Saxo Bank moves from homegrown to LaunchDarkly to achieve fast, safe releases.

Saxo Bank

Saxo Bank Overview

6x increase in release velocity

6x increase in release velocity

Saxo Bank democratizes trading and investment by building digital platforms to facilitate multi-asset market access and providing clients of all sizes with professional-grade tools, industry-leading prices, and best-in-class service.

Saxo Bank Timeline

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Challenge

As the trading platform engineering team at Saxo grew from less than 15 developers to over 100 distributed across the globe, their homegrown feature management system became cumbersome to the release process. The Saxo team relied on a number of internal configuration tools to assist in the delivery of new features. One of these tools was a feature rollout system created to help Saxo deliver features to specific customer segments. While functional, the system had limitations. Developers could not access the tool directly and instead submitted requests to have features turned on/off by a separate department tasked with managing releases. This meant their release process included additional steps and manual effort, much of it difficult to track, that disrupted their ability to practice CI/CD efficiently. These challenges led Saxo Bank to investigate feature management solutions that could help them build reliable, rapidly released software for their thousands of customers.

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Solution

As a trusted platform that facilitates the purchase and sale of over 40,000 financial instruments, Saxo Bank places a priority on reliability and security. Unsuccessful transactions can put millions of dollars of client money at risk. Addressing feature management would be required to achieve a company goal of adopting modern DevOps best practices and maintaining their market leadership. LaunchDarkly was a prerequisite to achieving these goals, giving Saxo the confidence and ability to speed up their release process, maintain reliability, and minimize technical debt accumulation. Saxo uses feature flags and LaunchDarkly to perform gradual rollouts, to easily target specific users by segment, and to turn features on/off immediately through a kill switch, whenever necessary.

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Results

Adopting LaunchDarkly turned an engineering team limited by an inefficient release process, into one that releases rapidly with confidence and feels far more empowered in their roles. Instead of merging to the master branch and then waiting for an unknown period of time, the team completes their code, runs automated tests, and can quickly roll out features to Saxo users through LaunchDarkly. Using LaunchDarkly has helped increase Saxo Bank’s release frequency from roughly once every 3 weeks, down to twice per week. Saxo has quickly made feature flags a standard development practice across their team, aiming to make daily releases a reality as they continue building the future of online trading.

LaunchDarkly has increased our ability to perform Continuous Integration and empowered our developers to own delivery of new features.

Luke Page

Lead Platform Architect, Saxo Bank

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