On-Demand Software Release With Agility
Release your software products faster with recommended SDLC patterns in agile environment.
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If your business is customer-centric and cares the most about changing customer demands in today’s competitive market, then probably your tech organization has to think about its strategies for its release model for all the software deliveries. On-demand releases become a trend in the last 5 years, where some of the popular tech companies started this model to increase their product usage and target a high volume of diverse customers with diverse product needs.
What’s an On-Demand Software Release?
On-demand releases are nothing but small incremental product features deployed in the production environment frequently as a part of continuous integration in an automated way following strict agile methodology.
Why an On-Demand Release?
On-demand releases allows product owners to target specific business features on flexible schedule, where they don’t have to wait for months to get it shipped while making their valuable customers to wait. Right tools and SDLC methodologies allow developers to shorten some of the release readiness and quality check items and makes the software deployments faster based on business needs. Product features are planned in small releasable chunks such that most valuable capabilities are delivered to the customer within short period of time.
If you look into the traditional software delivery model, it looks very time-consuming and tightly dependent on the process that relies on multiple external components.
Below are some of the steps it includes general development lifecycle and release cycle to get your software ready to be released.
General Software development lifecycle in TEST/UAT environment:
General Software release lifecycle for PROD deployment:
If you look at above diagrams there’s one major noticeable thing here is, software development and requirement gathering were done pretty much earlier in the stage, but its journey to prod deployment has to go through multiple stages of manual operations causing major delays for the feature to be released and available for business users or customers.
Recommended On-Demand Software Release Pattern
With the right tools and agile methodology this problem can be solved. Also, automating some of the manual stages in this whole lifecycle is essential and can make it much faster.
If we look at some of the stages, especially software build, deploy and even testing can be automated on some of the open-source CICD tools, such as Jenkins, Cruise control, etc. Manual code quality checks can also be automated using tools such as SONAR and SSAP scans, which can check for code quality and security vulnerability without any human interpretation. With that core, developers can focus only on important business logic that needs to be reviewed.
In this whole lifecycle, testing is the critical piece and extends on multiple stages, which can be initial feature testing, regression tests or smoke tests for your specific app, and then pre-release testing right before your code goes to production in staging or beta environments. Automated testing is the key to solve these excessive testing requirements and can reduce some manual burden. Selenium web-drivers can be used which is available in multiple automated test frameworks such as Test-NG/Cucumber/Fluentium etc. In the case of testing only services, there are some good automation service testing frameworks such as Karate and Rest-Assured, etc.
Now coming back to sign-off procedures and approval workflows that are needed in some of the organizations where too many product stakeholders are involved. Although its optional based on the chain of approvals you need in order to release your code, but still can be automated easily with the tools like service-now and Jira, etc. These tools provide API’s that are easy to integrate and contains notification systems that allow necessary approvers to be notified easily on getting timely approvals.
If we combine this all together and fit in our Agile model, it can make things possible to plan the product features in a small releasable chunk that can be available to the business and stakeholders much earlier and prevent any delays to your software product's market exposure for its direct customers.
Overall, we can conclude that on-demand software release can be achieved with a good set of automated tools and following well-organized agile SDLC with targeted incremental small features. It’s the necessity for today’s rapid growth in customer demands and changing business requirements that need to be fulfilled faster with proper on-demand release management.
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