Continuous deployment tools

Continuous integration is an essential practice in today's DevOps enterprise, and some organizations implement continuous delivery and continuous deployment as well. These practices overlap but are distinct. To compare continuous integration vs continuous delivery: continuous integration entails the frequent building, testing, and fixing of an evolving software application, whereas continuous delivery goes a step further by mandating that each successful build be deployment-ready. Continuous deployment goes further still by actually deploying each successful build into live production. Continuous deployment tools are automation and quality control technologies that support this full sequence, from continuous integration through to deployment of good builds into the production environment.

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The major categories of continuous deployment tools

The wide range of continuous deployment tools on the market can be grouped into four main categories:

  • Build servers (sometimes called "continuous integration servers"). These automated build tools pull the latest code check-ins from the source repository, compile and build the application, trigger a series of automated tests, alert the team to any test failures, and maintain a build status history. In the typical DevOps environment, automated builds are kicked off either once a day or in response to each code check-in.
  • Automated testing frameworks. Developers and QA engineers use these continuous testing tools to create suites of fast-executing unit and functional tests that can be triggered by the build server.
  • Application performance monitoring systems. This type of continuous deployment tools gauges the performance attributes of each build and helps to ensure that a build is truly deployment ready. The most advanced APM technologies, such as Dynatrace, not only identify performance problems but enable rapid performance troubleshooting.
  • Configuration management systems. These continuous deployment tools standardize and automate the deployment of application code and underlying resources into target environments – including test, staging, and production environments. Ideally, such tools make it possible to prepare and execute "push button deployments".
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Continuous deployment tools for performance engineering: Dynatrace APM

Dynatrace empowers DevOps teams to confidently deploy applications that meet or exceed expectations for performance, availability, and scalability. For organizations seeking continuous deployment tools to initiate or elevate a continuous deployment program, Dynatrace offers:

  • Easy integration with CI tools and test automation tools so that each build becomes a rich source of application performance data.
  • Support for all application development environments including cloud environments (such as for AWS continuous integration).
  • Fast, thorough, and realistic synthetic monitoring -- originating from our global synthetic monitoring network of diverse devices and browsers -- to ensure that a web, cloud, or mobile application is truly launch ready.
  • Real user experience monitoring for applications in live production.
  • Comprehensive tracing and timings for application transactions across all tiers and components.
  • Fast and easy root cause analysis for performance anomalies or degradations.

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