Application Release Automation and its role in the DevOps toolchain
Recently, I ran across a great blog post by our friends over at Automic Software. The post highlighted the relationship between Application Release Automation and Continuous Integration and how tools in each category fulfill a different role in a DevOps toolchain.
As vendors in the ARA market, we get asked this question all the time: “Well, can’t I just use *insert CI tool* for my deployment?”
Now when answering, we always make sure to explain why this isn’t a best practice or really the appropriate use case for CI tools; I think the Automic post lays it out very nicely:
"ARA addresses a broader use case than CI, which includes, among many things, separation of duties, approvals, compliance audits, auto-scaling, and being able to work within the rigors and confines of secure production environments"
CI tools are great at what they do but they aren’t meant to take a build through multiple different stages and environments to production – that’s where ARA tools come in. CI and ARA tools are just two of the many tools that are often implemented as part of a DevOps toolchain.