Release Management Software

In this post, we review the aspects of Release Management Software, release management tools list, release automation tools, and What is SDLC release management?

Release Management Software

If you’re constantly dealing with code releases, then managing them can be tricky. You need to be able to track what code is out there, when it was released and who released it. It also needs to be easy for your teams to use so they don’t waste time on duplicates or mistakes that are costly later on in the release process. With release management software from Appian, you can do all of this and more.

Get code to customers faster and safer

The goal of release management is to get your code out to customers faster and with fewer errors. That’s why it’s important to make sure that the right people are testing the software before you go live. You can do this by using a continuous integration (CI) tool, which automatically tests every time a new commit is made in your repository, or by doing manual testing on a staging server before deploying code for production use.

Life-cycle automation tracks every change and release across teams

Automate the release process with continuous integration and delivery.

Automate your release process by tracking changes, approvals, deployments—even security vulnerabilities.

Track who is working on what, when they started and finished their work, and the people responsible for each piece of content. Automate release management with actionable insights that help you improve quality and reduce time-to-market for your products.

Advanced analytics provide insight into software performance

Analytics provide insight into software performance. They provide information to help make decisions, improve and plan. Analytics can be used to track the following:

  • Application usage
  • The number of users who use a certain feature or function, such as searching for a product in the catalog
  • The number of times a user logs in
  • The average time spent on each page within an application

Visibility and control of the entire release process from one window

Other reasons to use release management software include:

  • Visibility and control of the entire release process from one window.
  • Know what’s happening with every release, who’s working on it, track progress, see impact of releases and review history.
  • See the impact of changes to your processes or releases with no need for manual changes.

Clear reporting helps decisions to be made early, reducing pressure later on

As a release manager, you’ll want to know exactly how each stage of your release went. This way, you can make decisions early on so they don’t pile up later in the process. And if something goes wrong, you can rectify it before things get too bad, which means less pressure on the team and more time for them to focus on getting things done right.

That’s why we recommend having clear reporting in place at all times so that no matter what decision needs to be made, there will be data available for analysis. Reports can help with anything from determining whether or not a feature is ready for launch to monitoring performance issues after release—the possibilities are endless!

Powerful search tools make old releases easy to find.

Old releases are easy to find with powerful search tools. You can search for specific versions, users, projects and files.

You can also search specific commits:

Deploy code fast, reliably, and safely.

You need to be able to deploy code fast, reliably, and safely. You want your releases to happen in a matter of minutes or hours instead of weeks—and you want it to be safe enough that the release won’t take down production.

These three things are not mutually exclusive. In fact, none of them can exist without the other two being present. Reliability is important because if you don’t have a reliable way of releasing code safely then all bets are off; speed is important because if you don’t get your features out quickly enough then they might not make it into production at all; and safety is important because if something goes wrong during a deployment—and something always does eventually—you need someone who can fix it immediately so that no one has been impacted by an error they weren’t aware was there in the first place.

release management tools list

How do you define and choose the best release management tool? With so many options in the market, it can be hard to narrow down the search. Beyond leveraging the release processes across your organization to deploy at scale, you also want an intuitive tool for your teams and external partners to use regularly.

In our Release Management 101 guide, we cover the good sh*t: how a release management process minimizes release failures and increases productivity to meet business demands. 

We’re back again, and this time we’ve shortlisted the top release management tools to aid your search for a long-term solution. ✨

Here are the top 10 release management tools to maximize the value of your software development processes and communication! 

Top 10 release management tools

1. ClickUp

ClickUp is the ultimate productivity platform for agile teams to track releases, collaborate on sprints, and bring all work under one tool. Everyone in an organization—release managers, developers, external partners, security, and HR—can adopt ClickUp to personalize their work areas.

With ClickUp, anyone can view tasks from days to months out or get granular details on a task’s progress in a few clicks. Here are some of ClickUp’s 100+ versatile features that will align with any agile and DevOps teams needs: 

🐱 GitHub Integration: Manage repositories, issue tracking, and technical projects without leaving ClickUp. (Learn more about how to track GitHub activity!) 

