Top 10 Application Release Orchestration (ARO) Tools

Explore the Top 10 Application Release Orchestration (ARO) Tools with features including advanced automation, deployment tracking, and collaboration features to streamline the application release process.

The Top 10 Application Release Orchestration Tools include:
  • 1. AWS CodeDeploy
  • 2. Azure Pipelines
  • 3. Chef by Progress
  • 4. Release
  • 5. GitLab
  • 6. IBM DevOps Accelerate
  • 7. Nolio Release Automation by Broadcom
  • 8. Octopus Deploy
  • 9. Puppet Enterprise
  • 10. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform

Application Release Orchestration (ARO) tools are crucial for modern organizations seeking to manage, plan and coordinate the process of preparing and deploying software updates and new releases with precision and control. By implementing an ARO strategy, organizations can streamline and automate this process, thereby improving delivery efficiency, reducing risk, and accelerating the release cycles.

With ARO tools, teams can coordinate the various stages of software delivery – from integration and testing to deployment – across different environments, equipment, and teams with complete visibility and governance. This release management process ensures that applications are stable and operate as expected in their live environment.

ARO tools serve as a convenient bridge between development and operations, enabling a seamless transition to a DevOps-based approach. The implementation of ARO tools typically leads to faster throughput, fewer errors, and a much-improved feedback loop. They can also provide auditability for compliance purposes, can help to monitor and manage dependencies, and mitigate the risks associated with manual release plans.

The market for ARO tools is filled with providers delivering a host of unique features and capabilities. To help you cut through the sea of providers and find the right solution for your use case, we’ve identified the top 10 ARO platforms. We’ll cover off their key features, as well as suggesting what type of organization would benefit most from their implementation. 

AWS Logo

AWS CodeDeploy is an automated deployment service which delivers a wide range of compute functionality. This includes Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), AWS Lambda, and on-premises servers. This versatile service aims to simplify and accelerate application deployments, making manual operations a thing of the past. CodeDeploy offers extensive control and monitoring functionalities via the AWS Management Console, CLI, SDKs, or APIs, enabling user-friendly and detailed tracking of deployment progress.

CodeDeploy can facilitate repeat deployments, regardless of platform or language. Deployments can be repeated across different instance groups, courtesy of a file and command-based install model. The integration of software deployment with scaling activities and instance auto-scaling makes this an essential tool for dynamic production environments. Supplementary services include on-premises deployments, further enhance CodeDeploy’s versatility, ensuring it suites a variety of unique operational needs.

AWS CodeDeploy’s strategic approach to updates enables applications to avoid downtime when upgrading. The service accommodates blue/green and rolling updates, and also ensures applications can continue uninterrupted during updates. In instances where defects emerge, AWS CodeDeploy can instantaneously stop and rollback updates, minimising any potential damage. The service offers comprehensive control, allowing for multiple deployments and configurable alerts, informing users of deployment statuses. With easy integration into existing software delivery processes and compatibility with any application language or architecture, AWS CodeDeploy is a simple yet powerful application deployment solution.

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Azure Logo

Azure Pipelines is an automation tool for code projects. It is compatible with all major languages and project types, Azure Pipelines seamlessly blends continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous testing tools to build, test, and transport your code with ease.

Continuous Integration is an essential part of the Azure Pipelines experience. It provides automated merging and testing for development teams, helping to identify bugs early in the development cycle. This capability is followed by Continuous Delivery which encompasses code building, testing, and deployment across various test and production environments. By propagating deployable artifacts, including both infrastructure and apps, it ensures quality is upheld while enhancing visibility through the deployment process.

Azure Pipelines also emphasizes Continuous Testing, automated testing workflows that work regardless of whether your app is on-site or in the cloud. By providing the flexibility to choose your preferred technologies and frameworks, it enables efficient, scalable, and fast testing. It supports several types of testing frameworks and offers the ability to conduct detailed analytics and reporting, helping to maintain quality.

The solution requires your source code to be in a version control system, either Git or Azure Repos. Azure Pipelines supports a wide range of languages and applications such as Node.js, Python, Java, PHP, and Ruby. It is also compatible across Linux, macOS, Windows platforms. The tool can also deploy the code to a multitude of targets, including virtual machines, environments, containers, on-site and cloud platforms, PaaS services, or even publish your mobile application to a store.

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Progress Logo

Chef by Progress is an application deployment automation platform used globally by businesses of all sizes. Chef improves productivity and reduces the risk of errors in the DevOps process by automating application deployments for complex environments. Chef Habitat, its flagship tool, separates the application from the underlying infrastructure, allowing operations teams to automate deployments across their entire IT infrastructure.

