Application Release Automation (ARA)
Application-release automation (ARA) refers to the process of packaging and deploying an application or update of an application from development, across various environments, and ultimately to production. ARA solutions must combine the capabilities of deployment automation, environment management and modeling, and release coordination.
Application release automation (ARA) allows agile software development teams to collaborate in programming across workstations using version control utilities. Web server configuration for software can be standardized to deploy in containers across public cloud hardware vendors. Application release automation (ARA) speeds up the software development process with better code testing and security.
- Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD): ARA is a crucial component within the CI/CD pipeline, facilitating the automated deployment phase, ensuring that software changes are automatically tested, integrated, and deployed to production environments seamlessly.
- DevOps: ARA is a cornerstone in the DevOps methodology, enabling rapid, consistent, and reliable software releases by bridging the gap between development and operations teams.
- Software Deployment: ARA automates the process of software deployment, ensuring that applications are delivered to various environments without manual intervention, minimizing errors and improving efficiency.
- Infrastructure as Code (IaC): While ARA focuses on the automation of application releases, IaC deals with the automation of infrastructure provisioning. Both are complementary practices, ensuring automation across the software delivery and infrastructure lifecycle.
- Continuous Testing: Continuous Testing ensures that software changes are continuously validated. In conjunction with ARA, it ensures that only validated changes are deployed, improving release quality.
- Version Control System (VCS): VCS tools like Git store code changes and history. ARA interfaces with these systems to fetch the correct software versions for deployment, ensuring consistency and traceability.
- Build Automation: Build Automation involves automatically compiling and packaging software. ARA takes over post this phase, handling the deployment of these built packages to various environments.
- Configuration Management (CM) Tools (e.g., Ansible, Puppet):
These tools automate the configuration of servers and applications. While ARA handles the release process, Configuration Management Tools ensure that environments are correctly set up and maintained.
- Container Orchestration (e.g., Kubernetes): Container Orchestration platforms manage containers, which can be used to package and deploy applications. ARA can leverage these platforms to automate the deployment of containerized applications.
- Application Lifecycle Management (ALM): Relationship: ALM manages the end-to-end lifecycle of an application. ARA plays a pivotal role within ALM during the release phase, ensuring that software changes transition smoothly from development to production.