It’s been a really big year for Zuora! Amongst other accomplishments and awards…we were recognized as a leader in the latest Forrester Wave: Recurring Customer and Billing Management Report; acquired Leeyo, thus adding the world’s leading automated rev rec solution to our portfolio now known as Zuora RevPro; and launched Zuora Central, The Subscription Economy Platform®.
As if that weren’t enough, this summer marked our 100th product release. Let’s take a moment to think about that: 100 product releases over the course of 8+ years of monthly releases.
We are really excited about this milestone, and so very proud:
As our products have grown, so too has the team that powers our products. And as we take a moment to reflect back, we want to give voice to all the amazing engineers and program managers behind our 100 releases.
So, here in their own words, is what our first-class team is celebrating on the momentous occasion of our 100th release…
“While many companies have a quarterly cadence to their product releases, we’re delivering an accelerated cadence of volume of features on a monthly basis which is a reflection of our customer-focused strategy.” – Mu Yang, VP of Engineering
Zero Downtime Release
“In 2013, we made system-wide changes to eliminate downtime during release, including removing foreign key constraints from the DB level (but keeping them in the application level), using Zuora customized online schema change process to do DB schema change, and fully automating the entire DB existing tables online schema change process to a one button operation.” – Eric Liu, Senior DBA
“The Zuora application started with a single time zone. As Zuora grew globally, we needed to have the system work across customer time zones. We made great efforts to refactor the codebase which had been accumulated for years, starting with redefining the right data type, differentiating the date-time and date-only. We version controlled these changes so that no customer integrations were broken even though we changed a lot of primary data types.” – Leo Liu, Principal Software Engineer
Real Time Sync, Turbo Sync and On-Demand Sync
“Every software has bugs. In 360 Sync, if we got bugs then customers would miss data in their SFDC Org. But in 2012 we formally introduced a button that, if customers click it, forced syncing over all records for the billing account. In 2013 we released a new feature called Turbo Sync which increased sync performance more than 60X. This feature saved the day when our customer TCS mistakenly deleted all their data — and we were able to sync over all the data in just one day. Then in 2014 we introduced Real Time Sync which reduced the average sync latency from more than 2 hours to mere seconds! This feature was available for general release in 2015 and, as of now, most of our customers are using it. Above all else, in the past 4 years, we tripled the object types in our 360 Sync. Now customers can get Payment, Refund, Subscriptions tiers and more in their SFDC Org.” – Liangqi Wang, Senior Software Engineer
“Our development and deployment processes have evolved along our way to the 100th release. We’ve been tailoring processes to be comprehensive and adaptive in order to ensure product quality, as well as being responsive to customers. These processes are the cornerstones of building an innovation machine that keeps delivering value to our customers, enabling them to be successful in the Subscription Economy.” – Xi Yang, Principal Program Manager
“In 2014, we released the Aggregate Query API v1.0, known as AQUA. The goal of AQUA was to provide a REST API service that allowed multiple Export ZOQL or ZOQL queries to execute in a sequential order in a single database transaction at a Repeatable-Read isolation level. Three years later, AQUA is now widely used by tenants and Zuora microservices to sync full and incremental data, while guaranteeing data integrity.” – Gail Jimenez, Principal Program Manager
“As someone who just joined relatively recently, I tended to take things for granted in the beginning. Only after closely working on the product, did I start to realize how complex our system is. It requires great diligence and persistence from the team to achieve the 100th release milestone. Better yet, we are constantly improving the process. Together with all the new microservices being rolled out, I can only see a better world where we continuously deliver the best of class product to our customers’ hands with a higher quality and in a very timely manner.” – Xinxin Wang, Engineering Manager
“The Advanced AR Settlement project provided significant changes to Zuora’s account receivable settlement domain. Credit Memo and Debit Memo are compliant with legal regulations and standard accounting practice especially for European customers. This gives Zuora even greater flexibility in billing and payment operations. I’m very excited to be the 100th core Zuora release manager and I see great team work overall for all core Zuora releases!” – Li Tian: Senior Program Manager and Release Manager
The Journey to Microservices
“Our 100th release puts us firmly on the path to our new microservices architecture, with hooks in place to migrate user information and authenticate users using our new Authentication and Authorization microservices framework. We have begun implementing features to support our new UI infrastructure, and we’ve started building in APIs to support our configuration export and import ‘Settings’ microservice. We’ve come a long way, and while our 100th release represents remarkable progress, it also represents the beginning of a new journey to transform our organization and grow our capacity to quickly deliver high quality solutions to our customers.” – Scott Ellis: Engineering Manager API & CPS
“While we’re achieving the 100th release milestone, we’re building our product blueprint to achieve the next level of success as we move steadily towards the next 100th release. Today we launched the BeeHive program. The Beehive program will transform monolithic Zuora to a micro-services architecture which enables the Zuora product to support businesses with 100M+ subscribers, in terms of scalability! – Weijie Qu: Senior Software Engineer
Scrum of Scrums Best Practices
“From the moment I joined 4.5 years ago, I’ve continuously been impressed with the Zuora Release Managers and Scrum of Scrums and their ability to track and manage several releases simultaneously and to quickly react to the latest information in terms of scope, schedule, quality constraints of projects included on various release trains. Impressive teamwork, communication and customer focus!” – Mary Van Nostern, Sr. Director Global Technology PMO
A huge congratulations to the entire team responsible for the first through the 100th product release! And a toast to the next 100!