Deployment tools with useful features are necessary for end-to-end automation and streamlining of the software development process for different platforms including constant updates. It is one of the problems of software development that hindered faster deployment cycles, effectively managing parallel moving processes and disparate technologies and contributed to poor communication between the development and deployment teams. With a professional deployment tool in place, the manual steps involved in the development are drastically reduced and deployment of new software and its updates is completely automated. It has a long-term positive effect on the efficiency of the team and the software is released faster in the market.
Livecoding, a social platform for developing projects live also see a wide range of deployment tools in action. Developers are keen to automate the process and make the most out of their time in solving real world problems. Automation is not new, but it is slowly taking over the development horizon. For example, Taddeimania, a popular broadcaster on Livecoding uses Capistrano to do Django Deployment.
Now there are dozens of deployment tools available on the market, and each of them has its own unique features. So, you will first need to understand your own requirements before choosing a deployment tool. You need to ask yourself questions like
- Do you need third party platforms?
- Do you need possible modeling of the design process?
- What kind of visibility and transparency do you require in such a system?
- What kind of manual decision points do you need in your system?
Once you are sure of what you require in a deployment tool, here are the twenty best software deployment tools that you can use for effective release of your software:
SaltStack is popular for PC software releases and is used by system administrators and site engineers for handling applications and its associated data. It is currently being used by large corporations to deploy their web-based infrastructures for various purposes. SaltStack includes automated data centers, cloud deployment, orchestration, server positioning and application configuration management. It is a premium software to automate DevOps, ITOps and CloudOps. They also provide training for new customers and engineers who are interested in their technology.
Electric Cloud’s Electric Flow
It is a single end-to-end software development tool that automates the delivery process like no other. It is widely used by coders to accelerate software and update release as well as reducing overall costs. It is used in the internet of things, mobile devices, embedded systems, automotive and financial services as well. It has a wide range of Use Cases including continuous delivery process and QA lab provisioning.
It is one of the best deployment tools for managing servers, ASP.NET applications, and database-based applications. It can deploy applications to both in-house servers and the cloud. It is also meant for Windows-based devices. It has a web-based easy-to-use user interface that can be used for modifying and executing deployments while monitoring the status via a dashboard. Libraries are shared between different projects and the user has to define environmental “variables” to handle the configuration between different environments.
This tool from Xebia Labs has a configurable schedule and makes communication between developers seamless. The configuration is one of the easiest available on the market and even comes with a default auto-config capability. Continuum supports popular build tools including Maven, Ant and shell types. It is best for delivering software in a fast-track process. Continuum is currently discontinued so it is advised to only use if there is no other alternative.
Hewlett-Packard’s own software deployment platform ensures intricate handling of complex multi-layered applications across their lifecycle. It offers a unique modelling approach for the coders to work across platforms with simple, reusable components. Its automated release management can be used for the long-term application pipeline management. It also offers a very different out-of-the-box integration with third party tools such as Docker, Jenkins, AWS, etc. and is able to leverage custom API.
For large-scale file transfers to servers and managing them, this deployment tool is considered one of the best. Its latest technical offerings include logic and event-driven process control which allow these large businesses to achieve greater IT efficiencies and control over its deployment and releases. It simplifies the whole process to a great extent by making workflow based composition templates.
Serena Deployment Automation
With Serena deployment automation developers can plan, control and automate the releases very effectively using its new mobile app and easy-to-use interface. It is the deployment tool that you can use on the go using a single device. The automation tool satisfies the deployment requirement and is used by major corporations. It reduces cycle times, ensure continuous delivery and upgrading while providing real-time quality feedback. Also, there is little or no programming involved as well.
Microsoft Visual Studio Release Management
Visual Studio is more of a development tool and isn’t traditionally known for its release managing capabilities. But, there is a new tool in Visual Studio Team Services and Team Foundation Server that can be very useful to automate the release and e-delivery of your software. It is also highly customizable and you can either opt for a one-size-fits-all complete automatic release or break into little segments and semi-automate them by requiring approvals before they go on deploy on the cloud or servers. It can be scaled up or down according to the size and functionality of the project.
StackStorm is a deployment and release tool which helps to automate the whole process of software deployment. It is also called the event-driven automation tool. It combines your existing infrastructure with the application environment so you can take action in specific response to events of your development and release. When failures occur, the StackStorm can assist you in addressing them directly. It also gives advice on what to automate or not and simple maintenance support as well. It has been proved great for both the DevOps and ChatOps approaches to development since you can automate everything from services, apps, and workflows. It is widely used in The Internet of things, home automation and even genome sequencing.
Midvision Rapid Deploy
A powerful deployment tool for bigger entities, it can especially do good for a continuous delivery model and help teams in automatic deployment especially regarding the risk associated with each release. With this tool, you can reduce risk by allowing the DevOps team to completely co-ordinate the entire lifecycle of your software. That includes continuous deployment and development and taking control of your entire application platform. It has an intuitive web-based interface that gives you control over environment-specific properties.
