Role of Integrated Tool System in Implementing DevOps

Category: DevOps Posted:Nov 15, 2017 By: Ashley Morrison


DevOps is the alliance of application development teams with system operations teams, their ethics and actions. In an agile domain the operations, development, testing processes must work together to achieve frequent iterations, releases and delivery goals. This enables for a collaborative development environment that supports data orchestration with other lifecycle tools.

This article will illustrates role of multi-tool integration support that can help organizations in performing the DevOps life cycle, which includes continuous planning, integration, testing, monitoring, delivery and feedback structure.

The Drivers of DevOps

Nowadays, the software development industry is undergoing a paradigm shift due to the increasing competition and the need for an early market release. Agility has become an unavoidable process across all organizations in addition to this shorter ROI cycle spans, frequent releases,  increased CRs and different IT systems and tool technologies has led to the critical situation.

The industry urges for a higher transparency,  minimum turnaround time, lesser human intervention and efficient processes at every stage, from buildout to delivery. However, enterprises that use specialized tools to handle deployments, builds and delivery processes continue to face difficulties when it comes to data orchestration and process mechanism over the tool chain.

In an agile domain, Developers and Testers need to ensure that code modifies the work and integrate well, then the frequent iterations do not make the product unstable. Thus, seamless cross-tool collaboration is very important here.

The process chain includes Code -> Build -> Provision -> Test -> Defect Fix -> Deploy -> Release that needs to run smoothly without any interruptions in the sense without compromising delivery deadlines or the product quality.

Automation is the Catch Line

The emerging demand for continuous delivery and sprint-based development has made manually setting up a test, building and deploying environment as time-consuming and troublesome.

Software teams has to automate the entire cycle of building, provisioning and deploying test environments, including the scripts, tools and test data to ensure delivery in short span. The team should also collaborate around the application architecture and supervise event-action-based mechanism for seamless data flow over the tool chains.

According to the report, most important DevOps components are agile development, collaborative teaming of personnel and IT automation. Hence, achieving DevOps without centralized orchestration of tools is not a realistic situation. Since organizations spend around 73 percent of their DevOps budget in tool acquisition, it is important that they are aware of techniques involved in getting the tools working together to tame the DevOps obstacles.

Most organisations search for an integration methodology that is reliable, scalable and easy to maintain. Point-to point integration between tools has few constraints. Since, even a single change in integration rules will result in complex coding and high maintenance across development, test and deployment cycles.

Once integrated, the data from both the buildout and the operations tools is available for use to each stakeholder. The fundamental benefit of implementing ESB-based integration is that you can append or remove any tool based on your connectivity needs.

In a distinct scenario, DevOps teams incorporates a series of cross-functional tools beginning from project planning to delivery and operations. None of these tools has built-in integration features, which results in inconsistent flow of information among end users.

Generally, Project Managers use Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) or Agile planning tools to explain the scope of work and routing progress reports. On unit testing, Developers implement a unique tool to scrutinize a code from their Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to the Source Code Management (SCM) repository. They also conduct a code quality analysis before pledging to the SCM.

Continuous Integration (CI) can be accomplished only when Developers introduce unit testing, planning, code analysis and SCM tools under single platform. Means connecting the tools through a common integration hub and it also helps Developers to handle everything from within the IDE.

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After successful check-ins, Developers trigger the SCM tools for automated development and testing purposes. Upon a successful development, testers will involve in continuous manual testing and test automation tools, followed by provisioning for a sustained deployment. An integration reinforces to store the real-time data flowing between the build and the testing tools.

A DevOps system also consists of Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tool for an uninterrupted observation of memory usage, CPU usage, release tracking and database health. Operations team employ help desk/IT Service Management (ITSM) tools for an uninterrupted feedback generation and customer support. And Delivery Managers use constant delivery tools for explaining and tracking release pipeline through a graphical interface.

The product release and help desk operations will be faster and efficient if these tools are interlinked to a central integration hub. The unification between development and ITSM tools delivers sustained generation of feedback, which helps to enhance the product quality.

Project Managers can generate a DevOps workflow based on Business logic and automate the data flow over the tool systems with the help of an unified tool ecosystem. Developers, Testers, Delivery Managers and Business Analysts can also achieve  real-time update on development progress and monitor actionable items. Managers can  direct the cross-tool data to a central repository and create meaningful reports and analytics before taking crucial Business decisions.

An ESB-based integration tool leverages enterprises in implementing the best DevOps practices by establishing connections across all participating tools. An integrated tool ecosystem helps in attaining the following:

  • Real-time alliance between delivery, development, and operations tools
  • Sustained planning from requirements capturing and reviewing to design and code analysis
  • Cross-tool traceability for defining relationships between various data objects
  • Test strategy execution for continuous testing
  • Continuous integration via automatic triggering of build on successful accomplishment of code check-in
  • Continuous testing via workflow based automatic triggering of both automated and test cases
  • Organised test automation script execution enabling an uninterrupted delivery
  • Continuous observation of release quality through reports and dashboards
  • Automated defect resolution and identification for rapid help desk response
  • End-to-end traceability delivering better release predictability and modify impact analysis
  • Meaningful metrics, reports and KPIs for speedy decision-making
  • Continuous delivery via tracking release pipeline

How Inter-tool Connectivity Brings Continuity

Let us consider a sample DevOps scenario in an IT service organizations to understand the stages of engineering practice. The organization implements an ITSM tool to handle support tickets raised by customers. The raised tickets are automatically forwarded to an ALM tool as user stories or defects for internal development.

On assigning to a sprint, the Developers and Testers can check the user stories or defects from IDE, SCM and test tool. After completion of code development the codes get scrutinized in an SCM tool, an automatic build gets triggered with the help of a build tool. Then tool provisioning is enforced with the help of a virtual machine after successful accomplishment of the build.

An affluent build can be deployed automatically with the help of a deployment tool and automated tests can be  through a test automation tool. The test results are then seized and linked with test cases and the source prerequisites for traceability. The defects that are raised in the defect tracking tool for unsuccessful test cases can be automatically directed to Developers for fixing. After setting up a connection with an integrated tool system, users get entire visibility of the tool records and their interconnections from within their own tools. Help desk Managers, Testers, Developers can get entire traceability view between change requests or defects and development aircrafts. When every the tools engaging in DevOps sync with each other, Developers can easily view the support tickets described by the operations team right from their own IDE.

The help desk team will also receive a real-time update whenever a modification request gets implemented or a defect is firmly determined by the development team. It banishes the latency in communication between the Dev and Ops teams to a great extent. Finally, customers get frequent updates from the help desk team, which makes them satisfied with the product performance.

The Conclusion

DevOps Engineers can benefit a lot from per-hour billing, but there is a lot to consider when it comes to time-to-deployment and choosing a compute service. To make a smooth transition to the new AWS Business model it is the time for DevOps Engineers in bringing these concerns to their CIOs.

I hope that by now you have had an overview of DevOps. Before you enroll in ZaranTech’s certification course on DevOps, do check out the DevOps demo:

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