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Posted: 4/17/2012
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Artizone Artisan Food-Delivery Website Satisfies Changing Tastes with Flexible Development

Artizone runs a growing online artisan food home-delivery service and relies on the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate development system to continually improve its customers’ experience. Developers make daily code changes to the website, collaborating with other employees in an integrated, familiar environment while supporting agile development and application lifecycle management. As a result, Artizone is successfully expanding its market.

Business Needs

When shoppers want a range of artisan products delivered to their doors, they turn to Artizone. The company, a 2009 spin-off of Dassault Systemes, manages an online specialty food shopping community, where savvy gourmands can purchase everything from fresh seafood and baked goods to fine wines and cheeses without running all over town.

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* It would be nearly impossible to succeed in a venture like this without Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate. *

Dudu Shmaya
Director of Research and Development
Artizone

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Creating that shopping experience required careful planning, especially when it came to selecting a development methodology and tools. Using traditional development methods would not satisfy the marketing staff’s need for the e-commerce site to be constantly updated to reflect changing tastes, products, prices, and delivery options as well as enhanced with seasonal packages and new artisans. “We knew that our speed to market depended on finding a more flexible environment that would streamline the entire application development process,” says Dudu Shmaya, Director of Research and Development at Artizone. “Our developers needed to deliver code changes on a daily, not biannual, basis because consumers won’t return to a website that has slow performance, bugs, or outdated content.”

The company wanted to adopt agile software development processes to accelerate the time between a marketer submitting a change request and a developer deploying that change to the production environment. To support its processes, Artizone sought a centralized set of development tools that it could customize to meet needs as they arose and that would allow employees to work together in the environments that were most comfortable for them.

Solution

Artizone briefly considered Rational tools from IBM but instead chose the Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate development system. “It just made more sense to implement Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate,” says Shmaya. “We saved time, expense, and hassles because we got a platform that came with code analysis, debugging, automatic load-testing, and the other necessary tools for everything from initiation to deployment.”

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* We truly saw the return on our investment in Visual Studio Ultimate on Day One. When you deploy this platform, you can start development immediately due to its initial configuration, built-in process templates, and overall flexibility, and you can easily deliver changes on a daily basis for continuous improvement.  *

Dudu Shmaya
Director of Research and Development
Artizone

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Artizone was able to use its new tools right away. “Everything was already integrated and familiar,” recalls Shmaya. In fact, the company’s marketing, human resources, and finance employees began using Microsoft Team Explorer 2010 to submit changes, track their progress, and manage requirements—collaborating seamlessly with the company’s developers through Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010.

“If I had introduced different tools to manage processes, we would have had a steep learning curve and wasted time working in a more complicated environment,” continues Shmaya.

Artizone uses several key features, including out-of-the-box Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), source control, work item tracking, and build elements to support complete application lifecycle management (ALM). It also customizes the built-in agile process templates to handle specific needs, such as establishing a clear way for marketers to ask developers for website changes in response to customer feedback. “We use the same tools and production lifecycle to manage all requirements, giving stakeholders a complete view into the process and status,” explains Shmaya.

Artizone launched its online service in Dallas, Texas, in October 2010 and in Chicago, Illinois, in February 2012. It plans to expand into more U.S. cities, making the need for development agility even more essential. Artizone is adding more automated testing to its production build process and including load test results as part of every build so that developers can make smart, incremental decisions to ensure high development quality.

Benefits

By using Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, Artizone can optimize its development processes and stay in sync with the rapidly changing demands of e-commerce. “It would be nearly impossible to succeed in a venture like this without Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate,” says Shmaya. “With this development platform, we don’t manage the tools—we manage our data and the full development lifecycle, which gives us insight into where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re headed. It’s absolutely critical to our business.”

Faster time-to-market. Artizone has shortened its development cycle times through the use of Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate. “We truly saw the return on our investment in Visual Studio Ultimate on Day One,” says Shmaya. “When you deploy this platform, you can start development immediately due to its initial configuration, built-in process templates, and overall flexibility, and you can easily deliver changes on a daily basis for continuous improvement.”

Improved collaboration. Artizone has found that the Microsoft product makes it easier for employees to work together using integrated tools and their preferred environments. “When you have multiple unrelated tools, you get delayed, unsatisfactory results,” says Shmaya. “Managing everything inside a central repository saves time and results in a high-quality product. With Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, we have a complete ALM platform that helps us operate as a single unit.”

Greater development quality. The company uses built-in load test tools to replicate its production environment, debug and analyze problems, and make sure that code works optimally before putting it into production. “Our testing teams quickly identify a performance issue, focus on the database or specific scenario causing the problem, and fix it right away,” says Shmaya. “The more we use Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate to catch issues and automate testing, the more confident we can be in our website’s performance and appeal to customers in the e-commerce world.”

Business agility. Because it can respond quickly to change requests, Artizone can further its business objectives. “With Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, we have the flexibility to refine our processes as we grow to make sure we’re delivering exactly the application features our marketing team and customers need,” says Shmaya.

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 70 employees

Organization Profile

Artizone operates an online marketplace for specialty food shopping and home delivery in Chicago, Illinois, and Dallas, Texas, with plans to expand to other major cities around the United States.


Software and Services
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010

Vertical Industries
Specialty Retail

Country/Region
Israel

Languages
English

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