Broadening its scope from app-centric deployments to a more release-centric approach, UrbanCode has announced uRelease, which the company describes as a governance tool for the release of multiple applications together.

Organizations often face challenges related to integrated releases, or “mega releases,” when there are interdependencies between applications, or when a change in code impacts 10 different applications that all have to be rolled out together, explained Maciej Zawadzki, UrbanCode’s cofounder and CEO.

“uRelease takes a more holistic view of release management, including impact on operations,” he said, beyond the company’s uDeploy tool, which automates deployment of a single application at a time. “Release management might require provisioning of new hardware, or beefing up instances in a cluster, or IT might be changing the network configuration. There are infrastructure changes associated with a release and with a set of applications.” uRelease, he continued, helps coordinate all the information and parties that are part of a multi-application release.

Along with release management is the concept of environment management, Zawadzki added. “When you’re talking about mega releases, they’re being worked on in parallel. People have to be careful about which environments get which releases.” For example, organizations that have pre-holiday and post-holiday releases with additional features have to be sure the correct release goes to the appropriate environment—test or production. “Interdependencies create a whole slew of complexities” in release, he said.

One of the important features of uRelease is Deployment Plan, which helps organizations keep track of tasks, whether manual or automated, associated with releases. These tasks may be grouped into segments and executed at different times, and the feature also tracks which tasks have been performed and which are waiting, Zawadzki said.

The new tool is designed to help organizations that have these multiple releases get them out the door more quickly, he said. “Companies are watching their basket of eggs like a hawk,” he said. “There’s a lot more time spent preparing the release. Then changes get rolled in, so the release is larger, but now it’s riskier, so more time is spent testing. You can only do a couple of releases per year this way.

“Our customers,” he continued, “want to reduce from quarterly releases to every couple of weeks.”