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

Last Updated Dec 17, 2014 — DevOps Expert

Looking to improve your release process but not ready to automate? Start out with XL Release!


I was with a customer recently who was trying to manage a very problematic deployment pipeline.  They had a very manual process and were encountering a lot of problems in their release delivery process as a result.  The team was encountering version skew with their spreadsheets that defined the release process and had no effective way to track revisions to the process over time. With several teams working on the process at the same time it was difficult to collect metrics during the install.  They knew that during the install, the system administrators would sometimes need to log on to the production systems and make small changes to get things to work, but they did not have a good way of capturing that information.  The install process could take almost half a day and they wanted to reduce the time necessary for the install.

They downloaded our free trial of "XL Release" and were able to quickly convert their system of spreadsheets to track releases with "XL Release".  The customer realized that using XL Release would help them centralize the documentation of their release process.  Even though they did not add any automation in XL Release yet, they were able to realize value by identifying problematic steps and begin to take steps to improve their releases.

We spend a lot of time talking about the advantages of XL Release in automating your deployment pipeline, but the fact of the matter is that many companies are not ready for automating their pipeline.  Some of our customers have developed some scripts to automate some parts of their deployment process, but those scripts require human intervention to execute.  Even without automating your release, XL Release can help. Keeping your release plan in XL  Release can help your teams work more productively and efficiently.  There is no need for project managers to email spreadsheets with new release plans every couple of days.  XL Release can provide a dashboard view of the release that many teams can see and use to track the progress of the release.  Teams can see the progress of the release in real time and receive notifications of when their tasks need to be executed. During the release an audit trail is created. Since XL Release has builtin auditing, if the plan is changed, there is a full audit trail of what happened.  Metrics from the release are captured and can be used to provide input to improve the release process for future releases. As more releases are tracked with XL Release, teams can use the audit logs as input for continuous improvement to the release process.  Teams can look at where their biggest challenges were in previous releases and either improve their procedures or automate them. Get a copy of XL Release and start the process of continuously improving your release process.



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