Application Release Automation, or ARA, is the consistent, repeatable and auditable process of packaging and deploying an application or update of an application from development, across various environments, and ultimately to production.
“Go forth…and automate!” says Wesley Pullen, general manager and vice president of deployment solutions at CloudBees. He declares this in his recent article on DevOps.com . Why such a declaration? Because software organizations that implement successful ARA eliminate the need to build and maintain custom scripts for application deployments, while simultaneously reducing configuration errors and downtime. In other words, by automating the release process, software organizations can deploy better software faster.
So how does an organization implement Application Release Automation? Wesley points out in the article that there are five fundamental building blocks of successful ARA:
Packaging – Packaging creates the bill of materials for your deployment. It is your way of knowing exactly what you need to move from point A to point B.
Dependencies - Dependencies are a critical cog in the ARA process. When you are working on your release, you need to understand what other applications or components are involved for its success.
Promotion – Promotion in the context of Application Release Automation is the process of moving the application or update from one stakeholder to the next so that the release is as close to perfect as possible before it is deployed.
Deployment – Deployment is the act of launching your application and from point A to point B. Using the word “launch” is no mistake – it’s just like the commander of a space operation pushing the launch key.
Compliance – Compliance is literally, “Are you following the rules of the game?” However, the rules of compliance vary wildly within different environments.
With a strong understanding of these five building blocks, you will have a solid base to start exploring the wonderful world of Application Release Automation. Click here to check out Wesley’s article to learn more and, “Go forth…and automate!”
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