10 Indispensable Software Deployment Tools
Software Deployment Tools (SDTs) help make software systems available to the target endpoints in a network from a central location. They include installation, distribution, configuration, upgrade, and management tools. All software applications need to be upgraded regularly, require new features from time to time, need security reinforcements against new and coming threats, require updates to remove bugs, and so on. Due to the growing numbers of users, it becomes a major challenge to deploy software across the entire user base.
This is where SDTs come into play. They help developers automate existing services, deploy tasks, and monitor user activity and application functioning. SDTs give developers an easy way to guarantee the proper installation of software bundles. Packaging the programs and installation processes together makes sure that no part of the installation is ignored.
In this article, we will be discussing the top 10 software deployment tools. Feel free to navigate the guide using these links:
- Essential Deployment Tools
- Advantages of Choosing the Right Tools for Your Deployment
- How to Evaluate Tools for Software Deployment
- Make Your Next Deployment Seamless
Essential Deployment Tools
Software Deployment (SD) is a complex process, and there are plenty of tools available in the public domain to ease the experience. Choosing the right SDT depends entirely on the compatibility and variability of the software. Maybe one SDT that works well for one software may not suit another at all. Here are some of the best SDTs on the market.
Scout APM is a lightweight performance monitoring tool used to gain insights into the performance of applications built with Ruby on Rails, Elixir, Python, PHP, and Node.js. Scout APM helps to quickly recognize and address your application’s performance problems by integrating deep instrumentation with a rational, mature, and clutter-free UI.
Monitoring the performance of an application is an essential part of its maintenance lifecycle. Without proper observability of your application’s health, you may lose out on revenue to customer experience issues outside of your knowledge. APM solutions help you detect and resolve issues that may cause downtime and help you gain insight into how customers are using your application.
With features like memory bloat detection, N+1 and slow queries detection, endpoint monitoring, and more, Scout enables you to clear out any bottlenecks present in your application. With real-time alerting, you are always in the loop for any incoming issues.
Why is it Important?
- It provides proactive alerting, real-time insights, and 24*7 support.
- It allows developers to quickly and easily monitor performance issues and regressions in real-time.
- It provides insights into where the app is losing on time and helps to resolve the issue.
- It compares performance between deploys and Deploys Tracking.
- It pinpoints the cause of performance issues down to the precise line of code causing them, helping developers resolve issues impacting customer experience quickly.
Bamboo is a continuous integration and software deployment tool developed by Atlassian in 2007. It offers some features in its free plans and integrates with other software like JIRA, Bitbucket, and FishEye.
Bamboo acts as the continuous integration and deployment server for your builds and provides a special agent to your critical builds. As a CI/CD server, it builds after every commit and provides multi-stage checks and set alerts. After the build is done, it runs your product through automated and rigorous tests after each change to have no loopholes. When the product passes through various tests and builds, Bamboo automatically deploys the product into each environment with the control in your hands, so you can set permissions for the deployment as needed.
Bamboo is highly compatible with AWS CodeDeploy and Docker to provide everything that you will need in the final version of your product. You can watch the continuous status of the build after every commit with the help of integrations like FishEye, Bitbucket, Crucible, etc. Also, integrating Opsgenie with Bamboo helps you provide incident alerts and quick fixes related to deployment issues, which eases the task of the monitoring team.
Why is it Important?
- You can easily import previous builds from any popular tool, and with the help of tools like Git and SVN, it is effortless to build and deploy.
- You can easily import the previous build for those returning from Jenkins in a very short period.
- You can quickly deploy your product with the help of tools like AWS CodeDeploy and Docker. Integrate these tools, and they will do the rest of the work for you with some permissions.
- Integrations like Git, Bitbucket, FishEye, Crucible, Mercurial, CVS, Bambo, etc. also provide full Firebase Cloud Messaging support, meaning you can see the information about each line of code like the author, publish date, commit date, and more.
Jenkins is an open-source automation software used for continuous integration and delivery of applications. This tool provides integration with many software products to provide you constant integration and automation for your projects.
Jenkins can be used as a simple CI server or a continuous delivery hub for any project. Jenkins has numerous integration options available, which make it more usable across various third-party platforms. It can distribute work across different machines globally, which eases building, testing, and deploying across different types of machines. It can run an automated build after every commit from developers and release builds in different environments with everything in your control.
