DevOps, a culture that emphasises the collaboration and communication of software developers and IT professionals, is becoming an increasingly important part of a software building strategy.
Release management is a growing discipline within this world. In the modern iterative world of software, where feedback and performance metrics are fed back into the development cycle, the process of overseeing the release cycle requires dedicated resources to oversee it.
"The goal of release and deployment management is to deploy releases into operation and establish effective use of the service in order to deliver value to the customer," explains a UCISA report. "Release and deployment management also ensures handover to service operations takes place and that suitable training and documentation exists to ensure ongoing support of the new service."
CBR rounds up 5 tools built to oversee release management.
Plutora provides an on-demand Enterprise IT Release Management software toolset to help organisations deliver their releases.
One element of this is a Single System of Record for handling the releases. This provides all relevant parties, including the IT development teams, the business stakeholders and outsourced IT suppliers, with a single end-to-end view of the entire Releases process. This spreads from initial request, release planning and release execution to production deployment.
Another functionality allows release managers within an organisation to forward plan the capacity for a release, providing insights into how full the release bucket is. There is also a consolidated view of release schedules, including the critical dates for the organisations.
There is also insight into dependencies between releases and systems within the organisation, with a system impact assessment providing a heat map of how the systems will be impacted by a release.
2. Serena Release Control
Serena Release Control, now on version 6, provides a range of features for controlling your release schedule. One of these is release-type dependent processes, which provide adaptable processes based on the type of release you are conducting.
This means that you can adjust the level of continuous delivery support, defining the level of process control and automation. This will boost the speed of releases and help you establish different control levels.
Serena Release Control also offers application release coordination, which allows the user to orchestrate multiple teams and their activities to control the environments they use for release management.
There is also a dashboard of Key Performance Indications and nearly 50 out-of-the-box reports, providing insight to make the right decisions with your release.
3. BMC Software
BMC Software’s Release Lifecycle Management product also provides end-to-end visibility of the software release’s progress. Through a central web-based portal, users can track application development, QA and production, to monitor the implications of every change made.
The product also offers smart automation, which provides customised templates to ensure continuous integration and delivery are achieved.
It is also possible to package the application once and deploy a version in any environment that uses the specific properties of that environment.
In addition, the product includes performance metrics around the release so that plans can be built and progress can be effectively demonstrated.
Rocket‘s release management and deployment solution, Rocket Aldon, aims to automate the whole of the lifecycle process, moving the release packages through each lifecycle stage and deploy the required files to the correct target at each stage without an IT having to administer it manually.
One feature of Rocket’s product is version control flexibility; this allows developers to use whatever versioning tool they wish to while retaining seamless integration with Rocket Aldon’s processes.
The solution also provides built-in help with IT compliance, allowing the user to trace any information associated with a build package, including revision numbers or tags and labels. Every build package can be traced to the original code and developer regardless of what version control tool was used.
XebiaLabs provides a release management tool as part of its wider suite of continuous delivery tools for the enterprise. The XL Release product aims to allow users to plan, automate and analyse the pipeline for their software releases.
It provides end-to-end release dashboards with up-to-date information on the status of various tools and systems, from code to production.
There are also reporting and data analytics capabilities built into the solution to allow users to drive decisions through accurate data.
It also includes collaboration infrastructure to allow auditability, enforce controls and ensures that all teams within the enterprise have the right level of access.