👥 Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): Get answers to your questions about ClickUp’s security policy! ClickUp utilizes Google-supplied facilities such as organizational units, user accounts, user groups, and sharing controls to follow release management policies

🏃 The Sprints ClickApp: Create specialized Folders and Lists in any Space. Sprints use tasks as items of work, so you still have complete flexibility and access to all of the powerful features of ClickUp

🤝 Task Relationships: Link related tasks for quick reference or use them to highlight essential items for you and your team. (If a task must be completed before another one can begin, we recommend using Dependency Relationship instead!)

🤖 Automation: Browse through our library or create a custom release Automation. ClickUp’s automation tools can assign tasks and people based on criteria, update statuses, send emails to external partners, and more!

📈 ClickUp Dashboards: Add a Portfolio Dashboard widget for powerful insights on product releases, teams, or key metrics in your release process: What’s the average deployment duration? Where are manual tasks happening in each stage? 

💬 Assign comments: Keep each other accountable for small to-dos by assigning any comment that requires action before a task can close. For easy referencing, the name of the person who resolved the comment will appear next to the checkmark

🎥 Clips: Record and attach a screen with audio recordings from your Chrome or Firefox browser. Simply click to record, and ClickUp Clips will automatically insert the Clip in your task

🤩 ClickUp Kanban boards: Wield the drag-and-drop interface to arrange tasks in vertical columns. With the Multitask Toolbar, easily select multiple tasks and make as many changes as you want. Productivity win!

👉 Learn how we use ClickUp, Fastlane, and GitHub Actions to automate our Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD)!

✅ ClickUp pros

❌ ClickUp cons

👉 If you need a full software suite to handle your Enterprise workloads and processes, we’d love to help set you up for success! Contact our sales team when you’re ready. 🏁

💬 ClickUp customer ratings

2. Azure Pipelines

Azure Pipelines is a release management tool capable of building and deploying code written in any language using any platform. Users can create a new project with an Azure DevOps organization and source code stored in a version control system to start a Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) release pipeline. If the project is an open source project, users get ten free parallel jobs to help speed up the build time.

✅ Azure Pipelines pros

❌ Azure Pipelines cons

💸 Azure Pipelines pricing

Azure Pipelines is free for public projects. For custom quotes, inquire with Azure Pipelines. 

💬 Azure Pipelines customer ratings

3. Jira

Atlassian’s Jira Software is an issue-tracking platform that can automate code throughout the entire lifecycle with Bitbucket Cloud’s built-in Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) tool, Bitbucket Pipelines, or Jira partners. It supports development teams, but they’ll need to integrate with a project management tool like Trello (another Atlassian product) to collaborate with non-product teams across the organization. 

✅ Jira pros

❌ Jira cons

💸 Jira pricing

Jira has a limited free plan. For custom quotes, inquire with Jira. 

💬 Jira customer ratings

4. Chef

The next release management tool on our list is Chef, a product under the Progress portfolio providing organizational alignment with a standard tool-set and infrastructure library for Application, Security, and Operations teams. In addition, their business and technical solutions have deployment automation that takes teams all the way from development to production. 

✅ Chef pros

❌ Chef cons

💸 Chef pricing

Chef does not have a free plan or freemium version. For a custom quote, inquire with Chef. 

💬 Chef customer ratings

5. Ansible

Ansible is an enterprise IT automation solution from Red Hat. Under a single tool, teams have the flexibility to automate tasks across IT departments and domains. It’s simple to deploy using the YAML language and works by connecting to your nodes and pushing out small programs written to be resource models of the system’s desired state.

✅ Ansible pros

❌ Ansible cons

💸 Ansible pricing

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform has a limited product trial. For a custom quote, inquire with Red Hat. 

💬 Ansible customer ratings

6. Plutora

Plutora helps teams improve software releases by creating complete visibility and organization for in-house tools and business logic. The software development process combined with Plutora’s features (release calendars and analytics dashboards) takes the guesswork out of the release. As teams and release processes evolve, Plutora is built to grow with them. 

✅ Plutora pros

❌ Plutora cons

💸 Plutora pricing

For a custom quote, inquire with Plutora. 

💬 Plutora customer ratings

7. Spinnaker

Spinnaker is an open source, multi-cloud continuous delivery platform for releasing software changes. A Spinnaker application models the concept of operating a collection of services (applications or microservices). It’s built to lift the manual burden of development teams with two core sets of features: application management and application deployment. 

