Keeping all of your devices up-to-date with the latest software updates is essential to maintaining your businesses functionality. When software becomes outdated, bugs appear, it can crash unexpectedly, and it becomes more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Automated deployment tools take the responsibility out of your hands and handle the process autonomously.
When looking at these tools, there are two main purposes that they are used for; enterprise deployment, and continuous release. While many of these tools can be used interchangeably, it’s important to understand the difference.
Enterprise software deployment tools are used by businesses to make sure that all of their systems are updated. If you are managing a large office with a bunch of different computers, you need to make sure everybody is using the same version. This makes it easier for your IT professionals to fix problems and prevents unwanted bugs from arising.
Continuous deployment software is a program which continuously deploys updates to devices. It operates on a DevOps principle whereby developers code updates in short cycles and are continuously releasing small software updates. This is different from enterprise deployment where large updates are made only so often and released as bigger packages.
The 7 Best Deployment Tools
There are a lot of products on the market, and many of them get the job done. However, when you’re operating on a large scale, you want to do more than just ‘get the job done.’ You want to make every integration quick, automatic, and seamless. So, with that being said, we’re going to give you our definitive tools list.
1. Xebia Labs XL Deploy
- Automatic rollback
- Highly scalable
- Can deploy to any environment
- Easy-to-use enterprise deployment
XL Deploy is Xebia Labs’ flagship product. It’s one of the best enterprise software deployment tools on the market. They have a highly scalable business model which allows system administrators to handle anything from a few small computers to an entire office building with hundreds of devices.
One of their best selling-points is their automatic rollback feature which can automatically un-deploy an update. Lot’s of times, when software is released, it’s buggy, or a developer forgot to add a key feature. Being able to quickly un-deploy is efficient and saves time and embarrassment.
2. Microsoft SCCM
- Secure deployment with endpoint protection
- Comprehensive asset management
- Is able to deploy operating systems
- Provides remote control capability to the configuration manager’s console
- Provides software metering so you can see how well your new updates are performing.
Microsofts System Center Configuration Manager is an enterprise development tool that is designed to save your business money. SCCM reduced the overhead cost of having to individually deploy software to each device. SCCM is installed on each computer with the systems administrator in control of the master version. SCCM keeps a comprehensive record of all of your business software assets, so you never lose important keys and saved data. Systems admins have complete control over which updates are allowed to deploy and which shouldn’t.
- Open-source software
- Multi-cloud deployment
- Schedule automated releases
- Supports popular cloud services: Amazon Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Open Stack, and more
- Pre-deployment testing
- Allows you to set up automatic notifications
Spinnaker is the ultimate free, open-source continuous delivery software. Netflix and Waze are two multinational corporations that are currently on their roster, and they regularly use Spinnaker to streamline and deploy all of their updates. They allow developers to test all of their updates with the integrated “Chaos Monkey” application that tests for worst case scenarios. One of the best things about Spinnaker is that they have an active community of users, so if you run into any problems, you are guaranteed to find a quick answer. Oh, and did we mention it’s free?
- Allows system admin to set up scheduled updates
- Can release to any environment
- Can service a few devices, hundreds of devices, and even an entire cloud
- Automated risk mitigation
- Detailed deployment plans
BuildMaster is one of the latest products by a software development company called Inedo. This is an enterprise deployment software that focuses on risk mitigation. To some, the built-in features that are constantly testing for faults in the update, questioning every install, and pointing out key details can be annoying. However, to others, they can be a lifesaver. BuildMaster is set up to ensure that you will never have a buggy release or accidentally deploy software and updates that aren’t ready.
5. Go Continuous Delivery
- Easily visualize your deployment pipeline
- Cross-platform testing and reporting
- Allows you to compare builds and updates
- Numerous plugins available for download
Go is a great open-source continuous deployment tool. What makes it so outstanding is its supreme visibility. Users can see every step of the deployment pipeline which makes it easy to find a problematic release and fix the problem Another great feature that they have is cross-platform testing. Before you deploy a new software or an update, you can use Go’s built-in testing to make sure that it can run on all of your environments without a problem. They also allow administrators to perform a build comparison which helps them to decide whether a new update is actually worth it or not.
- Simplifies Android and iOS app deployment
- Automatically-generated screenshots
- Makes beta deployment simple
- Allows you to easily deploy to Google Play or Apple App store
- Quickly sign your code
If you’re a mobile app developer, then you need to be using Fastlane. While you can do everything yourself, Fastlane simplifies the process and makes it a lot quicker. This allows you to spend more time writing code and less time jumping through hoops trying to manage technicalities.
Fastlane automatically takes screenshots of your application for app store development, takes care of code signatures, and submits it to the app store in minutes. Fastlane also makes it incredibly easy to deploy your app to authorized testers for beta releases. It’s also completely free and open-source, so you’ve got nothing to lose.
- App deployment manager
- Track user metrics
- Manage updates and deployment times
- Detailed crash reports
- Available for all major platforms
- Scalable for large companies
Whether you’re a solo app developer or you manage a large company, HockeyApp is the perfect enterprise software deployment tool for all applications. It’s owned and operated by Microsoft, so they have all of the tools they need to give their users the best experience possible. They allow app developers to easily deploy their apps to the App Store, Google Play, and other online sources.
One of the most useful features is that they allow you to track all of the user metrics which makes it simple to plan out future updates and integration. You can even view detailed crash reports which let you know exactly what you need to fix.
When performing a software deployment tools comparison, you need to factor in your specific needs. If you are a company looking to streamline your existing software updates and keep track of your digital inventory, then you will likely just need an enterprise deployment tool. However, if you’re a developer who is constantly releasing small updates then you need to be looking for continuous deployment automation tools. Whatever your need happens to be, you’re bound to find a solution in our definitive tools list. Happy coding!