Chef simplifies application deployment, defining each stage of the process during the building stage. This approach minimizes manual hand-offs and potential failure points when delivering intricate enterprise applications. Application definitions include build instructions, configuration instructions, relationships, and application dependencies. In addition, Chef supports multiple deployment patterns via channels like ‘dev’, ‘current’, ‘release’. This enables continuous and easy promotion of application deployments.

Chef also presents flexible automated deployment options like automated rollback, automated roll-forward, at-once (parallel upgrades), rolling (sequential upgrades), blue-green, canary, and feature-flag capabilities. With Chef’s automation, users can monitor all their application deployments in one place, validate release status in real-time, easily transition releases between environments, and achieve consistency and repeatability across all deployments.

Compatible with both Linux and Windows, Chef Habitat offers a uniform approach to managing your application domains. It exports apps to run in multiple environments without the need for refactoring. Chef also provides deployment support for custom, legacy, physical infrastructure, virtual infrastructure, containers, and public cloud resources, making it a versatile tool for any organization’s DevOps toolkit.

Progress Logo Logo Release delivers continuous delivery, release management, and orchestration for app development environments. This solution assists teams in automating governance, eliminating process bottlenecks, and improving collaboration. Release simplifies the connection between teams, processes, and tools to generate an integrated release flow across all application environments, making it suitable for a range of tasks regardless of complexity. Release provides a self-service catalog with workflows predefined to deploy applications at scale reliably. It offers the ability to design reusable software release templates, thereby easing the application deployment and incorporating security protocols and governance to adhere to industry regulations. These capabilities help organizations reduce the complexities associated with software delivery, increase their speed, reduce risks, and enhance visibility.

With Release, users can streamline their software delivery cycle, while reducing the risk of release failure. By utilizing release templates, software release processes can be modeled for consistency across the organization, even when different tools are used. This feature makes releases more predictable and replicable. The platform also assesses the risk of each release’s failure, promptly alerting users so that issues can be identified and remedied before production. Release offers robust integration capabilities, connecting with existing DevOps ecosystems for seamless operation. Its fully configurable dashboards provide a comprehensive view of historical and real-time data from both Release and integrated DevOps tools. Such holistic visibility allows for identifying bottlenecks, frequent quality software releases, and highly scalable drive cloud-native journey. Logo
GitLab Logo

GitLab specializes in automated software delivery, helping businesses develop software faster by enhancing team productivity and accelerating application modernization. GitLab allows teams to deploy high-quality, secure software at scale by automating the application release process. GitLab also ensures that the software delivery process is consistent and can be initiated on demand.

GitLab also focuses on improving the experiences of developers by reducing manual, tasks and enabling them to focus on generating deep value. GitLab provides an ‘Enterprise-ready Source Code Management’ system that tracks changes ranging from code for applications, infrastructure, policies to configurations, and controls every change. Alongside this, they offer continuous integration and verification. This includes code building, testing automation and detecting errors early.

GitLab offers ‘On-demand environments with GitOps’ to automate infrastructure for faster release times, quicker recovery from errors, choices of push or pull configurations, and secure Kubernetes cluster access. The goal of these features is to make every change ‘releasable’, enable progressive deployment of changes to minimize disruption and gain faster feedback by testing changes on a subset of users.

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IBM Logo

IBM DevOps Accelerate is a software delivery platform designed to optimize the delivery of software across a diverse collection of platforms including cloud, on-premises, and mainframes. Applicable to monolithic, microservices-based, and mixed application types, this software automates the process regardless of the application’s location.

IBM DevOps Accelerate offers a centralized control platform for delivering microservices workloads across multiple environments, including various cloud providers, containers, and VMs. With a focus on automation, IBM DevOps Accelerate reduces human errors, ensuring that software releases can be more confidently handled.

Key features of IBM DevOps Accelerate include transforming release toolchains into understandable pipelines, managing extensive pipeline processes, offering visibility, and coordinating delivery. The software’s “Value Streams” feature contributes to enhancing the delivery rate and flow of applications by providing insight into the DevOps Accelerate delivery pipeline.

IBM DevOps Accelerate also delivers a robust integration capability, with over 130 available plugins for development, testing, infrastructure, and cloud instances. This feature allows for easier design of the deployment process and the elimination of custom scripts. The software also lets you create models of the deployment process without any programming expertise required. This assists in creating dependable processes of any complexity, which you can then assign to particular deployment settings.

