Automating Automation

Written by: Electric Bee

Rally. Apache. Glassfish. WebSphere. IIS. JBoss. Oracle. Tomcat. Jetty. Ant. MSBuild. Make. Coverity. Cobertura. CodeScanner. Klockwork. Jenkins. DBI. SQL Server. MySQL. Oracle DB. Bugzilla. ClearQuest. JIRA. Rally. ALM. AppHarbor. Heroku. Docker. Amazon EC2. Azure. Chef. Puppet. AWS. OpenStack. Git. SVN. DBI. Perforce. ServiceNow. ClearCase.
And the list goes on…
When your teams tell you “sure, we’re automated”, or - perhaps more importantly - when you’re lying in bed at night trying to convince yourself that your software delivery process is automated - ask this question instead: is your end to end process automated, or do you just utilize a bunch of automation tools?
These are 2 very different questions. For many people, it turns out that they just utilize a bunch of automation tools, but their end to end process isn’t truly automated. Some will point to the thousands of lines of in-house scripts that have been written to automate a delivery, but fail to mention that it takes weeks to fix these scripts when one of their automation tools are updated…or experience anxiety knowing that the person who wrote these scripts just left the company.
Yet others will ‘forget’ that Doug – the in-house OpenStack expert, or Bob – the in-house Oracle expert, are needed during every release cycle because without their expertise the delivery grinds to a halt.
Continuous Delivery (CD) can transform businesses by enabling innovation, improving product quality, and dramatically decreasing time to market, risks and costs. To implement an effective CD methodology, enterprises must integrate, orchestrate, automate, and manage potentially hundreds of disparate point tools and environments used across their development, operations, and IT organizations. And that’s a hard shoe to fill.
Some organizations believe that they have implemented a Continuous Delivery just because their individual groups (silos) are using automated tools . But, if one examines the flow between these groups, what is more likely found is a scenario riddled with manual handoffs.

Besides being error prone, this manual interaction is slow, does not provide a ‘single pane of glass’ visibility and control of the entire end-to-end pipeline, and doesn’t efficiently implement CD.

We've recently published a whitepaper that discusses the importance of end-to-end automation in the software delivery process. If lack of real CD automation infrastructure is causing you to lie awake at night, you should read this paper.

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