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Application Release Orchestration: Best Tools

Application release orchestration (ARO) software integrate deployment automation, pipeline, environmental management and release orchestration to maximize quality, speed and governance of application releases simultaneously. ARO provide a comprehensive overview of app release pipelines, allowing users to plan, track, schedule and even execute CI / CD workflow elements. Companies can use application release orchestration software to enable internal and external releases to be logistically effective. Teams using application release orchestration tools can use visual process modeling, pipeline management and task assignments to plan and perform application deployments.

To enable an automated CI/CD framework, application release orchestration tools integrate with, or provides native functionality for, continuous integration, continuous delivery tools and continuous deployment software. A product has to be qualified to be included in the category of application release orchestration if it:

  • Provide dashboard for users to create and manage application-release pipelines
  • Integrate or enable CI/CD automation

Top Application Release Orchestration products in Gartner magic quadrats:

  1. CloudBees (Electric Cloud)
  2. Nolio/CA Release Automation (Broadcom)
  3. XebiaLabs
  4. UrbanCode Deploy (IBM)
  5. Micro Focus Release Control and Deployment Automation

CloudBees (Electric Cloud)

CloudBees is Platform for Application Release Orchestration (ARO) and DevOps, based on the commercial success of its products and its open-source leadership. CloudBees is one of Jenkin’s and Jenkin X’s largest contributor, and a founding member of the Continuous Delivery Foundation. CloudBees enables all software driven organizations to smartly deploy the right capabilities in the right time, for startups with full-stack developers that practice NoOps as well as to big Fortune 100 companies. It offers the capability for release orchestration, launch scheduling, and environment management, with integration into the existing DevOps toolchain and analytics to track, measure and enhance the product development pipeline. CloudBees Flow is the industry’s first enterprise-scale unified application resource orchestration platform built for DevOps. CloudBees Flow helps IT effectiveness through the automation and coordination of software releases, pipelines and implementations with analysis and comprehension in the measurement, tracking and enhancement of performance. CloudBees is the de facto standard for enterprise ARO with this vision, its current product leadership and having remarkable enterprise customer success. CloudBees Flow is chosen by market leaders for:

  • A way of implementing and sharing stable, repeatable and adaptable pipelines provide mainframes, monolithic applications and microservices
  • Unprecedented, actionable insight into client releases’ safety and status without manual data collection or analysis
  • A reliable solution when they implement DevOps processes throughout their entire organization

https://www.cloudbees.com/products/flow/overview

Nolio/CA Release Automation (Broadcom)

CA Release Automation is a business-standard, continuous delivery solution that automates complex, multi-level release deployments through the development and production of applications. CA Release Automation speeds application release cycles and enhances operational and business agility. It reduces errors and results in better quality releases through the simplification and standardization of application release processes. Finally, it reduces application costs and promotes cooperation and coordination between development and operations. Key features included in CA Release Automation

  • Efficient workflows to eliminate scripting
  • Automatic, standardized and reusable continuous delivery deployment
  • anytime anywhere zero-touch application deployment
  • Robust integration toolchain that makes delivery simpler
  • Central Deployment: Configurable Interface

A visual, intuitive working flow engine is provided in Nolio/CA Release Automation which enables standard reusable process, to exploit deployment complexities. You can design modular workflows for each component of an application, including middleware for web and app server, databases and infrastructure elements, such as virtual hypervisors.

https://www.broadcom.com/products/software/automation/continuous-delivery/nolio-release-automation

XebiaLabs

XebiaLabs is an independent software company that specializes In DevOps and the delivery of huge enterprise corporations with the products XL Release, XL Deploy and XebiaLabs DevOps Platform. It was found in the early era of DevOps and the main idea was to accelerate the release of the software with much more reliability. Since that time, release orchestration from this company is approved and adopted by the most demanding companies worldwide.