✅ Spinnaker pros

❌ Spinnaker cons

💸 Spinnaker pricing

💬 Spinnaker customer ratings

8. Octopus Deploy

Octopus Deploy, an independent vendor, is a single platform for teams to manage release pipelines, control software development, and automate runbooks to keep the release cycle operating. Additionally, developers can build a customized tutorial for their Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) stack.

release automation tools

The following is a listing of API management tool providers, along with a brief description of their offerings.

HCL Accelerate is a data-driven value stream management platform that automates the delivery and interpretation of data so businesses can make faster, more strategic decisions and streamline processes. By integrating with the tools you’re already using, HCL Accelerate aggregates data from across your DevOps pipeline to give you actionable insights so you can get the most out of your DevOps investments. HCL Accelerate is part of HCL Software DevOps, a comprehensive DevOps product suite comprised of powerful, industry-proven software solutions.

Octopus Deploy sets the standard for deployment automation for DevOps. We help software teams deploy freely – when and where they need, in a streamlined, routine way. More than 3,000 organizations and 350,000 users worldwide use its universal deployment automation tool and framework to make their complex deployments easy. From modern containers and microservices to trusted legacy applications, Octopus orchestrates software delivery in data centers, multi-cloud, and hybrid IT infrastructure.

Atlassian: Bitbucket Pipelines is a modern cloud-based continuous delivery service that automates the code from test to production. Bamboo is Atlassian’s on-premises option with first-class support for the “delivery” aspect of Continuous Delivery, tying automated builds, tests and releases together in a single workflow.

CA Technologies, A Broadcom Company: CA Technologies’ solutions address the wide range of capabilities necessary to minimize friction in the pipeline to achieve business agility and compete in today’s marketplace. These solutions include everything from application life cycle management to release automation to continuous testing to application monitoring—and much more.

Chef: Chef Automate, the leader in Continuous Automation, provides a platform that enables you to build, deploy and manage your infrastructure and applications collaboratively. Chef Automate works with Chef’s three open-source projects; Chef for infrastructure automation, Habitat for application automation, and Inspec for compliance automation, as well as associated tools.

CloudBees: The CloudBees Suite builds on continuous integration and continuous delivery automation, adding a layer of governance, visibility and insights necessary to achieve optimum efficiency and control new risks. This automated software delivery system is becoming the most mission-critical business system in the modern enterprise. The company’s Deploy product helps organizations automate and standardize complex, enterprise-scale application deployments to any environment — from mainframes and middleware to containers and the cloud. Speed up deployments with increased reliability. Enable self-service deployment while maintaining governance and control.

GitLab: GitLab’s built-in continuous integration and continuous deployment offerings enable developers to easily monitor the progress of tests and build pipelines, then deploy with the confidence across multiple environments — with minimal human interaction.

IBM: UrbanCode Deploy accelerates delivery of software change to any platform – from containers on cloud to mainframe in data centers. Manage build configurations and build infrastructures at scale. Release interdependent applications with pipelines of pipelines, plan release events, orchestrate simultaneous deployments of multiple applications.

LaunchDarkly: is a feature management platform that empowers all teams to safely deliver and control software through feature flags. By separating code deployments from feature releases, LaunchDarkly enables you to deploy faster, reduce risk, and iterate continuously. Over 1,500 organizations around the world — including Atlassian, IBM, and Square — use LaunchDarkly to control the entire feature lifecycle from concept, to launch, to value.

Micro Focus: ALM Octane provides a framework for a quality-oriented approach to software delivery that reduces the cost of resolution, enables faster delivery, and enables adaptability at scale. Deployment Automation seamlessly enables deployment pipeline automation reducing cycle times and providing rapid feedback on deployments and releases across all your environments.

Microsoft: Microsoft’s Azure DevOps Services solution features Azure Pipelines for CI/CD initiatives; Azure Boards for planning and tracking; Azure Artifacts for creating, hosting and sharing packages; Azure Repos for collaboration; and Azure Test Plans for testing and shipping.

Puppet Enterprise offers full life-cycle infrastructure management, including configuration management. Puppet Enterprise creates end-to-end infrastructure automation from the build process through continuous operations (with ongoing patching and policy enforcement) to end-of-life while removing manual/repetitive steps throughout the operational process.

VMware: With VMware Tanzu, you can automate the delivery of containerized workloads, and proactively manage apps in production. It’s all about freeing developers to do their thing: build great apps. Enterprises that use Tanzu Advanced benefit from developer velocity, security from code to customer, and operator efficiency.