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Broadcom Logo

Nolio Release Automation is a comprehensive application deployment tool that aims to streamline and expedite app delivery across the enterprise, supporting zero-touch deployments from the development phase to production. The platform is designed to replace manual and scripted processes, promoting a foundation for continuous delivery.

This tool enables faster deployments, with integration capabilities for a variety of environments, tools, and apps. This helps development teams manage deployment complexity and volume. The platform helps teams create a reliable deployment process that reduces production errors and can reduce errors by 98 percent.

An additional standout feature of Nolio Release Automation is its Express Mode, designed to facilitate a straightforward set-up process for automated deployments across different environments in the SDLC. The tool comes with a visual and intuitive workflow engine, encouraging standard, reusable deployment operations. It supports modular workflow design for every component an application relies on, including databases, server middleware, and networking equipment.

Nolio Release Automation also delivers toolchain integration that works with popular commercial and open-source tools including Docker, Puppet, Jenkins, Microsoft Azure, and CA Endevor SCM. The platform’s features include a customizable dashboard that highlights key metrics, historical data, and other pertinent application deployment information. Finally, Nolio offers readiness for hybrid cloud infrastructures as well as speedier mainframe deployments with the z/OS connector.

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Octopus Deploy Logo

Octopus Deploy is a software deployment automation platform that eases the process of deploying software across multiple environments. It is specially built to handle complex deployments, regardless of whether they are to multi-cloud, hybrid, or on-premises environments.

Key features of Octopus Deploy include a quicker promotion of releases between different environments, secure data encryption, and the capability for automated rollbacks in case of any failed deployments. The platform facilitates a faster development cycle, allowing developers to work more efficiently and make updates as needed.

The software also offers additional features such as code shipping to production with extensive testing, automatic updates via Octopus Cloud, and creation of custom deployment dashboards through the Octopus API. Octopus Deploy provides a feature called Config as Code (CaC), enhancing software development experience for teams, and boasts built-in support for multi-tenancy deployments.

Octopus Deploy incorporates robust governance, risk, and compliance capabilities. These include full auditing, role-based access control, and standard single sign-on (SSO).  Its extensive service management integrations enable streamlined approval and deployment processes. In addition, Octopus seamlessly interconnects with your preferred build server or CI platform, allowing for code deployment on the cloud, data centers, Kubernetes, or on-premises servers.

Octopus Deploy presents a comprehensive platform built to simplify, accelerate, and manage software deployments across various environments.

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Puppet Logo

Puppet Enterprise specializes in IT automation for operations teams, allowing more streamlined infrastructure management and complex workflow automation. Its robust automation capabilities reduce redundancy and the risk of human error, enabling swift and secure operations at scale.

Puppet helps identify problem areas and address them before they develop into issues. It integrates with various systems and teams, resulting in quick deployments, efficient strategies and fewer bottlenecks. Puppet Enterprise also supervises workloads. Its real-time monitoring and reporting capabilities track drift and compliance errors, aligning the broader picture of the business infrastructure in one place. Each change can be analyzed before it’s implemented, further reducing risk. Puppet’s custom modules enable automatic mitigation of common infrastructural issues at scale, ensuring solid resource management.

Puppet Enterprise delivers comprehensive provisions, hybrid infrastructure management and compliance upkeep. Puppet takes the heavy lifting off IT operations and helping teams to deliver a better and faster app development lifecycle.

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Red Hat Ansible Logo

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is a comprehensive automation platform that manages systems, software deployment and advanced workflows. It delivers tools that enable users to create, manage, and scale enterprise-wide automation.

With Red Hat, users have access to certified content from an array of partners, improved security, analytics, and reporting capabilities, and round-the-clock technical support to scale their automation needs. It is trusted by over 3,000 global customers across all industries. Ansible Automation Platform helps reduce risks through a hardened platform, performance testing, bug fixes, and security-focused development practices.

A key platform feature is Event-Driven Ansible which allows IT managers to automate actions through user-defined, rule-based constructs. Ansible development tools assist developers with creating consistent code and accelerating the development cycles.

The Ansible Automation Platform provides various tools for management and measurement including the Automation controller, a central management tool, and Automation analytics for comprehensive reporting and identifying potential vulnerabilities. The platform can be scaled with Automation Mesh, which enables automation across large inventories, diverse network topologies, platforms, and regions. The Ansible platform aids organizations to operate globally, enhancing their network performance.

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Top 10 Application Release Orchestration (ARO) Tools