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7 Best Software Deployment Tools

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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 When software becomes outdated, bugs appear, it can crash unexpectedly, and it becomes more vulnerable to cyber attacks.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 Deployment

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 Release

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

Key Features:

  • Automatic rollback
  • Highly scalable
  • Can deploy to any environment
  • Easy-to-use enterprise deployment

Overview:

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

Key Features:

  • 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.

Overview:

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.

 

3. Spinnaker

Key Features:

  • 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

Overview:

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?

 

4. BuildMaster

Key Features:

  • 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

Overview:

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

Key Features:

  • Easily visualize your deployment pipeline
  • Cross-platform testing and reporting
  • Allows you to compare builds and updates
  • Numerous plugins available for download

Overview:

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.

 

6. Fastlane

Key Features:

  • 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
  • Open-source

Overview:

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.

 

7. HockeyApp

Key Features:

  • App deployment manager
  • Track user metrics
  • Manage updates and deployment times
  • Detailed crash reports
  • Available for all major platforms
  • Scalable for large companies

Overview:

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.

Final Thoughts

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!

Steven Hansen is a founder of Techeries. He is a specialist in digital security solution business design and development, virtualization and cloud computing R&D projects, establishment and management of software research direction. He also loves writing about data management and cyber security.

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How Gadgets Can Improve Health and Well-Being?

Paul Mills

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Media would often have you believe that technology and gadgets are harmful to our day to day lives. But how much of that is really true? Whilst, yes, staring at your Facebook feed for hours on end will do nothing for your physical or mental health, your smartphone isn’t the only gadget you can have. I have put together a list of gadgets that are being used by people in their daily lives to improve health and well being consistent.

Smartwatches have actually been around since 1994 but only now are we starting to see them on the wrists of people we meet. Naturally, as technology advanced and concepts reached consumers, we start to see smartwatches which can do all manner of things. One of the best reasons to own a smartwatch is undoubtedly the pedometer, its ability to count your steps.

Brands such as Fitbit market themselves as sport/activity tracking smart watches which monitor all manner of fitness related data, from your steps to your heart rate. The metrics recorded by these watches have a lot of influence on people, particularly when they “gamify” (the act of turning something into a game) them.

One app in particular for Samsung users places you in competition against every other user of the app in terms of how many steps you take. In addition to its health benefits, certain smartwatches are able to track your location in case of emergency and even monitor your vitals in the case that you are struck by an illness and alert someone (or the police) to your condition and location.

Drones are perhaps an unexpected addition to this list. However as they are becoming cheaper and more available to consumers, the number of people heading outside to fly their drones rises. This, in addition to action cameras such as the GoPro, is giving people more of a reason to get outside and try a new activity or travel as well as pursuing the additional hobby of videography.

Personally, the use of GoPro’s has inspired me to travel and take on various hobbies such as go-karting, skiing, and rock climbing. This additional incentive of creating beautiful footage to look back on or show off to your friends is proving effective at getting people outside. Marketing for the DJI Mavic (drone) predominantly features rolling landscapes and beautiful scenes that its users have traveled to.

Similarly, GoPro takes a stance on living more active and full lives. Not only do these gadgets benefit those who already live these kinds of lifestyles but their marketing promises them to anyone who will buy one.

Most likely you heard in the last few years about PokemonGO, a game that had thousands if not millions of people walking the streets in order to catch virtual reality pets. An idea which has been played with frequently but never quite hit the mark found unprecedented success with this iteration.

The game required users to find items with which they could capture the Pokemon at various landmarks and areas around the place where they lived. Then, using a pedometer, encouraged people to walk in order to find these Pokemon. This caused countless people to get outdoors and walk around which in turn caused many of these people to meet whilst outside pursuing the same Pokemon.

For a while, the game caused a massive spike in an interaction of people that would otherwise have never met. Whilst the game itself was short-lived, it has opened the pathways for future games of a similar nature.

Smartphones are such a prominent feature of our daily lives that they draw the attention of everyone. Many suggest that smartphones with their access to social media are actually harming social interactions and stopping “real” conversations. However, these same people are perhaps not aware of the global reach of social media. Whether a person is actually socially inept, cannot find anyone who shares their hobbies or simply feels lonely, they now have a chance to meet someone anywhere in the world.

Gamers benefit from this the most as they are able to make long-lasting relationships with someone half the world away. One of my best friends only lives in the country beside mine, however, I would never have had the chance to meet him and maintain a friendship for years if it were not for social media.

Whilst a balance must be maintained, it is wrong to say that social media cannot provide a social fulfillment to those who utilize it correctly.

My final set of gadgets are a new take on an old favorite. Whilst children have ridden bicycles, skateboards, and scooters for years, the newer electronic models are bringing them onto the streets in waves. Technology such as the mini segway balance boards are a hit with children and are featured more frequently on the streets. Higher end models such as the boosted board (electric skateboard) are doing the same for adults.

