easier to identify exactly what will be affected when changes are made, significantly increasing application quality and reducing the risk of making alterations. The UML models also help streamline communication during peer code reviews. Ultimately, the models make it easier for developers to quickly gain an understanding of applications they may not have worked with recently. “You could easily spend two or three days trying to understand an application, looking at it line by line, whereas with the IBM Rational software, you can gain a thorough understanding inside half an hour,” says Provan.

The Interactive team, which consists of approximately 25 developers, uses Rational Team Concert software to coordinate task management and defect tracking. Centralized defect tracking helps better coordinate work and minimize duplicated efforts. For example, certain assets are shared among sites, including IBM SlamTracker, a live scoring console that is available on USOpen.org as well as on www.Wimbledon.com. So the team can log defects to the application in a central location, fix the asset once and then make sure the repair is propagated to multiple sites.


Increased efficiency, improved quality
By implementing the Rational software, the Interactive team gained numerous benefits. The Rational Team Concert application allows the team to develop use cases to help control the scope of developed applications. Using dashboards, the team’s managers can easily view each developer’s workload and adjust it if necessary, boosting developer efficiency. The dashboards also help reduce the amount of time spent in meetings because anyone on the team can quickly view project statuses at any time.

Creating visual models with Rational Software Architect software helps reduce the time required to gain an understanding of existing applications from two to three days to just half an hour. This time savings reduces development costs and, when global traffic is at stake, increases deployment speed. The visual models also help improve application quality and enhance productivity by 10 percent. Work item tracking and dashboards boost efficiency by 5 percent through eliminating one day of work each month. Finally, Rational Team Concert software gives the team insight into the way it works and what it can do to improve its processes. “Rational Team Concert software has demonstrated to us ways that we can improve the way we work,” says Provan.

For more information
To learn more about IBM Rational software, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/rational

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Rational Team Concert, Rational Software Architect

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America July 2012 IBM, the IBM logo and ibm.com, Rational and Rational Team Concert are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.