Jenkins provides an integrated environment for the collaboration of the development and the DevOps team. It is mainly used for checking the build status of the commits, which means whether a commit passes all the tests and checks and can be merged in the production branch or not.
Why is it Important?
- Jenkins can automate everything from software deployment and virus detection to project building, code analyzing, and more.
- It aims to continuously deliver software by integrating a large number of testing and deployment tools.
- Jenkins can help you manage the entire deployment pipeline from the first Git commit, to passing through various style checks and tests written, to deploying it to different environments.
- It is easy to set up Jenkins in your project, and it has a user-friendly interface.
Travis CI is a cloud-based CI (continuous integration) server. While it was created for open-source software, it is now being used in closed source projects too. Travis CI can be used with Linux, macOS, and Windows OS, giving users complete flexibility over choosing their host OS by themselves. Setting up Travis CI is very easy; you just need to log in with your Github account, which has your application, and give Travis CI access to the project.
Travis CI uses many kinds of third-party services and apps, making it more useful throughout the application’s deployment process. It checks whether every line is safe for production before rolling out updates, and it cleans virtual machines after every build.
Travis CI helps seamlessly build, test, and deploy your application on cloud services like Heroku, AWS, etc. It monitors from the first commit of Git in your repository and runs builds, tests, and various checks to verify every merge request is perfect for the main branch.
Why is it Important?
- Travis can help you automate builds and tests in your project’s multiple branches and run them simultaneously to speed up your development process.
- Travis supports around 30 different programming languages like Ruby, Perl, Python, Scala, etc., so you can use it in most projects.
- It integrates with Slack, HipChat, Email, etc., and sends alerts on build status updates.
Octopus Deploy is an automated continuous integration tool for deployment monitoring and release management of software. One of the most popular CI/CD servers, it’s considered a hub for release monitoring, building, and automated deployments to help keep your software running as expected.
If your application is made using ASP.NET, Octopus Deploy is a better choice for you than most other CI/CD tools. It also helps in the deployment of Windows Services, databases, Java applications, and NodeJs applications. Octopus deploy was one of the first tools that provided fully automated DevOps for engineering, management, and operations teams.
Octopus Deploy is best for teams who want everything in one place and automation to make it all work seamlessly. It runs an automated CI/CD pipeline after every push and finally deploys in different environments.
Why is it Important?
- Octopus Deploy offers an Interactive dashboard for checking progress reports, making it easy to look at what’s happening with your builds.
- Octopus Deploy offers automatic deployment for virtual machines on-site, making it simple for you to integrate into your projects.
- Automated DevOps offered by Octopus Deploy helps the engineering and operations teams to work in an integrated manner and get tasks done efficiently.
AWS is a wholly managed deployment service that automates the deployment of applications to a range of computer services, such as Amazon EC2, AWS Fargate, AWS Lambda, and on-site servers. You can use it with the Amazon Command Line Interface (CLI) or a clean UI configuration process within the Amazon Console to source, build and deploy applications or services.
AWS Code Deploy automates deployment, allowing you to easily launch and see the status of your application on the AWS management console. You can deploy seamlessly on any AWS server, and it tracks the behavior and health of the application 24x7, making changes accordingly to reduce bugs and unavailability from your application.
AWS Code Deploy is very easy to use and language-agnostic. It is compatible with any machine and will provide the same experience on all AWS servers, whether it is EC2, Fargate, Lambda, or anything else. You can import your previous code from Github, Jenkins, and AWS CodePipeline using its third-party integrations.
Why is it Important?
- AWS Code Deploy helps maximize your application availability during the software deployment process.
- It allows users to quickly launch and track the status of the application deployments through the AWS Management Console or CLI.
- It can easily integrate with your existing software release process or continuous delivery toolchain.
CircleCI automates the builds, deployments, and continuous integrations of a software project and supports many programming languages like PHP, python, java, and Ruby on Rails. It integrates with Github, Github Enterprise, Bitbucket, and whenever you commit code, it creates a pipeline to check if the build is successful or not. It sends an alert to the team when a pipeline fails to resolve issues faster, and successful pipelines are automatically deployed to various environments so customers can use them.
CircleCI is free under some constraints (2500 free credits per week). Other plans are paid, including various features like faster pipeline, customer support, security, greater accessibility, etc. For integrating CircleCI on your personal server or infrastructure, you need to contact them for a price.
