What is most valuable?
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 flexibility to deploy multiple components in multiple environments. We do data warehousing so we have Java and WebLogic components, as well as web services, and everything can be deployed with a single tool. I really value that. As one who designed our release workflow, with the help of my team, I think that CA Release Automation is a very, very good product. We can now deploy whenever we want. We have more visibility with more logins. Our users are very happy too.
How has it helped my organization?
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 of dependencies, with the help of expert's at CA technical support. If we have for example, one application that is dependent on two more applications, we can deploy all three together. None of the applications will be down. They are always current with the latest features. That's what I love about it.
As of now, we are looking into continuous development. This will be taken into consideration as management makes the final decision. We are evaluating quite a few options. We are going to implement that very soon.
We also have implemented rules for compliance and governance. We have created multiple environments and every user group has access to the different environments. We restrict users from accessing higher environments without approval.
What needs improvement?
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 completely on Informatica. All actions for DB2 and its SQL servers are implemented and almost all the actions for WebLogic. I would love to see something coming out for Informatica.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I believe it's pretty stable. Of course, there are chances of improvement in any tool or any application. But CA Release Automation is a pretty stable application where one core piece can communicate to multiple sources and targets, which I love personally.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It can be scaled up to more than 2,000 action items. We are using about 400 actions as of now. However, due to the complex flow we use for internal company needs, we are actually doing more than a thousand.
How are customer service and technical support?
Technical support is very good. They have always been available.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We were using an in-house developed release tool, but wanted better orchestration for our releases.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was straightforward. We did encounter a few issues, such infrastructure configuration, but I didn't think there was any major problems.
What other advice do I have?
First, when you adapt your solution of Release Automation, you need to know what you actually want. What do you need, why you are doing what you're doing? Second, if the product satisfies your needs today, you need to look five years into the future. For the next five years, what are you going to achieve; then make the decision. I think Release Automation would help a lot.