Otter Roadmap

As a relatively new product, Otter has a long and exciting road ahead. Although the software works great for our users today, we've got a lot of plans to make it even better.

We decide on what changes to make to Otter based on a number of factors, the largest of which is user features requests. If there's anything you think Otter should do — or should do better — please contact us and let us know.

Version 1

The central theme of v1 is disruption. Otter v1 will make your Windows servers a first-class DevOps citizen, and bring visibility of server configuration to everyone in your IT organization, not just those fluent in proprietary, Ruby-based DSLs.

One thing we'll also be working on is content: i.e., extensions and rafts that will provide more operations and integrations with the tools you use. Because Otter has an extensibility/plug-in model, these can be developed side-by-side to the releases of Otter.

Expanding Romp

  • Romp, the standalone command-line tool bundled in Otter, uses the execution engine to execute OtterScript-based configuration and orchestration plans. Currently, it's primarily used to allow for local developing and testing of plans and extensions, but we'd like to expand its use to allow for:
    • Self-contained configuration packages that can be used by installers, desktops, etc
    • Pull-based server configuration disconnected from the central Otter server
    • Test-driven Development strategies for OtterScript
  • This is currently in draft specification, and is scheduled for Otter 1.7.

Docker Extension

  • Several users are already using Otter to deploy container-based applications, but we'd like to provide a first-class extension that will make this easier. At the heart of the extension will be the 'Ensure-Container' operation, which will ensure that a specific container (perhaps from a ProGet private registry) is a running state on a particular server, and is configured with mounts, networks, and environment variables as expected.

Containers

  • Although we don't believe that containers are the future for all software across all organizations, they will continue to play in important role in many organizations' application architectures. We are committed to providing tools that enable simple yet powerful workflows for working with containers
  • Otter will configure the container hosts and the surrounding infrastructure

Cloud / PaaS

  • Applications "built for the cloud" (i.e. using a PaaS or "serverless" approach) will be another alternative for organizations.
  • Otter will define, monitor, and deploy the application and cloud infrastructure components

PowerShell and DSC

  • PowerShell is the standard for automating configuration on Windows servers, and while we've certainly embraced it's used throughout BuildMaster, Otter, and ProGet, there's still some room to improve, especially when it comes to PowerShell DSC.
  • We would love to see Otter users be able to use ProGet to host DSC resources, and easily create DSC-based plans from the visual editor.

We don't exactly have a schedule for these, but if you're interested in seeing them sooner, let us know.

  • New Service Messenger
  • New Inedo Agent
  • Manual Intervention

Already Released

  • Otter 1.7 - Enhanced LDAP Directory and Advanced Templating
  • Otter 1.6 - Server Packages, Resource Pools, Role Dependencies
  • Otter 1.5 - List and Map Indexers and New extensions
  • Otter 1.4 - Agentless Windows servers, variables improvements, OtterScript features, new APIs
  • Otter 1.3 - Inedo Den, a community and extension portal
  • Otter 1.2 - infrastructure export, import, and sync
  • Otter 1.1 - Linux/SSH agents, Git-based Rafts
  • Otter 1.0 - initial, production-ready release

Version 2

Although Otter v2 is a ways off (2018?), but our vision for the release is to get the core Otter software (i.e. not just agents) installed on Linux machines. We currently have ProGet v4 working quite well as a Docker image, so we'll see how that distribution mechanism plays out before starting on v2.