We asked these tool providers to share more information on how their solutions help companies deal with release automation challenges. Their responses are below.

Paul Stovell, founder and CTO, Octopus Deploy

DevOps is about bringing teams together to collaborate. But when it comes to automation, the tooling is fragmented. Most CI/CD tools do a basic job of deployments and are designed for developers. Operations teams, meanwhile, need to use completely different tooling to automate the runbooks that keep the software running.

There’s no reuse and no single source of truth. The tooling reinforces the silos and discourages sharing and collaboration, and forces a duplication of effort to connect to the infrastructure in multiple tools.

We approach it differently. Octopus Deploy is the first platform to enable your developers, release managers, and operations folks to bring all automation into a single place.

Release automation creates repeatable paths to software delivery
A guide to release automation tools

By reusing configuration variables, environment definition, API keys, connection strings, permissions, service principals, and automation logic, teams work together from a single platform. Silos break down, collaboration begins, and your team can ship –⁠ and operate –⁠ software with greater confidence.

Built for enterprises, Octopus also makes it easy to meet compliance objectives by default. A rich audit log, fine-grained permissions, templates, approval workflows, and more enable you to confidently control who has access to production and create a consistent production deployment process across large portfolios of projects. 

Jessica Cregg, Developer Advocate, LaunchDarkly

Speed can make or break a business. Organizations that move too slowly to keep up with customer demands or market trends risk falling behind their competition. 

Just as gathering and analyzing customer feedback and real-time market data have advanced, the methodologies for building and releasing new features have followed in-suit to keep up. But with competition at an all-time high, speed to market can’t come at the expense of quality. 

Enter release automation. The critical factor that enables teams to ship releases at the speed of business while reducing the risks of shipping buggy code. To this end, creating a structured end-to-end release automation process can support:

Release progression – in managing multiple environments to underscore continuous integration (CI) practices

Progressive delegation – giving QA teams the ability to fully validate changes in a production-level environment and find issues that otherwise would go undetected 

This combination of progressive delivery and delegation can act as a safeguard against shipping bugs. Working in tandem, these principles empower teams by providing more control throughout release cycles and helping ensure clean code.

The real advantage of automated processes and programmatic control over feature flags when supporting release automation is minimizing human errors. Flag triggers and ‘set and forget’ releases can simplify the complexity that comes with managing multiple branches and numerous releases – a problem only amplified when releasing at pace. Release automation as a development methodology ultimately works to streamline build processes, testing, and deployment workflows to empower progressive delivery.