AwardDevOps tools are defined as technologies that improve software development processes in line with DevOps principles (i.e., combining software development and IT operations to shorten the development lifecycle) with the aim of reducing errors, accelerating innovation, and decreasing effort requirements.
This article discusses the need for DevOps tools in detail and recommends the best solutions for 2021-2022.
DevOps tools are technologies that improve software development processes in line with DevOps principles (i.e., combining software development and IT operations to shorten the development lifecycle) with the aim of reducing errors, accelerating innovation, and decreasing effort requirements.
DevOps tools can come in all shapes and sizes, i.e., open-source, commercial, cloud-based, on-premise, standalone, or a suite. However, they must have a select set of features to aid developers and IT professionals. Here are the five key features that characterize DevOps tools:
Key Features of DevOps Tools
While some software development aids are meant for business users (e.g., low code platforms and codeless automation platforms), users of DevOps tools will bring extensive technical expertise. The functionalities of your selected DevOps tool must be tailored accordingly, including tutorials, code repositories, collaborative workflows, and automation if necessary. Keep in mind that the specific feature set may vary depending on the exact role and designation of the developer in relation to the software development lifecycle. It is also helpful to have a developer community surrounding the tool to aid in versatile usage.
2. Cloud readiness
The tool must be able to support application development for a wide range of environments, including hybrid, private, public, and multi-cloud. This is because the cloud is rapidly becoming the default hosting environment for both enterprises and independent software vendors (ISVs). The cloud also requires faster app development with shorter iteration cycles, which the DevOps tool must be able to support. However, rather than choosing cloud-only tools, enterprises may want to go for hybrid-ready DevOps solutions so that they are interoperable across both on-premise and hybrid, public, private, or multi-cloud environments.
3. CI/CD compatibility
Continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) is a top priority for DevOps teams as it bridges the gap between build and deployment to speed up software development. According to the CI/CD framework, automation is leveraged at key stages of app development, and new code is integrated even as previously written code is tested and deployed into production. Importantly, CI/CD principles form a central pillar for agile development teams and require close collaboration between team members. Your DevOps tool must be equipped to address CI/CD use cases and support automatic release to code repositories as well as automatic deployment into production.
4. Ease of integration
DevOps tools are rarely used in isolation. Typically, they are part of a larger software development technology ecosystem with other components like a code repository (e.g., GitHub), scripting user interface, testing tools, automation scripts, and more. The DevOps tool you choose must be ready for integration with its surrounding technology systems – there are three ways to achieve this:
- A native integration marketplace: The DevOps tool provider has a downloadable marketplace featuring connectors for all of the industry tools that it can integrate with. Developers can select the connectors they need as per their tech stack.
- Application programming interfaces (APIs): The DevOps tool provider offers an API library as part of the solution or for an additional fee. These APIs can be tailored to connect with a wide variety of applications, even homegrown ones.
- An open-source architecture: The DevOps tool is available as an open-source solution. Any independent developer or organization can access the underlying codebase to create their own APIs and connectors.
5. Collaboration support between dev and ops
While developer collaboration is an essential feature, as discussed earlier, the DevOps tool must also be able to support close communication and collaboration between development and operation teams. As the development team builds code, the operations team must be able to put it into production and quickly come back with feedback and iterations, if any. This synergy is at the heart of DevOps success. Therefore, the tool must provide collaboration capabilities either natively (preferable) or at least through integration with a third-party collaboration service.