The XebiaLabs DevOps platform for ARO simplifies DevOps for large organizations with large pipelines. This integrates and organizes all the DevOps resources, handles the communications and provides a data repository for monitoring without the need for ad-hoc scripting and constant time-consuming maintenance. Whatever the number of tools in the pipeline, XebiaLabs offers a single platform for all of these. The scalable process that works across the entire company has resulted in the average deliverable time improvement of 400 percent and the massive financial profit for customers in XebiaLabs, which includes hundreds of Global 5000 clients. Major features that separate XebiaLabs from the ARO pack include:

  • End-to-end DevOps Toolchain Orchestration
  • Cloud-Agnostic Technology
  • Scalability
  • End-to-End Visibility with a Dashboard

https://xebialabs.com/glossary/application-release-orchestration-aro/

UrbanCode Deploy (IBM)

IBM UrbanCode Deploy is an application-automation tool for various Dev, QA, Staging and PROD applications. It is a very important tool used in agile development for continuous delivery. UrbanCode Deploy offers:

  • Automated applications deployments and rollbacks
  • Changes in application Orchestration across servers
  • Management of inventory
  • Defining with clear visibility when and where the artifact has been used
  • Integration of different applications and ITSM tools with J2EE and .NET
  • Integration of tools for building and testing to deploy, test and support new builds

UrbanCode Deploy solution integrates robust control, traceability and audit features for application release automation.  The plug-in ecosystem eliminates scripting and assists in the creation of DevOps toolchains for complex applications. You can also use it for distributed datacenters, cloud, and virtualised environments. You can run the UrbanCode Deploy server in your own premises, on the IBM cloud, on the IBM Cloud Privacy platform or your own platform based on Kubernetes. You can purchase UrbanCode Deploy alone or as part of a group to pool a range of IBM DevOps licenses. Key features offered are:

  • Monitoring components that make up an application by using design templates and snapshots so that they can be distributed and managed together
  • Organizing application deployment using drag and drop functionality by defining parallel and sequential activities
  • Deploying the Cloud models in public, private and hybrid clouds and how the applications are configured in a simple graphical editor
  • The tested integrations have dozens of tools to simplify and reduce the risk of deployment
  • The architecture is designed to meet the business needs: high availability, horizontal scalability, fast response and strict protection

https://www.ibm.com/cloud/urbancode

Micro Focus Release Control and Deployment Automation

Micro Focus Release Control helps companies orchestrate the release of applications with a flexible process-centered approach, providing visibility and efficiency throughout the deployment line. Control allows organizations to plan, control and automate their mainframe and distributed system release processes from definition to deployment using a visual and automated release calendar and approval process. With smooth integration into the System Automation, fully automated deployments and setup of applications are extremely simple. Key features and benefits of Micro Focus release control are:

  • Centralized calendar updates, operation reports and dashboards
  • Enforcement, routing, and approval processes with automated audit trails and reports
  • The only release management solution which supports mainframe as well as distributed
  • Automation and workflow that replace the manual process steps to enforce the release procedures and policies
  • Flexible and open architecture allowing quick integration of existing business tools

https://www.microfocus.com/en-us/products/release-control/overview

Similarly, Micro Focus Deployment Automation (DA) enables smooth integration of the delivery process to reduce cycle times and to provide fast feedback on deployments and updates in all the environments. It provides the opportunity to automate the development and setup of your software or utilities to target environments within the deployment pipeline, to enable continuous delivery and production deployments. You will be able to deliver high-quality, valuable software efficiently, quickly and in a compliant manner with Deployment Automation. Micro Focus Deployment Automation streamlines deployments using automated graphical processes, orchestrating complex deployments across all delivery environments. The process editor makes the end-to – end deployment process simple to create and understand. Key features and benefits of Micro Focus deployment automations are:

  • Implementation of multi-tier systems that are more complex
  • Applications are easily distributed and managed across heterogeneous physical, software, database, and cloud servers
  • Ensure all the modules tested together are launched simultaneously — use the same delivery cycle from implementation to production for smooth integrated deployments

https://www.microfocus.com/en-us/products/deployment-automation/overview

References

  1. https://www.gartner.com/reviews/market/application-release-orchestration-solutions
  2. https://xebialabs.com/resources/analyst-reports/gartner-magic-quadrant-application-release-orchestration/
  3. https://www.gartner.com/en/documents/3970114/magic-quadrant-for-application-release-orchestration
  4. https://www.gartner.com/reviews/market/application-release-orchestration-solutions