DevOps – Automating the Development Process

November 16th, 2016

J Jeffrey Broderickz Systems Architect

Technology companies are regularly deriving new terms and phrases to differentiate products and product offerings. One of the more recent new terms has been “DevOps”.
To understand where DevOps fits into the picture, we need to look back at earlier development technologies, as well as some other terminologies. All of these were about application development and the approaches used to manage application development.

There was major awareness by vendors and customers, that handling the “versioning” of programs, components and artifacts simply wasn’t enough—that there was a need to manage the entire application development lifecycle and its associated processes.

Application development tooling started out with completely siloed technologies: help desk, defect tracking, requirements gathering, project management and task assignments, code management, source versioning, controlled build/compile management, impact analysis and code cross-referencing, and for some, code deployment. This tooling, although it did provide tremendous value, rarely had any integrations or interfaces—unless the customer built them.

Vendors began developing individual point solutions to these various challenges. Some vendors built more cohesive solutions, with multiple functions imbedded in a single solution or federated solutions. This initial foray, into a more cohesive solution, was often referred to as “Application Lifecycle Management” (ALM) or “Software Lifecycle Management” (SLM).

Some vendors captured significant market share/market presence because of their ability to implement an application lifecycle framework. As multiple vendors began offering ALM capabilities for a more robust and cohesive application development lifecycle, IBM rolled out Collaborate Lifecycle Management (CLM). This included the capabilities of requirements management, quality management and end-to-end traceability in a single, cohesive product set.

Development lifecycles, such as Waterfall, Concurrent and Iterative almost always managed the code deployment requirement. With the widespread adoption of Agile, Scrum and Lean development lifecycles, several of these composite development solutions still didn’t fully address the ability to manage the deployment of new artifacts. Agile, Scrum and Lean development methodologies, due to the very nature of close collaboration, had a strong need for continuous code delivery and inclusion of Operations into the entire process. DevOps arose out of the need to provide a cohesive environment to enable rapid application development and coordination across multiple work teams, along with integration of all aspects of development through deployment and operations.

IBM Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) provides end to end capabilities for coordinating development activities from requirements through project work, work assignments along with quality tracking and management. CLM provides the capabilities to leverage Agile development lifecycles across the entire enterprise, including System z. CLM is uniquely positioned to provide a cohesive single solution to manage all application development, regardless of platform or language.

It has major integrations with IBM Developer for z Systems and IBM z Systems Development and Test Environment. The products are tightly integrated to provide a complete DevOps environment. IBM Collaborative Lifecycle Management provides a consistent, standardized extensible tooling that can manage System z code development (COBOL, CICS, DB2, Java, JCL, etc.), along with distributed development (Java, C, Rexx, etc.), while coordinating deployments to System z and/or distributed servers. It is a single solution across all platforms.

Different vendors target and market to DevOps. While DevOps can also take on multiple meanings, especially when used to market specific products, it is primarily used as a term for a group of concepts that span the modern development lifecycles, and refers to the framework that enables rapid application development along with deployment. DEVelopment + OPerationS = DevOps.

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