What is SDLC release management?

Release management oversees the stages involved in planning, scheduling, and managing software releases from development through testing to deployment across various environments. The role of Release Manager is of paramount importance in a DevOps organization, assuring the availability and reliability of applications and services in production.

Though Deployment (Release) is the final part of the software development life cycle (SDLC), release management is a process that starts from the very beginning – with planning. Through design, implementation, test and deploy, every step of release management is crucial and it has certain so-called rules that you should follow.

Application Deployment: the most critical phase in the SDLC

Application deployment is undeniably the most critical and high-risk phase in any application development cycle – directly impacting application availability and consequently the continuity of the business.

DevOps is the industry response to this challenge. DevOps smooths collaboration between teams, helping businesses respond rapidly to market changes and accelerating the delivery of high-quality software updates to users. It relies on continuous integration, test and delivery to reduce risk and obtain regular and rapid feedback.

But in practice, IT teams face considerable barriers to the “continuous” model and many struggle to deliver against objectives and deploy DevOps principles across the enterprise at scale.

Download DROPS Datasheet to discover how to deploy your applications with this complete solution.

Why has DevOps fallen short of its promise?

Several factors have slowed DevOps maturity in many organizations still today

“Bimodal” IT

Mission critical n-tier applications usually contain a mix of technologies – a legacy core on midrange systems or mainframe, together with Web and mobile apps, cloud-native development and microservices. Different technologies are developed at different speeds on different platforms, each team with their own toolchain and home-grown scripts. To avoid bottlenecks, Release Management tools must tie all this specific technology together – including the legacy.

An efficient Release Management solution should be platform agnostic, orchestrating a continuous value stream from business owner to end-user, with release visibility and control across all teams, technologies and tools.

Critical Data

Application availability depends not only on software, but also on a variety of database technologies – which can include high volume data, and also application parameters, or configuration data. Often deployment tools automate the software side, but fall back on a manual update of database upgrades in production. This is a high-risk “missing link” in the DevOps pipeline.

To avoid costly incidents in production – an enterprise-grade Release Management solution must be capable of deploying data ‘in sync’ with the applications that depend on them.

DevOps tool “sprawl”

The DevOps movement has led to a proliferation of CI/CD tools, many of which are mutually incompatible and “stitched together” in home-grown pipelines – resulting in the kind of tool and technology silos that DevOps was supposed to eliminate. The complexity involved in creating and maintaining these deployment pipelines is a drain on IT budgets and introduces a level of risk that is unacceptable in 24/7 environments.

In today’s hybrid world of on-premise, private and multi-cloud, Release Management tooling must shield production teams from scripting complexity, while delegating the tasks of instantiation and provisioning to external systems. The modern, agile enterprise requires a Release Management ‘platform’ that can leverage existing scripts, whatever the language, platform or cloud provider.

The new complexity of Hybrid Multicloud

Organizations looking to benefit from the new economies of cloud yet shackled with mission-critical legacy technologies are increasingly leaning towards a highly pragmatic approach that seeks to ‘benefit from both worlds’ and minimize risk: the hybrid multi-cloud.

To understand the implications, let us be first precise on some industry definitions.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud is a computing environment that combines a private cloud and a public cloud by allowing applications and data to be shared between them.


Multicloud is a cloud approach made up of more than one cloud service, from more than one cloud vendor—public or private.

– Hybrid Multicloud = Hybrid Cloud + Multicloud

A hybrid multicloud combines a private cloud, a public cloud and more than one cloud service, from more than one cloud vendor.

A recent study from Forrester revealed that 94% of organizations are now embracing a multicloud strategy by using a mix of public and private clouds.

of organizations are embracing a multicloud strategy by using a mix of public and private clouds *

of North American and European infrastucture decision makers are planning to migrate existing apps to Cloud *

of organizations already use services from three or more clouds in enterprise solutions *

* IBM – Growing Up Hybrid: Accelerating digital transformation

However hybrid multi-cloud architectures introduce a level of complexity that strains home-grown DevOps toolchains and puts pressure on downstream deployment processes in particular.

Back to the future: from DevOps to Release Management?

To overcome the complexity of inter-dependent and multi-technology applications and keep applications highly available, production teams need a 360 degree view over their entire application estate.

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