CircleCI does everything fast and is highly reliable. You also have the control to choose the resources you want, the tests and checks for the builds, set pipeline parameters, etc.
Why is it Important?
- With CircleCI, you can run your software using SSH, and it can quickly discover why your builds are failing.
- It offers custom dashboards for tracking performance, pipeline status, the status of the application, and much more.
- You can configure the CPU and RAM according to your need.
Ansible Tower, formerly known as AWX, makes all IT operations very simple. You can choose to make it a hub for all the deployment and automation tasks or run it as a simple CI for your software. It is a product from RedHat and gives you an intuitive dashboard, role-based access control, job scheduling, integrated notifications, etc.
Ansible Tower provides you with real-time job status updates, the status of your automation, and what’s next on the list. You can quickly figure out why your job failed and what is broken. You can also see the history of jobs and commits, i.e., who ran which job, and when what changes were made. If you want to increase the capacity, you can increase the number of Ansible Tower nodes in the Ansible Tower cluster. You can also choose to allow specific teams a fixed amount of nodes and remote execution across network zones.
To make your job more effective, you can add any third-party integration such as Slack, HipChat, PagerDuty, SMS, email, and much more. You can also schedule the playbook runs, cloud inventory updates, etc. Ansible Tower allows you to schedule a backup after a determined interval, say at the end of the day. You can run tasks on any host machines using Ansible remote command executions and also monitor their logs.
Why is it Important?
- Managing your entire inventory from a single dashboard is a breeze. You can easily add your project from cloud services like AWS, Azure, etc.
- You can access every feature of Ansible using Ansible’s RestAPI, so you don’t need to be on the dashboard all the time to use Ansible Tower’s services.
- Third-party integrations like Slack, Hipchat, PagerDuty, etc., make life easy for cross-platform teams.
CodeShip is a product from Cloudbees. It is a Software as a Service (SaaS) tool that helps to empower small engineering startups to develop standard web applications and modern microservice to achieve fast, secure, and frequent code delivery. Its basic version can create builds that run on pre-configured machines, centralized team management within the organization, and intuitive dashboards.
On Codeship, you can customize the developer roles, environment, and workflows. Various third-party integrations for messaging, security, and code coverage enhance the usefulness of the tool. Here, you have the freedom to choose the size of CPU and memory of the AWS instances provided by CodeShip.
The CodeShip basic plan comes at just $49 per month and increases with the increase of facilities. It also provides integration with Github API and GitHub enterprise.
Why is it Important?
- CodeShip offers seamless Github API and enterprise support, making it simple to couple your GitHub repositories with CodeShip coverage.
- Codeship offers a range of tools for quickly designing and constructing your deployment objects, as well as pushing them to the appropriate servers.
- Debugging via the command-line interface and SSH access makes it super easy to find and eliminate issues.
Codenvy is a workspace where you can deploy any software to the cloud server within minutes, and developers can work with Docker runtimes. The workspace also provides adding Intellisense, debuggers, and desktop sync to make work easier. Developers can use their IDE or the Eclipse Che IDE with remote coding abilities. Codenvy makes onboarding developers simple and fully automated. The tool also offers a customizable infrastructure, so you quickly change it according to your needs, performance, and accessibility.
You can install your Docker runtimes from anywhere and keep your source code secure. Third-party integrations make it even better by adding some extra features. You can download the Eclipse Che server and browser IDE for free. Other plans hosted by Codenvy are paid, and prices depend upon your consumption of resources.
Why is it Important?
- Codenvy makes deployment smooth by using Docker environments.
- You only need a browser and an internet connection to work with Codenvy.
- It supports the integration of several development teams on the same project.
Advantages of Choosing the Right Tools for Your Deployment
Deployment of software is crucial. It’s not just about coding the software, but running tests, checking on different versions, reporting the faults in the application, and much more to present a perfect experience for your customers. All these can take both human and fiscal resources.
This is why choosing better software deployment tools is beneficial for your business in many ways. Here are some of the advantages of choosing the right software deployment tool:
Managing software deployment requires a great deal of manual work. SDTs make the processing time-efficient by automating most tasks. In turn, this reduces the manual human workforce needed, saving the company both time and money. Various activities like bug fixes, patch protection, performance testing, and code analyzing can be fully automated using the right SDTs.
But automation should be done in control; otherwise, it may create unnecessary noise. For example, some tools having automated alerting systems that may create alerts on unimportant topics. It also wastes the team’s time and effort.