Whilst these are very comparable to their non-electronic counterparts, anything which encourages people to be outside and active is not to be looked down upon. Especially considering that many of these electric transportation devices are far easier and faster to use, even resulting in people using them to travel to work.

Whilst technology has its drawbacks, whilst some misuse gadgets and use them to replace all social interactions. This doesn’t mean that gadgets as a whole are a negative thing. Used correctly they can open up doors you never imagined to greater well being and health.

When you consider the practical applications of many of these gadgets and the benefits they can bring to many people, it’s easy to see how they can improve your health and well being. Consider the gadgets you use and the ways in which you use them. Are they your form of escapism or do you use them to live a fuller and happier lifestyle?

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The Ultimate Guide To B2B Selling

Steven Sanders

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When you are developing a sales strategy, the first thing you need to know is what kind of selling you are doing. In this case, you are engaging in B2B selling. Okay, so now that you know that, what’s next? You can’t just jump into selling blind, you need a strategy.

If you aren’t sure where to get started or where to go after your initial steps, B2B selling can be more than a little intimidating. However, with the right resources, you can learn everything you need to know about B2B selling in a short amount of time. In this article, we are going to spell out the ultimate guide to B2B selling.

What Are B2B Sales?

The first thing you need to know about B2B selling is what it is. In short, B2B stands for business to business selling. In other words, you, as a firm, will be selling to another firm. This differs from other types of selling – such as B2C (business to consumer) and C2C (consumer to consumer) – because there isn’t a singular consumer involved.

There are two main types of B2B selling: sales in which you are selling a product and those sales in which you are selling a service. It is important to note that in this type of selling, you might be selling finished products or you might be selling components that the buying business will use in their manufacturing process. Both types of sales require the same things, though; for the selling firm to convince the potential buyer that they need what is being sold to them.

How Is B2B Selling Different?

If you are used to B2C or even C2C selling, you might be surprised at how B2B selling can be a little different. Mainly, it is different due to its process. When you are selling to a single consumer, you likely only have to converse with them about the sale and then you know rather immediately if they’ll be buying or not.

When you are working between two businesses, though, there is a little bit more too it. You might hear this process referred to as either the sales cycle or the B2B sales funnel. This usually starts when you initially reach out to the business you are selling to and follows a course of meetings and proposals until the business accepts your terms and the deal is sealed.

Your Content Is Important

When you are running a business’ website, one of the first things you do is fill it with extraordinary content. There are even services that can help you create great content that is search engine optimized to help your site get more views. Here is an example of one of those services.

When you are creating a sales pitch, content is just as important as it is on your company’s website. If you have a poorly written or haphazardly put together sales pitch, your potential customer is going to catch on pretty quickly and you’ll lose the chance to make the customer feel important to the transaction. After all, you want each potential buyer to feel like their business is being uniquely helped – not like they’re just another sale.

As such, it is best to craft a script for sales. You can have a generic script but remember, you should add touches to make it feel more personal to each business. For example, give them an example of how what you’re selling could specifically help their business.

Do Your Research

Personalizing your sales message to the business you are working with brings us to another important point: you have to do your research.

Before you try to sell to a business, you need to know about them. The information you walk into a meeting or pick up the phone with has to be much more than who they are and what they do. In fact, the more information you have about the company, the better. Whatever you can use to appeal to the business’ needs and make them feel like what you are selling is crucial to them, the better.

How Do You Find Prospects?

Before you can research your potential buyers, though, you need to know who they are. So, how do you find these prospects? After all, you can’t just start cold calling random companies and crossing your fingers.

Well, the first step is to figure out what your product or service is and who you want to market it to. These businesses that you think would benefit from your product or service are your target customers. You can further specify with a customer profile – this includes information like what your target customer’s business type is and who they cater to.

After you get an idea of who your target customer is, start looking for businesses that match your customer profile. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even buy a list of customer contacts to make your search easier.

Remember, ideally, you want your customers to reach out to you as well. After all, those customers who come to you of their own accord are even more likely to seal the deal than those you reach out to. As such, if the option is available to you, you will want to advertise your business as well. However, make sure that you do your research and advertise on the right platforms so you actually draw customers in, not just waste money on a failed marketing venture.

Don’t Stop At the Sale

When you have finished a deal off, it’s best to try and stay engaged with the customer for a while after the sale. For example, call them a few weeks after they made the purchase from you to ask them if they are still happy with their purchase.

This might seem redundant, after all, they already made the purchase, what more can you offer them? Well, at this point, it’s more what they can offer you. Not only is a happy customer more likely to come back, they are more likely to refer friends and colleagues to you.

This is important because referred customers come in with a pre-established high regard for your business and what you are offering as well as the fact that they are less likely to argue with you on terms like price than a brand new customer is.

