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Application release automation (ARA) is the process of packaging and deploying an application or software update. ARA goes from development through production. The process, and the tooling that makes it happen, brings together solutions that automate deployment, manage and model environments and coordinate releases. ARA solutions sometimes form part of the broader DevOps process.
When IT Central Station members write about their preferences for Application Release Automation software, the word “complete” comes up a lot. The more extensive the reach of the release automation solution, the more productive it will make the team that uses it. For instance, some members expect an ARA solution to touch all aspects of infrastructure/platform/code deployments and un-deployments, rather than just software alone. They want ARA tools that are easy to integrate with their existing system management and development solutions. Additionally, ARA should support advanced capabilities like continuous delivery.
Release automation users need to be able to create flows and control statements. The system should be able to detect errors and report on them automatically. This is a big time saver. IT Central Station members recommend application automation software that enables visual design, logic design and process design. Anything to make the Release Operations Center (ROC) run more efficiently is highly prized. Along these lines, users want solutions that can deploy without needing to know what is happening in the background.
Some of the most valuable features of CA Release Automation are definitely the shared components, as well as the tokens. Shared components within this application are repeatable processes that you can assign throughout multiple applications,... more»
In our pipeline, right now, it's used as the release. We use Jenkins to build our applications and then it sends over to Release Automation. It's basically changed the way that we're doing our deployments. We now have, instead of three-hour... more»
Some features that it's currently missing are the components that CA has put into their Continuous Delivery Edition product. That product should probably be combined with this product, instead of being a separate product. I would say that... more»
Scalability and auditability. The capability to provide visibility to the stakeholders, to management, is the biggest piece that showcases what the solution is about. Our whole approach of release automation is geared around it.
I would say our headwind, or our time to market, is reduced considerably. We get more consistent results out of it, because you write one time and once it's automated you expect it to behave the same way every time. And it cut down a lot of... more»
One of the biggest features I've been asked by my team to put in there is opening more scripting languages to be part of the platform. There is a little bit of a learning curve in learning how to code some of the workflows in Automic at this... more»
Here are the top three features: * Deployment workflow (WF) can be designed this way, so that it is not necessary to provide all applications (systems) artifacts of which an application consists. Presence of deployed artifacts may differ in... more»
CA Automic ARA solution gave us the ability to: * Be faster and more flexible. In first pilot run, we achieved five times faster deployment without human work. * Be effective. We are saving tens of millions of dollars of work from our IT... more»
GUI for mobile phones: Availability to approve and start deployment through mobile phones. Better dashboards and reporting: About deployed versions, planned deployments, waiting deployments, and so on. Infrastructure discovery functionality:... more»
It’s not necessarily the product, but more the drive to automate deployment that results in improvements. UCD gives the freedom to create reusable component templates. You set up a process for deploying something once, such as a standalone... more»
WebSphere deployments, for some reason, don’t work out-of-the-box. We have worked on the Websphere issue with the IBM uDeploy development team a lot more now. What we want to be able to do is apply configurations to the Websphere using the... more»
We were running approximately 40 manual steps, and we're getting this down to two manual steps, thereby alleviating some of the copy-paste errors, some of the transposition errors that we're currently doing that affect our customers.
For my organization, in particular, it’s going to improve our throughput. We're not going to have delays in testing, because we had some sort of manual entry error, some transposition error. We should be able to release our software to the... more»
Indicating room for improvement is difficult, because we're so immersed in what we're doing right now. There's a lot of things that we can see that can be included. Working with our consultant, he's helping us address some of those issues,... more»
As an engineering program manager, I was responsible for making sure that we're taking the 43 steps that are our manual process, and automating those. That actually takes our software delivery to our set-top boxes and automates the process to... more»
Basically, right now, it takes our software configuration management team and our download configuration management team 4-5 hours to be able to encapsulate the software with the necessary header information to be able to send it to the... more»
How the product could really improve is when we were actually given the product and started to implement it, we were looking to CA to provide best-case scenarios. But because we're so unique, we had no templates to work off of. CA could... more»
* The speed which it deploys, and the accuracy. * Gives people insight into what's happening during the deployment. * The metrics gathered after deployment, for example, the rate of success versus the rate of failure. * We also notice places... more»
There are not enough hours in a day or week for us to do our jobs. We joke, we call the Automation like another person, or another few people. It lets us multitask much better, gives us a lot more confidence in what we do. At the end of the... more»
I think I spoke about this to them. The key thing is support for cloud-based deployment. That is lacking. Today, the whole world is looking at cloud deployment, running a cloud application. But it doesn't seem this platform will have that... more»
For us, Release Automation is a very critical tool that allows us to reproduce, redeliver, and redeploy all our various code in a timely manner and with minimum number of errors. We are very careful about compliance and Release Automation... more»
The main benefit to us is the reduced amount of time spent on migration errors. It also brought us a more efficient way of migrating on command with full automation. And third, most critical to us was that the turnaround time for any... more»
Of course, we need to test this more, but I want to see much more seamless integration between Release Automation and CA Service Virtualization or DevTest. Right now we have to do a lot of intervention, and we would rather automate that... more»
We were using an in-house developed release tool, but we wanted to achieve better orchestration in our workflow. We wanted to be able to release more frequently and have greater visibility for our team. CA Release Automation gave us the... more»
Right now, our developers are very, very excited to use it. We can release multiple code features at one time. That is the biggest benefit. In large projects, there are often code dependencies between applications. Now, we have set up a list... more»
I know that continuous delivery's already coming, but I still need to see how it will work out. What I personally want to see is more features for data warehousing deployment. Right now, I prefer Informatica. We want an action pack to deploy... more»
* Ability to maintain the maps of different environments in a single tool. The way the tool organizes and manages the information to be used in the automation deployment is one of its strengths. It is possible to have a map of all the... more»
There have been improvements in several kinds of projects: * Projects with more than 5,000 servers and daily deployments. * Projects in which we must manage the deployment in a cloud environment based on the monitoring. As the number of users... more»
Integration with other technologies such as Dockers. The solution has the capability of integration with other technologies, and I can do this without problems. The issue is that all the tasks are performed and managed in an ad-hoc manner. I... more»
It has significantly improved the workload balance of the people that are part of my group. It's also helped us to have less business disruption and these are the primary ways in which it has helped our organization. It's far more efficient... more»
There is a continuous delivery version of this product that I believe will solve some of the problems we have; so I'm looking forward to it. Currently we do deployment automation and I want to get to release automation, which is automating... more»
We use it for data deployment. Before implementing this tool, we used to do deployment manually and it used to take us close to two months at a time. Once we got this tool, it initially took close to 6 months to create a complete framework... more»
We are saving a lot of manual hours with this tool. That is the most important thing. And it's very flexible. We can implement changes fast with this tool. We learned about this deployment tool from CA. It's really effective in the department... more»
The most important thing is the release automation. There are a few things which we already raised at a recent conference, such as the release XML. In order to replace that, we needed to go in the server, delete it, and then recreate the... more»
For our team, CA RA has made the one-click deployment a reality. It provides a web-based GUI with a convenient dashboard, Release Operations Center (ROC) to manage deployments, and agent health checks.
CA RA integrates seamlessly with multiple front-end, DB, and MW technologies. The time savings for repetitive tasks is tremendous. It also provides role-based, user administration where the DEV and QA were given access to use CA RA as a... more»
The automation designer GUI slows down the host when it is launched. The reporting feature is not excellent. You cannot import/export the workflows effectively between multiple CA RA environments. Additionally, this product is only able to... more»
This product provides pre-built action packs for many of the most popular platforms and appliances. The product allows users to create custom actions when action packs are not yet available. This allows us to leverage this studio across our... more»
We have seen significant improvements in efficiency through the use of CA Release Automation by allowing us to standardize our deployment processes and automate those processes. This has decreased time-to-market for several of our teams and... more»
The learning curve for this tool is somewhat steep. While setting up a basic deployment process is simple, improving those processes to include integration into monitoring tools or implementing complex deployment processes can be a... more»
By standardizing the automated deployment application process, reducing the amount of errors due to manual steps and by providing visibility into the release cycles of various teams/applications, we've improved our global efficiency by at... more»
A valuable feature of this product is faster delivery time. Initially, we had 4 days for deployment which has now changed to only a few minutes for core deployment. For database schema changes, we are performing automated deployment.
Previously, we were hiring external contractors who were responsible for deployment. Now, we have removed them from the equation and instead we are using this tool. This has benefited us, not just in terms of costs for paying the external... more»
We would like mainframe automation deployment. It is one of the biggest components in our organization. For distributed applications, we obviously need to have more on the mainframe, as well, so that we can have 100% accomplishment. So, we... more»
The system seems unstable as we are constantly having to re-connect execution servers and agents that go offline. In addition, the upgrade process has been painful in our experience and we usually run into issues requiring support assistance.
Previously, for a planned release, an Excel-based implementation plan had to be created and validated beforehand in a production-like environment. On the go-live date, a high number of resources were required to run that implementation plan... more»
Performance of the tool is quite slow. It takes a lot of time to load a plan if the plan size is bigger. Also, the reporting feature needs to be strengthened to provide more valuable real-time reports.
Technical Specialist - DEVOPS at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Dec 18 2016
What do you think of UrbanCode Deploy?
Gates is one interesting feature, which will help approvers provide their approvals in advance, without having to rely on when deployment happens.
• Improvements to My Organization
It has helped developers manage and deploy their own applications.
• Room for Improvement
The Archiving policy is something which should be looked at. The resource tree is pretty bulky and slow. Making a change to the resource tree manually is pretty difficult when size increases.
• Use of Solution
I have been using it for more than six years.
• Deployment Issues
Sometimes logs were not returned back and answers were not found, but still re-executing them worked fine. Also, when the application history grows and resource tags with component tags are used, actual...
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Sr. Adviseur Bedrijfsvoering ICT (Sr. Business Consultant ICT)
After 10+ years of developing back-end financial services applications on the AS400 I've switched to Java (web)development, specializing in (Build)Tooling. Opening up a whole new and exciting world for me, exposing me to new tools and frameworks. So I have a lot to chew on for the comming years... more>>