Almost all SDTs come with effective cybersecurity services because they understand how important your data is. The right SDTs give you control with permission levels and access. Administrators can manage these permissions easily in the settings and authorize only those who need to be let in.
No software can be released perfectly in one shot. Software owners first want to understand the engagement generated in their applications to shape the product’s growth better. However, poorly coordinated software updates can cause loopholes that may leave your product vulnerable to security breaches.
SDTs automatically take care of updates and maintenance perfectly. They automate system updates, scan for vulnerabilities, and practice patch management across applications. They reduce the cost and time spent in managing software updates.
Monitoring is one of the most critical tasks for the success of software. You need to monitor how your application performs on a large scale and what difficulties your users are facing. The right SDTs have monitoring features integrated right into their workflow, helping you understand the impact of your deployment.
Transparent monitoring also helps in checking the status of development and bug fixes in your application. You can remotely monitor every change and action taken in your application.
Automating your deployment automation deploys your application frequently; you can also establish checks that will be tested automatically during every deployment. For example, if you put unit test check and code style check on your CI/CD server, it will not mere those builds that do not pass unit tests and code style checks. It decreases the chances of pushing bad quality codes and buggy code in the repo.
In this digital era, thinking you will release an application containing features of your choice that will make the application hit is wrong. So nowadays, companies release features at small intervals but separately so that they will get feedback on each feature. The deployment tool helps us deploy the application multiple times in a week or even multiple times a day.
How to Evaluate Tools for Software Deployment
This section will talk about some of the critical criteria when choosing your software deployment tools.
Features are the most important factors for any software deployment tool. Every company wants the features to satisfy theirs purpose of buying the tool. Some core features like alerting on failed builds, showing metrics on a graph, N+1 queries, memory leak detection are some of the features that any company would usually look for in any SDT. Other than that, having too many features is also not good because it creates irrelevant noise on the UI and application.
The security of your application is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a deployment tool. During the deployment of software, many secret keys or passwords are used. If these get exposed accidentally, they can grant unauthorized access to attackers. So, an SDT should be careful enough to implement security measures and alert teams if an action can expose sensitive data.
Value For Money
Every business wants to save money, so software deployment must be cost-effective. At the same time, you can not afford to compromise the quality of the tool. Striking the optimum balance between cost and quality is vital in choosing good software for your deployment process.
Be it a company or an individual, everyone needs assistance at one point in time. The SDT provider needs to have reliable customer support. It would not be ideal to get stuck before a critical update and have nobody from the support team ready to help you out of the situation.
For any tool to be handy, interoperability with other tools is a must. The software deployment tool you choose must offer an ample amount of third-party integrations to connect to the collaboration/workspace tool of your choice. Without these integrations, alerts and minor operations can become tedious tasks.
Software development tools must have a clean UI that makes all of their features clearly visible to customers. Nice UI also decreases the hardware needed to navigates through different features of the SDT. Otherwise, clumsy dashboards are enough for users to not buy your product. Scout APM provides a very clean UI with self-explanatory icons, which make it easily navigable too,
The most popular tools are the ones that are the easiest to learn. It is essential that your team gets familiar with the SDT’s interface and features as quickly as possible. If a tool offers multiple features, it can get tricky to simplify the interface. The best tools are those that can strike a balance between features and ease of use.
Make Your Next Deployment Seamless
Software deployments must be done frequently and at the earliest opportunity. However, if you deploy with a lot of bugs then it would surely have a negative impact on your users. You should make sure that all your deployments are happening after passing through test suites and certain checks. Various deployment tools in the market help make your task easier by providing many features. Frequent deployments with new features positively impact your customers and show you care about your users. Deployment at regular intervals is very tough when you do it manually. Nobody can be available 24/7 to check the release status, build fails, generate alerts, etc., so automating those tasks can make a huge difference for your team.
All the above tools have their target audience and unique set of features. It depends on you to choose your next software deployment tools that align well with your requirements. In general, the chosen software deployment tool must be affordable, equipped with useful features, and easy to use. Considering all the above criteria, you should definitely give Scout APM a try. Scout APM covers all the functionality and features that an ideal software deployment tool should have.
So what are you waiting for? Choose Scout APM and make your business skyrocket!. Try this tool for 14 days, absolutely free, without showing your credit card. Go to their official website to learn more!