DevOps emphasizes cooperation between developers and IT operations. The goal of DevOps is to change and improve the relationship between software developers and operations by advocating better communication and collaboration between the two business units.
With that goal in mind, Shippable, a continuous deployment software provider, recently launched a new version of its platform that helps streamline the process of shipping software. New features in the latest version of Shippable include release management, multi-cloud support, a declarative pipeline language and a unified view across all application pipelines.
The goal of Agile environments is to get developers to move their applications from source code to production as quickly and painlessly as possible. This means breaking down silos and integrating core components for more simplified development using a contiguous pipeline approach. Shippable’s new features help software-powered organizations further streamline the process of shipping software and accelerating innovation.
The platform enables developers to visualize the flow of their software from code to production in a unified view across applications. This helps identify bottlenecks so developers or operations can address them as needed.
The platform integrates with the major tooling environments and cloud infrastructures, as well as container technology. Developer workspace provider Codenvy said DevOps is implemented through a continuous delivery software pipeline. And continuous delivery encompasses continuous development, integration and deployment. Meanwhile, containers are helping redefine DevOps. For instance, Shippable is providing automated DevOps with Docker.
Shippable integrates with Docker, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Container Service, Google Kubernetes, Microsoft Azure Container Service, Joyent Triton and Apache Mesos DC/OS.
“With [Shippable’s] new release, customers can leverage our declarative language, easily compose fungible pipelines and start the process of rapid innovation in a matter of hours,” Avi Cavale, co-founder and CEO at Shippable, in a statement.
Initially, the company added new features mainly for its own developers internally, but as the platform and customer base grew, they began to support external developers, Cavale said.
“We run over 3 million deployment workflows a year for our customers, and I think that by itself speaks for the battle readiness, resilience and scale of the platform,” he said.
Meanwhile, putting DevOps into practice, Unisys earlier this month snagged a $232 million contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Unisys will employ an AWS-based DevOps environment to build new projects and integrate them into the agency’s cloud-based infrastructure.
Unisys has committed to apply Agile development methodologies to facilitate the delivery of software for its application modernization and maintenance efforts under the contract, the company said.
DevOps is a new core competency for Unisys. In July, the company won a $12.6 million contract with the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Public Buildings Service (PBS). Under the contract, Unisys will use a DevOps software development model to help the agency focus on smaller software releases that are deployed more rapidly and incrementally.
“Unisys will bring the technical and management expertise that PBS needs to manage its change to a DevOps model and to make it work,” Casey Coleman, group vice president for civilian agencies at Unisys Federal, said in a statement. “Our DevOps experience with other government agencies as well as commercial clients can help PBS to more collaboratively and efficiently develop and deploy the systems needed to manage the U.S. federal government’s properties and facilities.”
A Unisys spokesman told eWEEK the company has DevOps experience with federal clients, such as the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Homeland Security.
For these and other clients, Unisys provides a host of DevOps consulting services that include assessment, strategy advisory services and implementation management and support service to help them maximize the efficiency of their software releases. The company also offers a custom set of DevOps managed services to meet customers’ individualized needs.
DevOps, Agile Software Delivery Catching Fire
Meanwhile, Gartner recently released its rankings of application release automation (ARA) software providers. The Gartner report stated that ARA tools are a key part of enabling the DevOps goal of achieving continuous delivery with large numbers of rapid, small releases.
Gartner sees substantial growth in this space. The research firm estimates that the ARA market grew from $20 million in 2010 to $219.7 million in 2015 and projects that it will grow by 20 percent annually through 2020.
Gartner identified CA Technologies’ CA Release Automation as a leader in the ARA software market.
“End-to-end automation of the software code pipeline is a requirement for agile organizations focused on quickly bringing innovations to market,” said Jeff Scheaffer, general manager of Continuous Delivery at CA Technologies, said in a statement.
“CA Technologies’ ARA product provides out-of-the-box support for the variety of vendors, platforms, middleware and operating systems likely needed by enterprise release teams,” the Gartner report said.
Gartner also recognized IBM, Automic, XebiaLabs and Electric Cloud as leaders in the ARA software market.
In the Agile development space, GitLab, the open-source code collaboration project that enables developers to develop, test and deploy together, recently released Issue Board, an integrated tool that simplifies the software release management process and provides real-time visibility of project issues across an organization. Issue Board enables developers to visualize and manage issues from within GitLab.
The new product builds on GitLab’s issue tracking functionality. With Issue Board, issues appear as cards on the board. GitLab officials said the Issue Board is focused on improving how software is released. By providing real-time visibility and insight of all developer issues, developer teams can better prioritize where to focus their efforts. For instance, large enterprises may have 10,000 or more issues at any given time. The software also provides more accurate planning of projects as well as forecasting for each release.
The Issue Board starts with two lists: Backlog and Done. And users can create up to 10 lists.
In other Agile development-related news, Scrum.org, an organization formed around the Scrum development methodology and the Agile Manifesto, announced that Kurt Bittner, an expert on Agile and iterative software development approaches, has joined the company as vice president of enterprise solutions.
Bittner joins Scrum.org from Forrester Research, where he was a principal analyst covering how enterprises are adopting Agile and DevOps practices. At Scrum.org, he will be responsible for enterprise-level professional software delivery initiatives.
“Increasingly, organizations see software as the key for business success, but to do it well, development teams must be professional,” said Ken Schwaber, co-creator of Scrum and founder of Scrum.org. “Scrum.org, which focuses on professional Scrum through assessments and certification, training and licensed Professional Scrum Trainers, is developing enterprise initiatives to provide that organizational environment that enables multiple teams to work together more effectively.”
Lastly, Blueprint Software recently launched Storyteller for JIRA, which enables companies to successfully deliver Agile development projects. The software enables developers to use process models to automatically generate user stories and their acceptance criteria and push them into JIRA—Atlassian’s popular Agile project management and issue tracking system. In Agile software development, a user story is used to describe a software feature or function that users require.
Transitioning from the waterfall software development model to Agile can cause many issues for organizations, Ruth Zive, vice president of marketing at Blueprint Software, said in a statement.
“A critical issue here is that business stakeholders and analysts don’t know how to write good user stories,” she said. “Storyteller for JIRA solves this issue by creating a visual process that doesn’t rely on lengthy training or a wall full of sticky notes. With just a few clicks and easily answered questions, user stories are automatically generated, streamlining and accelerating the development process.”