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Best DevOps Tools for Application Lifecycle

  • Amruta Bhaskar
  • Jul 5, 2021
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DevOps Tool is an application that helps automate the software development process. It mainly focuses on communication and collaboration between product management, software development, and operations professionals. DevOps tool also enables teams to automate most of the software development processes like build, conflict management, dependency management, deployment, etc. and helps reduce manual efforts.

With the ever-increasing speed and frequency of software delivery cycles, businesses need a way to effectively manage their software from beginning to end. Application lifecycle management (ALM) addresses that need, overseeing the continuous process of managing the life of an application from initial idea to eventual retirement. It is a superset of SDLC, as SDLC only covers the development phase.

While it is a broad category encompassing many topics, ALM can be broken down into three essential components:

Application governance:

Governance is a framework that helps organizations to align IT strategy with business strategy. It begins with business case development, where the idea for an application is mapped to a business outcome. Resource management, data security, and user access must also be considered so that organizations can meet internal and external requirements.

Application development:

Development is the process of creating software to solve a problem. It involves planning, designing, building, testing, deploying, and updating the application.

Application operations:

Operations involve deploying and maintaining the holistic performance of all applications. The goal is to manage the response times of the application ecosystem and closely monitor its performance.

Benefits of Application Lifecycle Management Tools

ALM tools help organizations to deliver quality releases faster, with compliance and visibility. They also provide an integrated system for development, which connects disparate tools, teams, and processes while improving communication between IT and the business. This accelerates software development and delivery velocity, helping businesses to stay competitive. Many ALM tools have features like version control and real-time planning, which assist team leaders in making decisions and creating a roadmap for the future.

On the ground level, other benefits of ALM tools include: a standardized environment for collaboration, automation of the development process, better code quality, lower costs, faster time-to-market, streamlined and standardized workflows, and better support for compliance.

Best Application Lifecycle Management Tools

·        Kraken.CI

Modern CI/CD, open-source, on-premise system that is highly scalable and focused on testing.

Features:

– flexible workflow planning using Starlark/Python;

– distributed building and testing;

– various executors: bare metal, docker, lxd, VM;

– highly scalable to thousands of executors;

– sophisticated test results analysis;

– email and slack notifications

·        Aha!

Aha! is a cloud-based project management tool that supports agile and scrum workflows. It allows users to create product, technology, consulting, manufacturing and marketing roadmaps. Primary features include task lists, product roadmaps, Kanban boards, collaboration and analytics. With Aha! it’s easy to rank different features, see them on a Gantt chart, and figure out the strategy for a release of multiple features, all while keeping key stakeholders in the loop.

Aha! is a full-featured and complex product, and as such, has a bit of a learning curve. However, support for the product is generally considered to be helpful and responsive.

·        VersionOne

VersionOne is an enterprise-level agile ALM solution offered by CollabNet. It is particularly useful for large organizations looking to implement Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and is available in four packages: Team, Catalyst, Enterprise, and Ultimate. While it excels in reporting and tracking and has great tools for scrum masters, it can be slow, lacks the customization of other comparable software, and has a clumsy user interface.

·        Phabricator

Phabricator is an open-source software development platform written in PHP. Its applications include the Differential code review tool, Diffusion repository browser, Herald change monitoring tool, Maniphest bug tracker, Phriction wiki, Conpherence chat, and Conduit API. You can download and install it on your own hardware for free, or launch a hosted instance that gives access to automatic updates, maintenance, and support.

It’s fast, scales well, and is best suited for large projects with multiple repositories. While the UI has been criticized for being unintuitive, it is customizable and can be tailored to your specific team.

·        Jira Software

JIRA Software by Atlassian is a project and issue tracking tool that allows you to track any unit of work (such as bugs, tasks, and stories) through a predefined workflow. It is commonly used for software development, feature implementation, bug tracking, service desk ticket tracking, and agile project management.

JIRA features customizable scrum boards that enable agile teams to quickly deliver iterative and incremental value, as well as Kanban boards that give visibility to what’s next. Out-of-the-box reports offer insight into team performance sprint over sprint, and a configurable dashboard allows you to track what is happening in real time. You can also create test plans and test cases, conduct testing and generate crash reports.

Aside from its versatility, JIRA is appealing for its sprawling ecosystem of add-ons and integrations. It boasts over 50,000 customers, some of which include Twitter, PayPal, and Salesforce.

Visual Studio

Microsoft Visual Studio is a powerful integrated development environment (IDE) for Microsoft Windows, providing comprehensive facilities to programmers for software development. It is used to view and edit code, and then debug, build, and publish apps. Visual Studio uses Microsoft software development platforms such as Windows API, Windows Forms, Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Store and Microsoft Silverlight. It is thoughtfully designed, has a huge feature set, and supports a wide range of languages. It comes with built-in language support for C, C++ and C++/CLI, Visual Basic .NET, C#, and F#.

Microsoft also provides a free a version of Visual Studio called the Community Edition.

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