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How AI Trends Boost Industry Profits and Innovation

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We have already seen a wave of innovations across industries. Artificial Intelligence is just adding a new chapter to it. Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing the industries. Impact of artificial intelligence can be seen in healthcare, finance and banking, business marketing and many more. Artificial Intelligence has helped industries to grow at the much faster rate.

What are Latest AI trends?

Before discussing the latest trends in artificial intelligence, let us first discuss artificial intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is the branch of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that act and work like humans. Artificial Intelligence gives the power of reasoning, problem-solving and decision making to the machines. Artificial Intelligence applications include speech recognition, learning from past experience, robotics, theorem proving etc.

Some of the major trends in Artificial Intelligence are:

  • Robotics Workforce

Almost every industry is using robotics in the assembly lines. Robotics is constantly replacing labor-intensive work with machines. Automation is industries has leveraged the productivity to a large extent. Also, artificial intelligence robotics machines have high precision and accuracy. They have the capability to work at a  much faster rate than humans.

  • Voice Assistants

One of the major trends in Artificial Intelligence is voice assistant. Voice recognition systems built using artificial intelligence are able to take human voice as an input, process it and work according to the instructions.

  • Chatbots

Chatbots are one of the latest trends in artificial intelligence. Chatbots are built using artificial intelligence algorithms that enable them to communicate with humans. Chatbots have gained significant importance in customer support service for the organizations. Chatbots are designed to be user-friendly that can answer the queries of customers.

  • AI medical diagnostic systems

Artificial Intelligence has transformed the medical industry in a number of ways. Artificial intelligence systems have helped doctors to maintain the patient’s records, past illness, and various records. Also, artificial intelligence applications have been developed that can diagnose the disease of the patient from patient’s symptoms. Some of the more advanced Artificial Intelligence systems are able to perform typical surgeries also.

Let us now discuss how AI trends are boosting the profits and innovation of various industries.

  • AI in Healthcare Industry

Healthcare industry is one of the first industries to be benefitted from artificial intelligence. In the past few years, we have seen a considerable amount of investment by this industry in the field of artificial intelligence. Artificial Intelligence has also helped healthcare industry is growing leaps and bounds. The huge amount of data is associated with healthcare industry.

Healthcare organizations want to get an insight of the data using data mining. But data mining of that much amount of data is a tough task. Artificial intelligence applications have helped these organizations in data mining and analyzing the results. Artificial intelligence as a service has helped in boosting the profits as well as innovation in healthcare.

AI has the potential of improving the outcomes by 40 percent and reducing the cost of treatment by 50 percent. This leads to increase in profits. Talking about innovations, AI has helped in the 3D printing of human body parts, diagnosis of disease at an early stage, virtual health assistant and many more.

  • AI in Automotive Industry

The artificial industry is also revolutionizing automobile industry. Artificial intelligence is helping the automotive industry at every stage. AI helps in understands the dynamics of automobiles and can suggest designs that are robust. AI is also playing a big role in the manufacturing units of the automotive industry. This has increased the profits of automotive industries to many folds. Moreover, Tesla’s self-driving car is a giant leap in the automobile industry. Further research is going on like smart cars, accident prevention technology etc for the betterment of the automotive industry.

  • AI in E-commerce Industry

The e-commerce industry is one of the fastest growing industry in the market. Artificial Intelligence has applications in E-commerce industry also. One of the best examples is the AI-based recommendation system. Whenever commerce recommends you a product, it involves a complex artificial intelligence algorithm in the background. AI system recommends you products on the basis of your past searches, demographic profile, and area of interest. Also, AI systems have also improved the customer support services.

Chances are that you may have used live chat tool on a website and the tool is AI-powered. Live chatbots help in improving the customer service that leverages the customer satisfaction. A good customer satisfaction leads to increase in sales that improve the profit of the websites. Artificial intelligence as a service has also helped to innovate the e-commerce industry in a number of ways- recommendation systems, prediction systems, smooth supply chain management is to name a few.

  • AI in IT industry

Artificial Intelligence has a huge impact on the IT industry also. AI systems are helping programmers at every stage of software development cycle. For example, AI plays a major role in deciding the architecture of the software, technologies to be used and also in software deployment.

Automation tools build in AI make quality assurance better. AI has increased the profits of IT industries by increasing the productivity of the developers. Also, AI has innovated the IT industry by building better real-world software that can interact with the environment like voice recognition, face detection, image and video labeling etc.

Conclusion

With every passing day, artificial intelligence applications are adding a new chapter in the technological advancements. Artificial intelligence has an impact on almost every industry- be it healthcare, automobile or IT. Artificial intelligence has the ability to handle a huge amount of data. Latest trends in artificial intelligence have helped various industries in improving the productivity as well as the way things were done. Therefore industries are also investing huge budget in the research and development in the field of artificial intelligence. This will be beneficial for the industries in the long run.

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