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This post is from the XebiaLabs blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.

Last Updated May 05, 2014 — DevOps Expert

A Quick Look at XL Deploy



XL Deploy is an application release automation tool that can deploy applications to various environments, all while managing configuration values that are specific to each environment.

It's designed to make the process of deploying applications faster, easier, and more reliable. You provide the files and settings that make up your application, and XL Deploy does the rest. No more deployment scripts or workflows.

Here are XL Deploy key concepts:

You supply XL Deploy with your application packaged as a zip file called a deployment package. This package contains deployables, which are the files and configuration settings that make up a specific version of your application. For example, your package could contain an application binary, database changes, a data source spec, and Web content. XL Deploy can deploy your application to environments like development, test, QA, and production. Environments are collections of containers, which are the servers and middleware where your application will run. Deployment packages are intended to be independent of any environment so you can use them unchanged all the way from development to production. XL Deploy handles environment-specific values, like database credentials by allowing you to use placeholders anywhere in your deployment packages. You store the environment-specific values for these placeholders in dictionaries that are linked to your environments. When XL Deploy deploys your application, it fills in these values based on the environment you're deploying to. This means you can centralize the management of environment settings in one place. XL Deploy keeps a version history of items such as deployment packages, environments, and dictionaries, so you won't lose anything. XL Deploy offers a variety of plugins that deliver out-of-the-box support for Java, .NET, and other leading middleware. Plugins contain standardized deployment patterns for your target systems so you don't have to script a deployment plan for every application and target environment. And plugins work together automatically without requiring extra configuration effort. When you're ready to deploy, simply select a version of your application and choose a target environment. Now, you can map the elements of your application to the containers in the environment, or you can have XL Deploy automatically create a mapping for you based on the type of deployables you have and on tags that you can assign to deployables and containers. Using XL Deploy means you don't need to write deployment commands or scripts. XL Deploy automatically builds a deployment plan by evaluating which deployables are mapped to which containers, looking at the configuration properties of the deployables, and using configurable rules to add steps to the plan in the right order. XL Deploy also offers out-of-the-box options for complex deployment scenarios, like plan optimization, automatic parallel deployments, artifact staging strategies, and more. You can easily rollback a full or partially completed deployment with just a few clicks. So, if you run into trouble, you can quickly return to a working state, even in production. No need to write rollback plans or worry about keeping them up to date. You click a button, and XL Deploy takes care of the details. XL Deploy's release dashboard makes it easy to see which version of an application is deployed in each environment. It gives you insight into the deployment pipeline for every application and lets you use checklists to ensure that your application is ready to go. XL Deploy offers a variety of reports so you can audit your deployment activities. XL Deploy offers intelligent deployment automation, a rich content set for enterprise middleware, and seamless integration into your application delivery ecosystem. It makes your deployments easy, efficient, and error free. Get started reducing your deployment times from weeks to minutes. Try XL Deploy now.

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