What is Release Orchestration?
Release orchestration is the process where developers
organize tasks such as planning, tracking, and communicating throughout the software
release cycle across different teams, departments, and technology to provide updates
across the environment or for the users.
Using the release orchestration, an organization can achieve
visibility into the release pipeline that improves planning and scheduling of the
software updates. And it allows a process of streamlining, maximizing operational
efficiency, and identification and fixation of bugs before the application goes live. It
also allows a framework to control the process that helps organizations improve
reliability and prepare for compliance and audits.
Understanding Release Orchestration
With release orchestration, you can easily orchestrate,
automate, and manage your end-to-end software release pipelines without ceasing to the
opportunity of using the best tools and practices you have developed and employed. You
can model your software development and release process by defining sequences and steps.
For that, you can save models as templates, and you can weave them together in whatever
way you want to use them.
All the processes involved in release orchestration end up in
a complete pipeline that can be triggered with a push of a button. It handles all the
interactions with external systems like testing, deployment, CI (continuous
integration), ticketing systems, and more. All these features integrated into a pipeline
present a holistic view of progress, where all the stakeholders can see how the process
is taking place, in which direction it is heading to, and what’s working and
Once you adopt a plug-in architecture, you can configure your
product pipeline and report or create a regular and consistent schedule for releases
freely. Instead of using loose API integration, you can have a single coherent interface
that will cut through the different formats or tracking formats so you can take full
control over the process. Release orchestration also helps you scale and fill the gaps
required by your CD (continuous deployment)pipeline by enabling your team to deliver
better quality software to your user in a speedy way.
Components of Release orchestration
- Orchestration and Packaging: Orchestration manages your release process from the
beginning to the release to production. But there is another crucial part of the
orchestration, that is the packaging. When pieces of code configuration and
other resources are bundled together to handle the release in a functional
manner, it is known as packaging. To manage your release orchestration,
packaging needs to be included, otherwise release automation can deploy
incorrect or incomplete releases to the production environment.
- Dependencies: To plan a
successful application release, you need to have all the interactions between
the new product and other systems, applications, or databases into the account.
Suppose you remove or forget to add the functionality that your application
relies on, then chances are you will create inefficiencies, errors, or outages.
To include all the dependencies, you need a thorough process that clearly
indicates what dependencies each application requires. Once you have all those
dependencies into the account, you can integrate them with your release by
automating the tasks.
- Approvals: You can set up
multiple approval requirements, including different team members or managers, to
check each release for dependencies, errors, testing needs, and quality control
measures. Releases can’t move forward without required approvals, which
are needed to improve release quality and decrease production errors and
- CI/CD Support: In DevOps, there
is a buzz about CI and CD, where developers accelerate software delivery with
automated build, deployment, and testing of new code in small and regularly
scheduled batches. Application release automation is also part of the CI and CD.
Once you create and implement your release automation process, make sure to
build it around the CI and CD methodology to create a process that includes
continuous build and automated testing.
Benefits of Release Orchestration
- Introduces Automation: Release
orchestration allows teams to accurately, efficiently, and quickly automate
tasks performed manually in the past. In return, you experience lower
operational expenses and a faster time to market. Another advantage of release
orchestration is that while automating tasks, you have the privilege to use any
platform like on-premise, in the cloud, or any other hybrid configuration. When
you optimize the resources available to you, it also reduces the monetary
expenses, resources, manpower, and time-related expenses.
- Improves Efficiency: Release
orchestration platforms help organizations achieve efficiency in application
development, IT operations, and development operation by incorporating better
planning, control, and process automation of the continuous delivery of changes
of any nature, including major, minor, or emergency. In short, this kind of
efficiency helps companies make a better choice about the usage of their
resources, achieve more innovation, and at the same time, shorten the
development time and enables developers to spend more time on quality
- Betters Cross Department Communication: Orchestration platforms also improve the
communication between release managers and all those who are working in sync
even during peak times. Even senior release managers can get a clear and
consistent overview of all the releases present in their domain by looking at
the centralized dashboard that makes lives easier for everyone. If the
communication between the development, quality, and operation teams improves, it
also improves the product quality. When everybody on board or the entire
organization is revitalized, it helps them offer better productivity and
motivation throughout the other departments.
- Increases Savings: Using
various automated tools leads to greater operational efficiency, and it also
increases revenue because organizations can deploy new services faster. The
ability to simplify the creation of advanced services also helps service
providers to significantly lower the cost of ownership.
- Faster Time to Market: An
advanced level of automation helps you launch more services and get them to the
market faster. It leads to cost savings and revenue benefits. Release
orchestration helps service providers to provide tailored or customized services
to their customers. And as a result, the products get more traction and a
positive word in the market due to the amplified customer
How Does Release Orchestration Help You?
To assess how the release orchestration truly helps
developers, you need to know how it has solved the problems after its
Rise in problems regarding planning,
tracking, and communicating throughout the release cycle when team size
or the scope of the release is large.
Flexible solutions for traditional agile and
continuous delivery methods. With minimum controls and coordination, you
can handle release management effectively.
Segregation of the duties like orchestrating
approvals and other controls that are responsible for effectively
meeting the requirements is difficult.
Easy to use controls to handle any sort of
changes into production and other controlled environments. Also, these
controls ensure efficacy during change processes and audit
Problems in monitoring the changes that are
happening or about to happen because of improper coordination.
You can see the release pipeline via
dashboards and reports. This data helps you plan and execute releases
throughout the release lifecycle.
All the processes are manual, which makes
them time-consuming and error-prone. The most amount of the time is
spent in regular maintenance, delivering updates, enhancements, and
Because of automation, you can repeat changes
across all environments at any frequency: daily, weekly, monthly, or
based on your organization’s need.
Best Tools for Release Orchestration
Release orchestration solves the complex problem that
developers face on a daily basis because it allows them to use various tools. If you
want to know about those tools then take a look at the list of tools given below:
- GitLab: It is
an open-source DevOps platform that facilitates coordination among the Development,
Security, and Ops teams to build software.
- Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform: This platform is able to handle application deployment,
configuration management, and continuous delivery. Thus, automate apps and
- Azure Pipelines: It lets you automate your builds and deployments with
Pipelines to save your precious time.
- CloudBees CD:
It provides release orchestration, deployment automation, and environment management
capabilities, with integration to your existing DevOps toolchain and analytics to
measure, track, and improve your software delivery pipeline.
- Octopus Deploy: It was the first release automation tool, adopted by many
software teams to automate releases and deliver working software to
- AWS Amplify:
It eases the creation, configuration, and implementation of scalable mobile
applications powered by AWS. Seamlessly amplifies provisions and manages your mobile
backend and provides a simple framework to easily integrate your backend with your
iOS, Android, Web, and React Native frontends.
- Puppet Enterprise: It helps you explore your infrastructure, its
configuration across all the physical components of your data center; your cloud
infrastructure; and everywhere you're running in containers.
It lets you release your software reliably, to any environment, at whatever pace the
The software release is the most crucial stage of any
software development life cycle, and it needs proper planning and strategy. This is the
reason why developers put so much stress on release orchestration. It does not just help
you plan and strategize but also communicate the process throughout the organization.
The biggest advantage of using release orchestration is, it lets you use various
automation tools to improve the development cycle and lower the operational cost.