How EasySend Uses Raftt to Cut Environment Setup Time From Days to 1 Hour?
The Raftt Team
March 16, 2023
### About EasySend
EasySend provides enterprises with a digital solution that automates and streamlines the tedious process of filling out forms. Used by leading companies like AXA, Sedgwick, RLI and Sompo, EasySend provides flexible, no-code solutions for digitizing forms and creating workflows. EasySend’s customers are provided with a seamless multi-channel digital experience. In the backend, EasySend operates an extensive integration infrastructure that streamlines data and ensures it gets delivered to the right location.
EasySend has 100+ employees and an extensive engineering team. The 40-person team is made up of product development, R&D operations and DevOps, delivery, and developers who work on the codebase.
### Setting Up New Environments was a Long and Frustrating Process
The engineering team at EasySend handles a complex technological stack. Based on AWS with Kubernetes, their application is a web app server written in Python and the client is an Ember app written in React. They use WebSockets for real-time collaboration, and MySQL and Redis as databases.
The backend behind the customer-facing service is made up of multiple environments. Each customer receives its own production environment, dubbed “The Player”. This is where EasySend updates services for customers and makes form building accessible to them. Customers can create forms using “The Builder”.
This structure dictates complicated development responsibilities. EasySend’s engineering team is tasked with setting up, managing and maintaining a very large number of environments at any given time. These environments differ from each other in their version and configuration. This complexity makes them difficult to create, update, control, and troubleshoot.
Setting up new environments became an especially painful task for EasySend’s developers. Despite the requirement to continuously set up new environments for new hires, they were not able to streamline the process. Documentation didn’t really help, as it was quickly out of date. After multiple attempts and iterations for each environment, the results were still suboptimal.
As a result, instead of working on EasySend’s core business, their developers were spending too much time attempting to do their work and trying to set up environments. This created a lot of friction since setup would take days at a time. It also made developer onboarding especially challenging, since the team wasn’t able to easily teach new developers how to set up environments.
EasySend was looking for a solution that could help them set up environments easily, through a seamless, single setup.
### Environment Setup With a Single Line of Code
EasySend chose Raftt to help them overcome the challenge of environment creation and maintenance. Environments are now set up with just a single line of code. These environments have a remote runtime on an AWS EKS cluster so they can be easily accessed by all developers.
Raftt’s integration into the Git workflow made this even easier, as environments are created on demand, per-feature.
### Reduced Friction, 1 Hour Setup
By using Raftt, the environment creation time was shortened from days to a mere 1 hour.This enables developers to move quickly while developing - spinning up new environments as needed, and exploring without the fear of breaking anything. Less time spent on environment maintenance and setup means more time spent developing features and services for customers.
Raftt also helped EasySend shorten onboarding times. Instead of experiencing a frustrating beginning trying to set up environments, new developers can be up and running in just a few minutes. This gives them and the company a productivity boost and improves employee morale.
### Simple Deployment
Asaf pointed out that the deployment of Raftt at EasySend was simple and straightforward. Despite the complexity of EasySend’s architecture and stack, including bespoke requirements, the process was relatively easy. Once the integration was complete, other engineers on the team could use the Raftt-based environments without any additional configuration or maintenance on their part.
### Future Expansion Plans
Given the dev team’s satisfaction with Raftt’s ability to shorten their dev cycles, they plan to expand their use of Raftt in the future. Specifically, they will use Raftt to give developers access to more complex environments, allowing them to simulate the entire end-to-end product flow. They are excited to use Raftt for enhancing collaboration between the dev and product teams, so PMs will be able to see in-progress features, and will be able to provide feedback much earlier.