The Release Dashboard – An Overview

| May 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

Enhanced Visibility

To get better insight into what’s happening in a release, we have developed the release dashboard. It shows you an overview of everything that’s happening in a release.

release-dashboard

The release dashboard is fully customizable. You can add various dashboard tiles to see information about the release: release progress, health, and timeline. To get a holistic view on the release process coordinated by XL Release, you can add dashboard tiles to show information from external tools such as JIRA, Jenkins and XL Deploy.

Release dashboard tiles are plugins — stay tuned for more tiles! For example, the ServiceNow plugin also contains a Release dashboard tile now.

 

Advanced Release Orchestration – Create Release Task Type

When modeling the release process, it may be useful to split releases into parts.

The new Create Release task type allows you to create and start a release from another release.

Create release tasks

This feature allows you to model sophisticated release patterns:

  • Create a “master” release that starts many “subreleases”, waits for them to finish, and then continues
  • Create a “kickstart” release that only contains Create Release tasks to start other releases
  • “Chain” releases together by adding a Create Release task at the end of each release to start a new one

The timeline widget shows how releases are related to each other

Subrelease timeline

 

Table View

Big releases can become a bit hard to navigate in the Release Flow editor.

The new table view provides an alternative way of visualizing the phases and tasks in a template or release. This is the ‘Excel-type’ overview of a release, giving a tabular view of all tasks involved.

release-table-view

To quickly find what you are looking for, the table view allows you to filter tasks by name, status, assignee, etc. In table view, you can also use the task action menu to quickly assign, complete, skip, duplicate, delete, or convert tasks.

 

Sequential Group Task Type Now Available

In addition to Parallel Groups, XL Release now supports Sequential Groups, in which tasks are executed in order. This provides a useful way to group related tasks within a phase.

Sequential group

You can collapse Sequential Groups to make the release flow easier to read.

If you want a sequence of tasks to be executed only in certain conditions, you can now simply group them in a Sequential Group and configure a precondition on the group.

 

Custom Reporting

For data analysts it is of paramount importance to be bale to hook into the detailed information that XL Release records while execution the release processes.

XL Release now supports data export to use with third-party reporting tools like Tableau, Pentaho, etc. When set up, data is automatically synchronized with your in-house reports, delivering invaluable insight in the release process.

Pentaho

 

Remote Scripting

Remote Scripting has been improved and now exposes all features of XebiaLabs’ acclaimed Overthere connectivity library. XL Release now supports public key authentication, native WINRM connectivity, jumpstations, HTTP proxies, SSH on Windows and more… even z/OS!

 

Small improvements

Of course there is also a bunch of bug fixes and improvements. Here are some of the highlights

Installation

  • XL Release is now bundled with installation scripts that will set up a service on Windows or Linux.

Security

  • Logging in with user ID in different case is now supported

Release management

  • When copying a template, the user that does the copying is now the new owner of the template.
  • Added links to navigate from a release to the template it was created from, and in the case of a Create Release task, to the release that created it.
  • When a task fails, it is no longer assigned to the Release Owner. The Release Owner still gets a message, as does the team the task is assigned to.
  • Team members can now freely assign a task to themselves, making it easier to pick up a task and work on it.
  • Task that are disabled in the Task Access menu are now removed from the Add task menus, resulting in less clutter.
  • Gate task dependencies now support variables.
  • Gate task end time calculation takes dependencies into account, so the planner is always up-to-date with the latest progress information across releases.

Now it’s much easier to manage more complex, multi-level and interdependent software release pipelines! Whether you are building out microservices or focused on optimizing your pipelines to delivery higher quality software faster, XL Release 5.0 will make your complex delivery processes manageable.

And whether or not you are already using XebiaLabs products, you can try out XL Release 5.0 free!


Learn more about XebiaLabs for Continuous Delivery and XebiaLabs for Microservices


Hes Siemelink

About the Author ()

Hes Siemelink is a Senior Product Architect at XebiaLabs. Hes is the original development and product manager for XL Release, the release orchestration component of the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform.