Software Delivery Platforms to Benefit DevOps Practices
Software Delivery Platforms to Benefit DevOps Practices
In this era where applications are taking over the world, delivering the service to your customer with scalability and security is of the utmost importance. The software delivery platform helps to manage the data flow, traffic management, and security of the data from both sides of the application. If you are studying software delivery platforms, then most of you must have heard about the Codefresh software delivery platform for continuous integration and continuous deployment of the application. Software delivery platforms simplify the CI/CD framework and manage the application beyond CI/CD for delivering the best version of software to its end-users. But now, you must be thinking about what is CI/CD and how it’s related to software delivery platforms.
Use the following table of contents to navigate through the blog piece.
What are software/application delivery platforms?
Application delivery is the process of carrying out the application features and taking feedback from end-users. Companies use application delivery to ensure the application is working as expected with proper data security, server management, etc. Application or software delivery platforms work as an intermediate to the necessary things like security management, traffic management, bug reports, etc., on behalf of the company developing the application.
Software delivery platforms manage most DevOps things like CI/CD, pipeline builds, release management, etc. It also helps in scaling the architecture whenever required so that you never run out of memory or server due to a lack of cloud services.
These platforms manage the testing of the application in addition to the testing done by developers. This way, they assure the project managers of the quality of testing and whether the application is ready to go into production.
Organizations can also switch on or off features in application delivery platforms. For example, you may want to enable some features during the day but not at night. You can use feature flags to make the life of developers easy. Feature flags give freedom to release software as quickly as you can develop it without rigorous testing.
What is the difference between CI/CD and application delivery platforms?
CI/CD stands for continuous integration and continuous deployment. Continuous integration helps the developer team make small changes very efficiently without having to worry about whether anything will break. Yes, there are some basic things that a developer keeps in mind before pushing the code, but most of the automated tests, code quality, and styling issues are handled by a continuous integration tool. An example of a continuous integration tool is Jenkins. Jenkins is an open-source tool used for CI and automation of most tasks related to it.
Continuous deployment is only related to the deployment of the application and starts after constant integration. Continuous deployment does not segregate the features which are to be released or not; it just deploys the code it gets after completion of CI. It deploys the application on all the environments and ensures the build is passing correctly. You can do scheduled deployment as well, i.e., every morning, weekly, biweekly, etc. But as deployment doesn’t take as much of your time, it is preferred to do it as soon as the code is ready in small parts. It helps in debugging the application efficiently in case of any issues.
Software/application delivery is a bit different from CI/CD. Software delivery cares about the code that will live in the production and lets the users use the application securely and easily. The code has to go through many kinds of testing in addition to the tests written by developers. It ensures the code security and validity going into production.
What are the features of a software delivery platform
Software delivery platforms let users use the application seamlessly and securely. It provides many features that help deliver the software to end-users easily.
Automation of deployment:
Software delivery platforms automate deployment by handling tasks such as building pipelines, testing against different environments, etc. This makes the process super fast and effortless. Before the software delivery platform, this process was very tedious and time-consuming. In software delivery platforms, once the application passes all the tests, it gets automatically deployed on staging and then production. It removes the headache of manually deploying to production, and developers can see their features live quickly.
Most companies utilize the microservices architecture as it helps in controlling the application in a more precise way. Software delivery platforms help in monitoring the microservices applications. In a microservice, you have to see the traces, error logs, and bug reports to continuously improve performance. Software delivery platforms help to manage the micro infrastructure efficiently. You can also manage the deployment of each and every service separately and control the feature inside them using the feature flags technique.
Software delivery platforms must provide third-party integrations for connecting various applications. For example, a Slack integration can be used to make an alerting bot for your team, and a GitHub integration will help you manage the code effectively and get the right task done by the right person. Most software delivery platforms have third-party integrations that make the lives of developers easier. Some examples of third-party integrations of Scout APM are - Slack, Github, Rollbar, Pagerduty, Sentry, etc.
Feature flags are used for testing some features for a set of users and determining whether or not it is safe to release into production. Software delivery platforms have feature flags to stop the feature if the team feels it is unsuitable for the application. You won’t need to redeploy your application if you have applied a feature flags check. You can also use feature flags to control some global function or replace it with something else. This way, you have full control over the application even after it’s in production.
How does APM work with software delivery platforms?
Application performance monitoring tools are for monitoring the various metrics of the applications, such as error rates, response time, memory bloat issues, etc. APMs work with metrics and show the data in different UI for easy analysis. Software delivery platforms help to streamline the process of monitoring applications by providing a stable and secured environment for running builds and pipelines. Software delivery platforms increase the productivity of developers by enabling the automation of bug reports, trace monitoring, etc. You can drill down the traces of the bugs coming into the application and see the root cause.
APM works well with software delivery platforms for cutting the extra work of DevOps teams like maintaining metrics, testing software against real test scenarios, and securely deploying them to end-users. After that, APM lets you monitor the application in whatever way you want. Scout APM supports applications in many languages such as PHP, Python, Ruby, Elixir, etc. It gives you all the options you need to smoothen the monitoring process of your application. Scout APM gives you the data you require for your application, and then after analyzing it, you can make decisions and deploy using a software delivery platform.
Software delivery platforms take the performance of your application to the next level by ensuring the best code goes to production. There are many application delivery platforms available in the market like Harness, CloudBees, Codefresh, etc. You can use an APM tool with software delivery platforms for streamlining the process of development and debugging your application.
Scout APM is known for its easy-to-use UI, installation, and showing you all the important metrics of the application. You can see things like response time, error rate, and memory bloat using the Scout APM dashboard, and some exclusive features of Scout include N+1 queries, real-time monitoring, slow query detection, etc. You can try Scout APM now for 14 days! Sign up on this page to check out the new experience of monitoring your app and see how Scout APM increases the productivity of your team.