Openness Customer Spotlight: Shell Implements Team Foundation Server for Improved Mixed IT Management

Posted by Kerry Godes
Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing & Operations


Shell’s energy and petrochemical operations span more than 80 countries, with more than 3,000 proprietary applications that support everything from exploration and production to manufacturing and distribution. To improve visibility and increase standardization across this global and highly complex enterprise, Shell created the Technical and Competitive IT (TaCIT) division for its 1,000 developers around the world.

The TaCIT’s first task was to identify a standard development environment for its mixed IT environment to more efficiently support key workflows, including coding, reviews, testing, and change management. The solution needed to support a broad range of platforms and application types, as well as third-party testing tools and frameworks.

After in-depth research, Shell adopted Microsoft Team Foundation Server as its application lifecycle management solution for its projects worldwide to increase visibility for better decision-making, facilitate sharing of best practices among teams, and improve security processes.

“We looked at a lot of different products, but most only handle one piece of a development project and don’t work with other tools to provide an integrated process,” says Henk Middendorp, Software Engineering Architect, TaCIT at Shell. “Team Foundation Server handles everything from developing requirements to deployment, and is usable across Windows and Linux for desktop, server, web, and mobile projects.”

TaCIT can now view a dashboard to see how many lines of code are being managed in each programming language being used. “We now have a clear picture of the software we have created – what platform and language we used and who on the team is responsible for it,” explains Middendorp. “We can make better decisions on what to retire and the amount of resources to allocate to each project.”

Shell also vastly improved its security processes. Previously the code sat on hundreds of servers with varying policies for access and data recovery. Now all of the projects are protected by standardized access and authentication policies. “With Team Foundation Server I know that we have processes in place to protect our investments,” says Middendorp.

After such a huge success with its initial adoption of Team Foundation Server 2010, Shell working on its migration to Team Foundation Server 2012, particularly to improve the productivity of Linux development by natively supporting many essential Linux features.

“Team Foundation Server 2012 addresses many of the issues we faced with Linux development, such as local workspaces, special characters, and file attributes,” says Middendorp. “You can tell the development of Team Foundation Server 2012 was done by a team that really understands Linux.”

For more on how Shell’s implementation of Team Foundation Server is improving management of their mixed IT environment, check out the full case study.

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