7 Best Software Deployment Tools
Trying to find out the 7 best software development tools?
Well, look no further as you have come to the right place.
According to a study, the “Mobile Health App Market is Expected to Reach USD 94.14 Billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 29.03%”. This represents just one small segment of the whole software development market.
Besides the huge sums of money to be made, software development represents the most cutting edge business market in modern times, and as such, is the place to really make your mark. Here are a few amazing case studies of companies who hired DevTeam.Space to build their software products:
- Safari – Web Application
- Algo Trading Solution – Cryptocurrency Trading Solution
- Medical Supply – Healthcare Mobile App and Web Application
Jenkins was one of the first automated deployment tools, and it’s now the most popular. It’s open source, has a large, active community backed by big names, and has countless plugins for you to work with. All very attractive qualities for a software tool.
Jenkins can be used to automate many different software tasks. Some common ones include:
- Detecting bugs
- Software tests
- Analyzing code
- Software deployment
- Building projects
And more. On the Jenkins homepage, they boast:
- Easy installation – shipped as a self-contained Java-based program, meaning it’s ready to go out-of-the-box for Unix, Mac, or Windows
- Easy configuration – web interface for quick setup, including error checks and built-in help
- Continuous release, integration, and delivery – can be used as simple CI server, or for more in-depth purposes and to help streamline your DevOps practices
- Extensible – infinite possibilities with plugins
- Distributed – can work collaboratively with multiple machines
Jenkins really is an all-in-one solution for project automation. Some common complaints about Jenkins are the over-reliance on third-party plugins. This can be a little unstable, and sometimes make it difficult to repeatedly reproduce Jenkins configurations.
Jenkins is open-source, written in Java, and released under MIT license.
Next on the list is an awesome tool from software giant Atlassian. If you are already using some Atlassian products like Bitbucket or Jira, this tool could fit really nicely into your workflow. Built for continuous integration, deployment, and delivery, it covers some of the same ground as Jenkins but has some key differences:
- Built-in Git branching workflows
- Jira and Bitbucket integration (other Atlassian products),
- Built-in Automatic testing
By automating the process of building, testing, and deploying, developers can focus on what’s really important – developing a great product.
Other cool features:
- Mobile devs can deploy apps to the app stores automatically
- You can use it with AWS, Docker, Amazon S3, and any programming language you like
- Easy bug fixing tools
- Release history archives
- Many more
It’s not free, but the price is as low as $10 for small teams. Check out the full description here.
3. Octopus Deploy
Octopus Deploy is “an automated release management tool for modern developers and DevOps teams”. Compatible with:
- ASP.Net, Java, Node.js, Windows services
- Many scripting languages (Ruby, bash, …)
- Different database types
It runs alongside your build server to automate complex deployments in the cloud, corporate data center, or on-site. Like many deployment automation tools, the focus is on repeatable environments you can rely on as a developer.
Easy to install, the dashboard is well structured, and the learning curve isn’t too bad.
It’s free for small teams and for some commercial uses. Pro subscriptions begin at $700, but the price quickly goes up to 10s of thousands if you want to use it as an enterprise software deployment tool with support and upgrades.
Other cool features:
- Code analysis
- Automatically run tests and track over time
- REST API
4. AWS CodeDeploy
If you are using Amazon Web Services, Amazon’s own software deployment tool CodeDeploy might be a good option for you. You can use it to automate deployments to Amazon EC2 instances, but you can also use it for your own on-premise deployments too.
Amazon is known for its epic speed of releasing features, and this tool helps you do the same. Once you’ve got your process set up, you can take advantage of AWS’s unlimited scalability, and use it to deploy to thousands of EC2 instances. It also helps you maintain high-availability with rolling updates to your nodes, meaning your services won’t go down if an update fails. The health of your deployment can also be tracked with configurable rules you choose.
CodeDeploy is free to use, you just have to pay for the AWS cloud computing resources you use to deploy your applications to.
Other cool features:
- Can deploy content from GitHub and Bitbucket
- Deploy almost any kind of application content, including executables, scripts, multimedia files, config files…
- It’s ‘Platform agnostic’
- Easily integrate with any continuous deployment software tools
- Ability to specify the number of EC2 instances taken offline for updates
5. GitLab CI
GitLab CI is another continuous integration tool, this time built into GitLab – a Git repo hosting and tools platform. It was originally a separate project, but gained so much traction they decided to move it into the core in 2015. That also means that GitLab CI can only be used with GitLab.
GitLab CI uses the same “beautiful” experience as GitLab does. It’s open source, free for the community version, and easy to learn with the quick start guide.
There is a real focus on scalability and distribution. Your deployments can be easily distributed across multiple machines, and there are other cool features like the ability to run parallel builds across multiple machines. You can also scale your automated tests by adding additional machines.