Jenkins is an open-source platform. It can also be used for a variety of roles including complex projects. You can use it as a simple CI server or even turn it in a continuous delivery scheme. Written in Java, the open-source platform could be the future of software deployment and offers packages for Windows, Mac and other UNIX-type OS. It is also one of the easiest to configure using its web interface and can be distributed across multiple machines. Jenkins also comes with hundreds of plugins to support the core idea of automating the project. The value of open source is truly visible here.
Check out smotko from Ljubljana, Slovenia use Jenkins works with GitHub.
Bamboo is a unique deployment and release tool. Its ability to work with code in any programming language or popular approaches like Amazon S3 and Docker is a major plus. Bamboo comes with a host of features. They include free add-ons, dedicated agents, and much more. This can mean almost no waiting queues while fixing bugs on the go. You can also view the roll-up of code changes since the previous deployment took place. So now you can get a clear view of the changes prior to the deployment.
Chef is an automated configuration management platform. It is generally used for configuring and updating a company’s servers while at the same time integrating with company’s cloud-based platforms like Google Cloud platform, OpenStack and Microsoft Azure. The Chef comes with basic recipes for both small, medium and large scale operations of different-sized companies. Depending on what you want, the price of their software varies and the system is flexible. It supports search-based configuration which you can use to update nodes dynamically.
It is touted as an end-to-end solution for deployment and testing of your apps and software. The number of programming languages supported by it is sizable but doesn’t include all compared to Bamboo that supports all languages. They include Rails, Node, Python, PHP, Java, Scala, Groovy and Clojure. GitHub and Heroku are obviously supported but in addition to them, BitBucket and Engine yard are also supported. It also promises high security and performance by guaranteeing you won’t be sharing any resource with other clients. The service also includes them taking care of your infrastructure and release as much as possible so that the hassle around it can be reduced and coders can focus on the actual coding. It is also being provided for organizations of all types and sizes.
Check out Codebryo from CodeShip himself work on some cutting edge projects below.
UrbanCode deploy is a great tool for using in agile development. With a focus on continuous delivery and rapid feedback, the platform is perfect for deployment release. Auditing records is a fun act and doesn’t take much time. Due to its great integration ability, changes across servers, tiers and components is orchestrated really well. There is also a clear visibility on who-changed-what-and-when. Regarding role management, you get options to allow teams to go effectively about their business and also do updates immediately.
Another open-source continuous integration platform that can be used on GitHub projects effectively. It makes the testing and release phase a matter of minutes for the average GitHuber. Travis CI has tested almost 318K projects with over 235K users so don’t consider it a lightweight at all. It is also completely free for open source projects. For private projects, you only need to pay a small price. Testing can also be done in parallel for maximum output. Every time, you run an automation, you get a fresh VM to work with. It runs on all the three major platforms, Mac, Windows and Linux.
With a focus on safety and effectiveness, Terraform is also used to automatically launch the infrastructure to the servers and cloud. The configuration is simple file-based and gives you a single view of your entire deployment. You can also combine multiple high-level providers with each other like launch a server to the cloud provider directly. But, the safe built-in method means that you can rely on it while it does that. Updates and modifications can be controlled, shared and viewed by the members of your team very effectively as well.
Echohack from United States is working on his app using Chef and Terraform. He is using Ruby as his choice of programming.
SmartFrog is a Java based deployment and configuring tool that encapsulates whole systems to make their working and reconfiguring easier. It is a flexible system that can be used to manage, install and even shut down systems. Equipped with the right controls, you can also start and stop subsystems in the right order so that you can recover from failures quickly and go back to work. It is also open-source in nature and people are encouraged to give feedback in making the product better. It has a distributed Runtime System used in developing software components and managing software. There is also added functionality and a wide range of services available in the software package.
Previously, much of its functionality was sold as a product named Cruise but it was discontinued and a new platform was released that included the previous capabilities of Cruise as well. Go is also an open-source software. It starts off with an embedded database that you can use to get started and keep using if you don’t need to scale up that much. If you do, a simple PostgreSQL plugin gives a performance upgrade so that you can manage thousands of pipelines. For critical deployments, it is better to go with PostgreSQL plugin. Go also helps against storage failure by setting up secondary Go Continuous Delivery and PostgreSQL servers so that less time is wasted. You also get direct access to the GoCD development team to help with issues and all bug fixes as well.
Deployment tools are the need for current development environment. With agile development, more and more companies are moving towards automating their deployment process. The above-mentioned 20 deployment apps will surely help you get thing rolling. Livecoding also witness many developers utilize deployment apps to push their app live. Which deployment tool you love to use? Comment below and let us know.