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Best Release Management Tools

by Marisa Vesel, on Jul 29, 2019, 1:00:00 PM

Release management is the process of overseeing the planning, scheduling, and controlling of software builds throughout the entire software development lifecycle. Today, the increasing complexity of software makes it a cornerstone of modern enterprise application development, and a number of release management tools exist to help test, deploy, and release applications. 

The tools listed below combine project management with the software development lifecycle (SDLC) and IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL). Generally, they help to increase release velocity while simultaneously reducing the risk of errors and failures. 

diagram depicting why release management is important to increase release velocity and reduce risk of failure

Tools: 

( R )?ex 

Rex is an open-source deployment and configuration management tool that simplifies system and data center automation.  

Features: 

  • Capable of automating your entire development process so you can relax at anytime 
  • Easily integrates into your current environment 
  • Written in plain Perl so it is easy to learn, use, and extend
  • No agents required 

Sources: XebiaLabs ( R )?ex 

 

Ansible

Ansible is a release management used for simple IT automation. It automates cloud provisioning, configuration management, application deployment, intra-service orchestration, and more. The tool turns tough tasks into easy-to-use, repeatable playbooks. 

Features:  

  • Offers automation capabilities in several key software areas including infrastructure, applications, networks, containers, security + compliance, and the cloud  
  • Features key integrations with popular tools throughout the SDLC to work seamlessly with your existing toolchain  
  • Abolishes repetitive tasks to allow teams to focus their attention on strategic work and creates a culture of automation by breaking down silos and ensuring the whole team is involved

Sources: VictorOps Release Management 

 

BMC Release Lifecycle Management 

BMC offers a release management tool that can automate the development and deployment lifecycle to mitigate risks and meet demands. 

Features: 

  • Cross-team communication tools, templating, and deployment automation reduces the risk of errors 
  • Provides visibility into the entire lifecycle so the impact of changes can be easily seen and remedied 
  • Utilizes a web-based portal in order to promote collaboration between teams for continuous process improvement

 

BuildMaster 

BuildMaster is an end-to-end CI/CD solution that allows developers and operations personnel to coordinate and optimize every step of the application release management process. 

Features: 

  • Releases software reliably, to any environment, and at whatever pace the business demands 
  • Keeps stakeholders notified of any successful or failed deployment and rollback to previously successful deployments when needed 
  • Maintains security and compliance through user approvals and auditable documentation 
  • Helps developers get back to what they do best—writing code—by releasing applications on time and integrating CI/CD into current slack

 

CA Release Automation 

CA Release Automation is a release management tool that stops unplanned work by regulating and speeding up app delivery across the entire software development process from development to production.  

Features: 

  • Delivers end-to-end orchestration and visibility into the entire SDLC by integrating with the tools you already use 
  • Offers a customizable dashboard to provide a centralized view into the key metrics, data, and relevant information about your applications 
  • Up to 20x increase in application release velocity 
  • Allows for safe and secure deployments to the cloud, whether private, public, or hybrid  

Sources:  Broadcom Products  

 

Clarive

Clarive is a release management tool that helps simplify, automate, and speed up the release process by providing an integrated experience for Dev and Ops throughout the entire DevOps lifecycle.  

Features: 

  • Allows you to control your DevOps pipelines through orchestration and scheduling features that helps you deliver changes at the right time and pace 
  • Fully customizable controls and automation lets you manage your environments as you build, test, provision, and release at scale  
  • Allows you to plan, change, track, and deploy your applications for visibility and control over the entire DevOps lifecycle 

Sources: MindMajix Release Management 

 

Jenkins 

* Looking for how to integrate Jenkins with BuildMaster? It's right here.

Jenkins provides hundreds of plugins to assist in building, deploying, and automating your projects. It is one of the most popular tools currently available. 

Features  

  • Integrates with virtually any tool in the DevOps toolchain through plugin architecture  
  • Helps stimulate builds, tests, and deployments across numerous platforms by distributing work across multiple machines  
  • Supports both continuous integration and continuous delivery; through extensions, there are countless possibilities for Jenkins capabilities   

 Sources:  VictorOps Release Management 

 

LaunchDarkly 

LaunchDarkly allows teams to continuously deploy code while retaining control of customer experience features. 

