Workflow Automation that Enables Your Development Cloud

Written by: Electric Bee
3 min read
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A critical piece that many R&D and software development organizations are still missing which stops them from making the transition to a Public , Private or Hybrid Cloud infrastructure to power their development and testing efforts is the level of automation that ties their individual processes, workitems, roles and compute resources together – that is workflow automation.
With CloudBees and our workflow automation technology, many of our customers have been able to completely change the game in how their software and products are being developed, produced and monitored from an engineering and IT point of view.
So, what do I actually mean by Workflow Automation? I mean more than just “how to compile my code, and then run some tests”, more than simple Continuous Integration – I mean how can we actually automate and manage the entire lifecycle of your development process from the time your projects and workitems are defined in your issue/project tracking system to the time your deliverables are actually being burnt on to your CD-ROM, embedded onto the firmware of your smartphone device, deployed to the production environment serving your public website or just about any other way that you actually ship and release your product to your end customers. Tie that with self-serviced and elastic compute capabilities providing on-demand resources leveraged from any underlying physical, virtual or cloud-based infrastructure and you have suddenly realized a very valuable feature enabling your Development Cloud.
This whole iterative and repetitive “cradle-to-grave” process, including task and defect management, workspace enablement, dynamic virtual machine and cloud-instance provisioning, source code checkouts, compilations, unit tests, static code analysis, system tests, regression tests, notifications, packaging, deployments to various QA, staging and production environments – this whole workflow needs to be modeled somewhere, and it needs to be captured somewhere where all the metadata that goes along with it is recorded, maintained and accessible to allow for the analysis, visibility and automated feedback-mechanisms required by a successful R&D organization in the 21st century.
Below is a screenshot where ElectricCommander from within its web interface interactively visualizes an active dev/qa/deploy/release workflow, notice how its current state is highlighted in green:

CloudBees brings you the most flexible and versatile workflow automation capabilities available – modeling your most complex development workflows exactly the way your organization has defined. By leveraging this technology our customers have realized dramatic process improvements in many of the critical dimensions factoring the success of their product development – speed, scalability, scope and quality, all of them in the end boiling down to reduced costs.
Below you find an interesting example of the kind of workflow (or sometimes referred to as a pipeline) that our customers model and automate using ElectricCommander:

For managing the development, QA and production deployments of the environments serving their public, generally available and popular website, one of our customers put together and then modeled and automated the above workflow using ElectricCommander. Once code has been checked into the SCM system by the developers, the full automation orchestrated by ElectricCommander kicks in and manages the complete workflow from there on downstream to the actual production deployment, managing not only all the processes and tools required to produce and validate/verify the correct binary output but also all the compute resources and target environments in play.
If you’d be interested in learning more about the above workflow implementations, its automation and resource management please don’t hesitate to contact us - we’d be happy to explain for you in more details how you could leverage CloudBees technology to enable the flexibility you need to meet the automation requirements of your Development Cloud.

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