Founded back in 2013, Shippable is one of the cool kids in the continuous deployment (CD) space. For those unaware, CD is a movement in which development teams deploy code frequently instead of in irregular and widely spaced occurrences. It is a movement popularized by organizations such as Facebook, Google and Twitter that deploy code many, many times a day.
Shippable, therefore builds a platform to reduce friction and therefore allow software development teams to not only ship code fast, but far more frequently as well. DevOps, the movement that brought together the development and operations side of IT departments, aims to increase this velocity.
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However, the workflow required to get applications from source code to running in production is complicated and riddled with fragmented technology solutions. The only way to achieve rapid, iterative innovation is to cobble these fragments together in one contiguous pipeline.
Unfortunately, these custom, homegrown pipelines are rigid, inflexible and hard to maintain. The do-it-yourself approach is a distraction and takes valuable cycles away from product engineering. This is where a platform like Shippable comes in. The company is launching a new version of its platform, one that it sees as “industrializing” the CD process. This is an important movement—organizations increasingly find it difficult to continually innovate their products and services.
Shippable's new platform
So, what is Shippable rolling out here? It’s a big release, with the company adding some important features, especially ones that will be meaningful to the enterprise prospect base: release management, multi-cloud capability, a declarative pipeline language and a unified view across the different application pipelines in use.
Shippable wants to be completely agnostic in terms of the infrastructure upon which its users deploy their applications. The heterogeneous platform integrates with all popular tools and cloud infrastructures, as well as cutting-edge technologies such as Docker, AWS Elastic Container Service, Google Kubernetes, Microsoft Azure Container Service, Joyent Triton and Apache Mesos DC/OS. As a result, organizations can rest assured that their CD tool is abstracted from any specific infrastructure dependencies.
Some of the key features in the new platform include the following:
- Application release automation: Semantic versioning of applications is built in with complete control over deployment of versions to dev vs. test vs. prod environments. Deployments can be automatic or with an approval gate.
- Declarative pipeline language: The entire process of shipping software is expressed in a declarative yml configuration. This alleviates the need for imperative scripts that are fragile, error prone and hard to maintain. This language abstracts non-standardized vendor APIs into a common, human-readable configuration, making complex workflows easy to create.
- Multi-cloud deployments: Leveraging declarative pipelines, the same application can be deployed into a multi-cloud or a hybrid topology with a few lines of yml configuration. This makes it very easy to implement disaster recovery across multiple clouds. Teams can also develop and test in the cloud while running their production environment on premises without maintaining multiple deployment pipelines.
- Single pane of glass: The flow of shipping software from code to production can be visualized in a unified interactive view across one or many applications in the organization. This view is updated in real time, and errors or bottlenecks in the workflow can be quickly identified and rectified.
“We’ve used Shippable to ship Shippable the past couple of years. Initially, we added features mainly for ourselves. In the last year, as our customer base grew tremendously and as containers gained mainstream acceptance, our roadmap became customer driven, and this has helped us make the platform generic. We run over 3 million deployment workflows a year for our customers, and I think that by itself speaks for the battle readiness, resilience and scale of the platform,” says Avi Cavale, co-founder and CEO at Shippable. “With this new release, customers can leverage our declarative language, easily compose fungible pipelines and start the process of rapid innovation in a matter of hours.”
Shippable is the living embodiment of what CD is all about—the company moves fast, remains agile and innovates often. It’s great to see them continuing along that path.
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