Features: 

  • Separates code deployments and feature releases to help speed-up the pace of software delivery and give you control over when to deploy and release 
  • Analyzes and tests experimental functionality and gathers data and impact on infrastructure to help you make data-driven decisions 
  • Uses feature flags to roll out new features and monitor features in real-time 

 Sources: MindMajix Release Management 

 

MicroFocus Release 

MicroFocus Release is a release management tool used for planning and tracking the application release lifecycle.  

Features: 

  • Manages the entire release process from development to deployment to production 
  • Tracks and coordinates releases across both mainframe and distributed systems 
  • An easy-to-use dashboard provides key performance indicators and ready-to-use reports for data-driven business decisions 
  • Manages complex test and production environments through centralized control of all environments

 

Plutora 

Plutora improves the quality and speed of application delivery by providing complete visibility into the SDLC. It is an all-encompassing value stream management platform that combines Agile, DevOps, and measured outcomes to improve delivery velocity, quality, and compliance 

Features:  

  • Integrates with your existing application development stack to improve visibility, compliance, and collaboration 
  • Gives you control over the entire lifecycle by providing release, test environment, and deployment management 
  • Analyzes data throughout the application development process to help teams make data-driven decisions and solve problems faster

 

SaltStack 

SaltStack provides event-driven automation to the work done by digital infrastructure of any complexity.  

Features  

  • Emphasizes security and compliance by automating the process of scanning systems, detecting issues, and resolving issues  
  • Easily scalable to manage your IT environment, no matter the size or complexity  
  • Detects and identifies vulnerable system issues and changes in configuration and automatically enforces the desired state  

 Sources:  Tutorials Point SaltStack Overview 

 

Spinnaker 

Spinnaker is an open-source cloud delivery platform created by Netflix that offers fast, safe, and repeatable deployments. 

Features: 

  • Offers deployments across multiple cloud providers including AWS EC2, Kubernetes, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure 
  • Provides built-in best practices for deployment including creating immutable images for faster rollouts, easier rollbacks to previous successful builds, and removal of configuration drift issues 
  • Allows for role-based access control and manual approval to keep applications secure 
  • Integrates with popular CI tools and monitoring tools to work seamlessly with your existing toolchain  

Sources: XebiaLabs Spinnaker 

 

StackStorm 

StackStorm is an open-source tool that brings all your apps, services, and workflows together.  

Features: 

  • Integrates with your existing toolchain to work seamlessly with your current technology stack 
  • Acts as a robust “If This, Then That” (IFTTT) platform that allows you to set conditional logic for all events 
  • Advanced automation capabilities let you create complex automated workflows 

Sources: XebiaLabs StackStorm 

 

Tasktop 

Tasktop is a release management tool that fully connects your software development toolchain in order to increase productivity, provide better visibility into the workflow, and deliver business value by tracking metrics to improve overall performance.  

Features: 

  • Information flows seamlessly between connected tools to reduce overhead costs and encourage cross-team collaboration 
  • Improves performance by identifying bottlenecks across the values stream and automating end-to-end flows of work throughout the toolchain  
  • Integrates with the most popular development tools and maintains a knowledge database on how integrations work across the entire SDLC  

Sources: XebiaLabs Tasktop, MindMajix Release Management 

 

UrbanCode Release 

IBM’s UrbanCode Release is a release management tool that allows users to plan, execute, and track releases through every stage of the delivery lifecycle. 

Features: 

  • Releases large and complex applications faster while reducing errors in the process 
  • Automatically deploys applications to various environments while offering easy rollback to previously successful deployments when necessary  
  • Provides visibility into the relationship between applications to transparently show the impact of changes  
  • Handle more releases effectively while mitigating risk with templates, automatic rules, and visibility 

Sources: MindMajix Release Management 

 

XebiaLabs Release Orchestration 

XebiaLabs Release Orchestration is a release management tool used to automate and orchestrate release pipelines at any scale.  

Features: 

  • Provides visibility into your release pipeline through end-to-end release dashboards that can be customized to fit your information needs 
  • Streamlines the entire software release pipeline with planning, automation, and analytics tools 
  • Helps decrease the risk of release failures by identifying bottlenecks and detecting errors early in the process 

 

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Use a tool that you think should be added to the list?  Feel free to contact us, and we will look into adding the tool! We want to make sure this list is as comprehensive and up-to-date as possible.  

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