Best Practices for Application Release Automation
February 09, 2017

Derek Langone
XebiaLabs

If you're thinking about implementing Application Release Automation (ARA), here are some tips to get started:

Start with: Balancing the Art and Science of Application Release Management

■ Pick one software project and map out all the steps in the release process, from design through production.

■ Take an inventory of the DevOps tools use at each step of the above process.

■ Choose an ARA tool. When researching, look at multiple reference sources, from vendor information, to articles, to analyst reports. Gartner and Forrester both issued 2016 reports that introduce ARA and evaluate key vendors in the space.

■ Look for an ARA solution that, at a minimum, integrates and orchestrates all your existing tools. if you have to manually connect every tool in the pipeline, you won't be able to scale.

■ Besides implementing a good CI solution to automate your application builds, pick some areas in your release process to automate right away. For example, if you have to update your ticketing system to denote that an application has been deployed to a staging environment, integrate your ARA tool to automatically update the ticket with the appropriate deployment information.

■ Train everyone involved in the release process (including non-technical people) on how to use the ARA tool, so each person understands how they can do their job in the release process.

■ Optimizing your release process is like paying back a lot of credit cards: find your biggest bottlenecks and remove them first.

■ Determine some key KPIs by which to measure success, such as time to delivery, deployment frequency, change volume, success rate and mean time to recovery.

Only after a single team gets its first ARA project off the ground and running in production, should you start rolling out the new process and the ARA solution to other teams. To encourage widespread adoption, it's important to show others in the organization that the team was able to achieve its core success metrics.

Derek Langone is CEO of XebiaLabs.

The Latest

July 25, 2017

Test teams feel the need to adopt DevOps, but that migration is not always seamless, according to a new survey by LogiGear. That may be because 25 percent of respondents said their Ops/IT team is always helpful to the test team and its needs; 37 percent said Ops teams regularly help bring about good test environments; 27 percent said Ops can be "slow or difficult" ...

July 24, 2017

SecOps is a seamless collaboration between your IT security and IT operations teams. The goal is to streamline security processes, and ensure that every piece of code that makes it into production is as secure as possible. If you've ever thought of revamping your company's current security operations to make it more agile, or if you've been thinking about building out a SecOps function, here are 5 tips you should keep in mind ...

July 20, 2017

Financial services organizations are high value targets for cyber criminals all over the world. Because of this, it is imperative that the keys and certificates used by financial service DevOps teams are properly protected. If not, bad actors can easily exploit cryptographic assets and wreak havoc on sensitive corporate data, all while remaining undetected ...

July 18, 2017

In the last year, businesses around the globe significantly increased their use of open source and although they readily acknowledge growing concerns about open source-related security and operational risks, the effective management of open source is not keeping pace with the increase in use ...

July 17, 2017

A Forrester survey confirmed what high-performance organizations have already said – DevOps is here to stay. Diving into the details, however, the study also shows that the DevOps journey may be in for a rude awakening. Companies in all industries are embracing DevOps for superior productivity, but many organizations struggle to overcome barriers that prevent them from translating these programs into improved business results ...

July 14, 2017

Despite the pervasive belief that security and development teams have conflicting priorities, initiatives such as creating DevOps environments and focusing on product innovation have the two teams aligned toward a common goal of creating secure software, according to a new study from Veracode ...

July 12, 2017

Gartner, Inc. highlighted the top technologies for information security and their implications for security organizations in 2017 ...

July 10, 2017

DevOps practices lead to higher IT performance, according to the 2017 State of DevOps report This higher performance delivers improved business outcomes, as measured by productivity, profitability, and market share ...

June 28, 2017

Why Agile? DEVOPSdigest asked the experts for their opinions on what are the most important advantages of being Agile. Part 5, the final installment, covers how Agile improves product quality and the customer experience ...

June 26, 2017

Why Agile? DEVOPSdigest asked the experts for their opinions on what are the most important advantages of being Agile. Part 4 covers how Agile impacts team productivity ...

Share this