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

Last Updated Mar 25, 2020 — DevOps Expert

Too Many Pipelines: The Real Complexity of Delivering Software


Many enterprises struggle with software delivery when they have to release many different business applications at the same time. Cross-application, cross-project, cross-technology, and cross-team dependencies can slow down technical release pipelines and increase the risk of conflicts or failures. Plus, complicated, large-scale software delivery processes make it hard for managers and other business stakeholders to see what’s happening in real time. Release complexity is something that affects everyone, from developers, QA testers, and system administrators, to development team leads, release managers, and product owners.

Your Pipelines are More Complex than You Think

Teams often think of the software delivery pipeline as a straightforward set of activities that flow from development through testing, acceptance testing, approvals, and deployment to production. Of course, there are actually many software delivery pipelines across the organization, all with their own sets of requirements and tasks that need to be executed.

But software delivery isn’t only complicated because there are multiple delivery pipelines; it’s complicated because those pipelines move at different speeds, require different approval gates, and have different potential bottlenecks and failure risks. In addition, the Continuous Integration cycle of merging code, building software artifacts, and automatically testing them means that every phase of the process goes through many iterations. The real complexity of software delivery looks like this:

Delivery Patterns Help You Manage Release Complexity

XebiaLabs’ delivery patterns feature allows you to track all individual items that contribute to the business delivery of one application as a whole, or of multiple applications that need to be released together. You can manage the business delivery in a single place, and optionally add transition points that provide synchronization of stages across many technical pipelines. With delivery patterns, your software delivery landscape can look like this:

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