Let’s say that your organization’s ability to develop applications (through ARA, for example) is doing nicely. As more applications are built, efficiency can suffer. Old applications and services need to be applied to new areas. The applications that you are developing are at various stages, each requiring a different type of management and environment. Moreover, big picture control of a complex production operation becomes increasingly tough as the number of development projects, resulting bottlenecks, and financial commitment grows.
Release orchestration tools, according to Gartner, “provide a combination of deployment automation, pipeline and environment management, and release orchestration capabilities to simultaneously improve the quality, speed, and governance of application releases.” Application release orchestration tools are essential in order to fully take advantage of continuous delivery and DevOps processes. Furthermore, release orchestration software delivers the ability to monitor release status in real time and provides vital managerial information.
Application release orchestration enables numerous advantages that maximize the potential of DevOps-based development.
For continuous integration practices, release orchestration tools allow an organization to create CI rules as well as governance standards for whatever languages might be in use (.NET, Java, Python).
With release pipeline orchestration, continuous delivery approaches provide the maximum amount of development automation while translating product features into configuration items (for example, treating infrastructure as code). Additionally, release orchestration software provides full transparency, change tracking, and process standardization. Finally, through DevOps release orchestration, testing can be executed automatically and at all development stages.
Release orchestration tools are a must for efficient application development, but are not the whole story. Let’s take the example of Jenkins release orchestration and its relationship to a sometimes-overlooked piece of the puzzle: databases.
As we discussed in a previous blog, Database CI with Jenkins and DBmaestro, Jenkins is a highly effective means to orchestrate CI processes, including running application builds, deploying application binaries in a test environment, and running tests. But what about the database? We often discuss how database releases are much different than application development (read here, for example), and Jenkins is no different. Jenkins manages processes that deal with code build automation, but database processes are usually handled manually.
If your organization wants to take advantage of continuous integration but without addressing the database, the ability to produce at scale will be limited. As the pace of production increases, manually-applied database changes will lag, and this delay will eventually cause failures.
To ensure that application builds based on Jenkins will also function seamlessly with the database, smart developers use a plug-in that invokes an API to enable database CI and continuous delivery executed alongside application code best practices. Database DevOps APIs will also update databases during native/application code integration.
DBmaestro is an industry leader in release orchestration software. As part of release pipeline orchestration, DBmaestro’s release orchestration tools deliver control over numerous manual and automated tasks that take place across the organization. In addition, DBmaestro’s release orchestration software can be used to implement compliance requirements and auditing processes.
One of the building blocks of DBmaestro’s release pipeline orchestration tools is the release automation module. This module works with standard SQL coding and so does not require any intermediate language in order to function. Furthermore, the scripts introduced and tested in the integration environment are the actual scripts used in higher environments.
DBmaestro employs an innovative visual database pipeline builder for the packaging, verification, deployment, and promotion of database releases. As a preventative measure, our release automation module has pre-check functionality that executes the next release in a provisional environment. Regardless of source (our version control module, other code repositories, or direct code insertion), DBmaestro’s release automation module supports seamless integration of all database changes.
Together with additional release orchestration tools, DBmaestro enables an enterprise to minimize time to market, prevent accidental overrides, and reduce application downtime caused by database-related errors. In addition, its other DevOps release orchestration modules provide security, governance, and auditing capabilities.
If you’re serious about using application release orchestration tools and truly getting the most out of DevOps, contact DBmaestro today.