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Why App Developers Should Use Mobile DevOps

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Why App Developers Should Use Mobile DevOps

Mobile DevOps helps developers shorten time-to-release, enables the creation of better apps, makes resources more efficient, and more.

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There have been lots of articles and discussion about how mobile DevOps practices can be adopted and integrated with existing processes, and even about how to make use of resources that are efficient and beneficial for the organization. On the contrary, there has been very little discussion about why mobile DevOps can make a difference to organizations striving to enable their IT, operations, and development to be well-integrated with business goals.

In this article, we’ll take a look the top reasons why mobile development teams should adopt efficient mobile DevOps practices in order to become more productive with their execution, and why this all makes sense for mobile development.

The discipline for mobile DevOps requires important technical and business decisions in order to be usable and provide value for organizations. In order to get all critical pieces together and enable a continuous mobile DevOps workflow, problems and potential bottlenecks must be identified. Let's take a look at the top pros of mobile DevOps here.

Mobile DevOps Shortens Time-to-Release

It’s been said that DevOps is about collaboration across teams, something that wasn’t properly managed with the old Waterfall-type practices. Mobile DevOps is more than that. These streamlined processes — when development and operations come together — can enable organizations to share information between teams and with others to significantly shorten the time from the design-development phase to an actual release.

mobile devops shortens dev and test cycles

These iterative cycles during the development enable more frequent deployment of the code and get new regressions tested, verified, and released much faster than the regular phase-by-phase process. Continuous Delivery for mobile apps is enabled with cross-functional teams that include operations, development, product owners, QA, and others. Collaboration is still the epicenter of efficient mobile DevOps, as it prevents teams struggling with complex software and hardware issues later in the development cycle.

Also, mobile DevOps provides a faster path to fix occurring problems with the product. Once features and enhancements implemented for each build are done, the Continuous Integration phase integrated with proper test setup offers a faster resolution to problems. Additionally, with integration testing, regression testing, and acceptance testing for each build, there is a significantly shorter release time for applications.

Mobile DevOps Saves Time and Makes Resources Efficient

The faster delivery of features, new builds, and updates is achieved when operation environments (development, staging, production) are stable and when operating environments work seamlessly for development. This makes the entire mobile app development process more productive and helps maximize business advantages.

One of the enablers for the mobile DevOps process is automation. Automation is available with source code management for development tools and testing, and further for the actual monitoring of mobile apps in production. For instance, mobile test automation really helps enable continuous, frequent, and instant releases that can be then quickly integrated, deployed, and tested in the automation context.

Mobile DevOps Enables the Creation of Better Apps

More time is spent on the creation of new features and advantages for users, enabling the creation of better user experiences. The user experience is today’s true differentiator in the competition between mobile apps. Only those that deliver the experiences that users expect will remain the competition. If you think about the competition between similar in the marketplace, there are barely few apps that are unique. The competition is quickly building for those sort of apps.

Some of the most important things when doing DevOps are enabling instant reporting and feedback, getting transparent visibility into development, and using regression testing. This provides mobile teams with an easy way to troubleshoot issues quickly, and then fix, refactor, and optimize the user experience.

Regarding app quality and enabling better user experiences, building enterprise apps is no different from building consumer-facing apps. Although the development and delivery process can be more complex with enterprise apps, the same tools and practices are typically used in both development testing (CI tools, test automation frameworks, etc.) and operations (native app monitoring products, cloud products, and performance monitoring tools). While the mobile DevOps workflow varies, there has been a trend of using overlapping products that contain similar features.

Mobile DevOps Provides Plenty of Tooling Options

There are thousands of tools that are used to develop mobile apps. For any type of feature, there must be a tool that can help to build, test, and deploy part of the application. However, for a good reason, certain tools are commonly used by the mainstream. We’ve seen some developers use more than 40 different tools as part of their toolchain when developing, testing, and maintaining their mobile apps.

The good thing, of course, is that there are plenty of great tools available. However, the downside is that not all of them function well in the development workflow in which gradually development, testing, and operational things should flow across the toolchain and improve productivity. Most of the tools and processes that establish the core of mobile DevOps facilitate CI, continuous release, and continuous deployment. Part of this process involves application release automation tools that help package and deploy applications from development to production using automation.

These sort of tools aid the mobile DevOps flow to implement Continuous Delivery for an even larger number of releases. In addition, having release management and deployment planning with every release requires collaboration across stakeholders. Release management tools allow organizations to plan and execute releases, provide a single collaboration portal for all stakeholders in a release, and provide traceability for a release and its components across all stages of the build and delivery pipeline.

For each and every tool that your organization uses, you need to make sure you’re getting the best performance possible and operating them as efficiently as you possibly can. As you execute them, the ability to see those executions live as they happen, collect information about them, and optimize your pipeline helps to make the entire process more efficient.

Mobile DevOps Can Dodge Bottlenecks and Inefficiencies

The main idea behind mobile DevOps is to make things efficient and transparent, to improve internal communication, and to help build better products. When mobile DevOps processes, practices, and tools are in line, the following bottlenecks and inefficiencies can be avoided.

Inconsistent Development Environments

Development environments consist of tools, frameworks, hardware, and software that all form the actual development environment. In many cases, mobile DevOps is responsible for maintaining the workflow and how different pieces work together.

Manual Interventions

When the environment is planned for full automation, all manual interventions are bad. Typically, any sort of manual intervention can quickly lead to errors (done by humans) and cause a non-repeatable behavior that impacts the entire workflow.

Little Stability or Maturity of Workflow

The old saying, “the chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” works pretty well in software development. If you use tools or exercise practices that do not build up the product and that do distract the actual development (and operations), the results aren’t necessarily what you look to achieve from your effort.

Integration of Old Way and The New Way

Certain organizations have their habits, and when something new comes up in terms of process, it’s still quite common to drag the old way of doing things with them into the new process. According to various studies, this has been the number one distraction of adopting mobile DevOps and gaining the benefits it can offer.

Lack of Operational Practices

In order to transform the organization to utilize mobile DevOps practices, new and different approaches to operational practices are required. A new mindset with the management of changes, problems, requests, accesses, and more requires a modern way to do things in order to ensure an Agile, transparent, and efficient way to tackle those challenges.

Old-Fashioned Manual Testing Process

Testing and quality assurance are critical in the effort to build better apps and to deliver unique and innovative features as part of those apps. If things aren’t working as they're meant to, the outcome is typically something you would want to avoid at all costs.

Competing or Misaligned Procedures and Lack of Ownership

It's very common in large organizations that not everyone knows who owns the process, certain pieces of it, or who's responsible for getting it straight. When formulating the right mobile DevOps process for your organizations, it’s worth it to consider ownerships and to define them clearly.

Is your organization aligned well with mobile DevOps practices and culture? Does your infrastructure support scaling up? Let us know in the comment section below.

Download the ‘Practical Blueprint to Continuous Delivery’ to learn how Automic Release Automation can help you begin or continue your company’s digital transformation.

Topics:
mobile app development ,devops ,devops adoption ,mobile devops ,software development

Published at DZone with permission of Ville-Veikko Helppi, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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