Other cool features:
- You can run your builds on OSX, Unix, Windows, or really anything that supports Go
- Works seamlessly with the GitLab workflow
- Easy rollback capabilities and manual deployment
- Check branches individually using custom version tests
- Command-line driven build scripts that work with PHP, Ruby, C, Java or any other language
- Can use with GitLab command-line runners
- Continuously monitor the health and status of your applications
- Support for Docker
The enterprise edition starts at $16 per user.
6. Travis CI
“Test and deploy with confidence” is the Travis slogan. Proof that this is a great tool is the number of people using it. Over 900k open source projects on the platform, and 600k users all up. That’s a lot for a free open source tool! You can use it to coordinate thousands of commits and contributors.
The process for using Travis is super simple. Login using GitHub, give Travis a project to test, then push it to your repository. Easy stuff. It makes it easy to test your code runs smoothly against all kinds of languages, and to test every pull request is tested before merging.
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You can deploy to Amazon S3 and Heroku, and update staging and production as soon as tests pass.
If you want a private repository, there are different paid private plans ranging from $129-$489
Other cool features:
- Deploy to S3 and Heroku
- Free for open source projects
- Deploy to S3 and Heroku
- Watch your tests as they are running
- Keep your code and config files together
- Works with Slack, Email, and HipChat
- Clean VM for every new build
- Linux and Mac (and iOS) supported
- API available
- Command line tool available
Is a continuous integration/delivery automation platform. With Docker support, it helps streamline the process of provisioning, building, and pushing apps to production – deploying any application anywhere.
Shippable is very flexible, so you’ll be able to work with many other tools you’re already using, all programming languages, and cloud providers.
Other cool features:
- Ability to separate security and compliance duties with policy-driven permissions
- Docker friendly – get started fast
- Custom YML configurations
- Nice visual reporting for tests and code coverage
It’s free to get started, with a premium subscription for $25. There are more options available for teams.
That’s it for our software deployment tools comparison. There are obviously hundreds more we haven’t talked about here. DevOps and continuous deployment tools are becoming ever more important. The big software houses and cloud vendors are competing for market share, and there are great open-source projects popping up to fill in everywhere else. Whatever you need, there is probably a great tool out there somewhere.
Key considerations when planning software deployment activities in your project
We talked about the best software deployment tools that can help you in your deployment process. However, which key factors should you consider when choosing a deployment tool? What are the key considerations when you plan software deployment activities? These are as follows:
1. Automation capabilities in a deployment tool
Modern software development projects often use the “Agile” methodology. This involves rapid iterations where you add new features frequently. You need to expedite your entire software development process.
This makes “Continuous Integration” (CI) and “Continuous Delivery” (CD) very important. You need to cut down the time spent on repetitive tasks, therefore, automation is the key. Look for tools with great automation capabilities.
2. Compatibility is important when you choose a deployment tool
Are you undertaking a large-scale software development process? The application deployments team in your organization probably needs to support multiple platforms. You need a software deployment tool that supports all key operating systems. Look for a tool that supports Windows, Unix, Linux, Mac OS, Android, and iOS.
3. The need to support specific products when you plan a software deployment
You might need to look for specific deployment tools when you work with certain software products. Take Adobe products for example. You can’t use “Creative Cloud Packager” anymore to create software packages since Adobe won’t provide updates to it anymore.
The company provides sufficient guidance in this regard. You need to use “Adobe Admin Console”, furthermore, Adobe supports 3rd party tools like “System Center Configuration Manager” (SCCM).
4. The importance of expertise and experience in the software deployment activity
You need expertise and experience in your deployment team. While you focus on forming an expert development team to deliver the intended functionality to end-users, you need a competent deployment team too.
Software deployment can be complex. Different platforms involve unique technical complexities, and your team should know about them. E.g., the knowledge of MSI (Microsoft Windows Installer) and MSP files can be very important for deploying Windows and Microsoft programs.
You need software deployment engineers with sufficient knowledge of important tools. A good example is the Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager. It was earlier known as Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). It provides comprehensive deployment capabilities, furthermore, you can secure endpoints.
5. Using the appropriate guides, checklists, etc.
You can manage software deployment activities by following the appropriate guides, templates, and checklists. Take SaaS products for example. You need an architect that knows the best practices concerning SaaS deployment, and you need to follow appropriate SaaS operations checklists.
6. The ease-of-use offered by a software deployment tool
You need a deployment tool with the following capabilities:
- It should support real-time software development;
- It should conform to the modern DevOps processes and methods;
- It should offer useful plugins.
Your deployment requirements could be large in a complex project. The deployment tool you choose should support unlimited users with minimal downtime.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which software development tools are best?
There is a huge range of software development tools available today. While the best ones usually cost money, many are free. The type of software development tools that are best for your project really depends on your needs. The cloud is arguably now the best source of comprehensive software development platforms with the best tools. Read this article to find out more.
Are there free software development tools?
There are lots of free software development tools out there that have been used to build many great apps.
Are free software development tools any good?
While often not as comprehensive as paid software development tools, free software development tools are developed by the developers that need and use them. Since these developers understand the problems best, they often code the best solutions.