UC4 Ships Upgraded Software Release Tool

UC4, a provider of IT automation solutions, announced the general availability of a tool that enables IT organizations to plan software releases, track progression and perform automated deployment. UC4 Application Release Automation V2 also is designed to simplify implementation by delivering built-in support for common middleware, source code management tools and issue tracking tools.

UC4 Application Release Automation V2 includes a web-based user interface that supports drag-and-drop deployment process definition and enables users to manage release processes from a single, integrated interface. The solution also enables greater communication between development, testing and operations teams, Guenther Flamm, senior vice president of global accounts and solutions for UC4, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "We facilitate communication through auto-generated emails," he explains. "Emails are still the most common form of communication in large organizations. For example, when a test cycle finishes, an email can be automatically sent to a QA manager asking for approval to promote a certain application from testing to production. We also make sure every stakeholder in the release process - development, QA, release management, operations, support - has access to a centralized web-based interface that provides a holistic view of all releases. We found that this helps improve cross-team collaboration and prevents unnecessary delays."

Another new feature, application and component modeling minimizes failures by identifying unmet dependencies. "This is a critical capability due to the distributed nature of modern applications," Flamm says. "Applications depend on OS and middleware settings, on other applications or components, and on internal or external web services. Without validating that all dependencies are met, errors and delays are unavoidable."

In addition, the new release incorporates test environment scheduling that helps ensure that required test and staging environments are available at the right time, preventing unnecessary project delays.

UC4 Application Release Automation also now includes support for deploying applications on IBM WebSphere, Oracle WebLogic, JBoss and Microsoft IIS application servers.

While the new tool supports more collaborative development efforts in the development and testing process, UC4 does not recommend one development methodology over another, says Flamm. "UC4 Application Release Automation supports both Agile and Waterfall development methods. Since the essence of Agile development is short iterations, deployment is substantially more frequent, hence automation is a key enabler. Rather than spending time on deploying new builds in QA, staging or production and troubleshooting issues, users can deploy any build at a press of a button."

More information is available at the UC4 website.