Release management tools are an indispensable part of the software development machinery. These tools are an effective way of improving your productivity and working more efficiently.
One of the things about release management is that you have to be on your toes all the time to make sure that all processes are running smooth and the deliverables are completed on time. The constant vigilance can be highly exhausting, mentally and physically.
This is where having a relevant tool helps. The efficient features of a good release management tool will rid you of tiring tasks and make work a walk in the park for you. From automating recurring processes to creating organized workflows, the right release management tool will transform your work for the better.
We have dedicated this article to help you find the best release management tool for your business. We will give you a rundown of release management and the 7 best tools in the market you can choose from to make the process easier and more fun for yourself.
If you are new to release management then continue reading otherwise you can skip this segment of the article and head over to the next one, “List Of The 7 Best Release Management Tools in The Market”.
What Is the Release Management Process?
Starting with the very basics, what is release management? Release management is simply a process that highlights different phases of software development from inception till its very completion. The process involves planning and development of software features and the release, as well.
Project Management Institute (PMI) defines release management in the following terms:
“Release Management is the application of established project management principles to the management of the tasks of various organizations resulting in the deployment of a new software package (or an upgrade to an existing package), using release specific processes.”
The definition, although complex, iterates that release management involves initiating, planning, scheduling, testing, executing, controlling, and closing the software releases. The main aim of the process is to make the software development process simpler and more efficient.
Release management process is deployed whenever a new product is launched or when changes or additional features are requested for an existing product. The following section will help you understand which release is successful and which one is not.
What Makes a Release Successful?
To be marked as successful, a release must fulfill the following objectives:
- Released on time
- Within the budget
- Zero or negligible impact on the existing users
- Meet the demands of new customers, or the technological advancements
Whatever the new release is, it shouldn’t cause any disruption, or it should be ensured that the disruption is as minimal as it can be.
Onto our main agenda i.e., the best release management tool in the market. Let’s take a look at the list right away.
List Of The 7 Best Release Management Tools in The Market:
The following 7 are some of the most popular tools in the market, offering a wide variety of features for successful release management:
Starting with our favorite and probably the best tool in the business, nTask.
Time and again nTask has proved itself not only as a project management tool but as an all-encompassing software, offering everything under the sun for efficient planning and execution. Over the course of its run, the tool has acquired the trust of hundreds of thousands of teams from all over the world and continues to climb the ranks even further.
As a release management tool, nTask is second to none. Scheduling development, organizing tasks, executing the plan, and keeping track of the whole process is a piece of cake with nTask’s promising features.
In addition to its excellent features, the release management tool delivers quality with its user-friendly interface, foolproof security, and third-party integrations.
- Create tasks and subtasks
- Set automation for recurring tasks
- Issue tracking
- Add files, images, etc. for added information
- Color-code tasks in order of priority
- View tasks in progress via multiple viewing options
- Create to-do lists, set milestones, and add task descriptions
- Track activity and log hours
- Keep an eye on the budget with financial summaries, etc.
- See the activity log to keep an eye on activity on the task
- Schedule and hold meetings with members
- Use ‘Task comments’ to communicate with team members and give and receive timely feedback
- Basic – $0
- Premium – $3Per User Per Month
- Business – $8Per User Per Month
Ansible is our next best in this list of best release management tools.
Ansible specializes in automation features. By eliminating repeating tasks, the tool allows you to focus on things that are more important. One of the best things about Ansible is that it’s a team player, all the automation is implemented throughout the organization.
Additionally, the tool is relatively easy to use and polishes communication within the team.
- Automated inventory management
- Centralized automation execution
- Job Scheduling
- Scheduled and centralized jobs
- Visual dashboard
- Audit trails
- Enhanced notifications
- Visibility and compliance
- Role-based access control
- Enhanced permissions
- Securely connect systems to jobs
- Role-based access and self-service
- Ansible offers a free trial of 60 days for its new users. Contacting the Ansible team can obtain pricing details for the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform.
Jenkins is another famous platform in terms of release management. The tool has made ripples in the business world with the hundreds of plugins it offers to its users.
Jenkins is an open-source automation server, exclusively designed to help software developers build, test, and deploy their software. You can also integrate Jenkins with other tools for added efficiency.
- Can be a hub for continuous delivery and continuous integration
- Easy to install
- Easy configuration
- Integrates with almost every tool in the continuous integration and continuous delivery toolchain
- Offers hundreds of plugins for integration
- Can distribute work across multiple machines
- Jenkins is available for free.
Plutora is another great tool that has been making waves in the business world with its efficient value stream management. The tool, as a release management software, helps with the organization and visibility of the release process.
The transparency allows teams to stay updated about the latest developments in the process and plays a critical role in improving productivity and efficiency across the organization. The platform combines Agile, DevOps, and measured outcomes to improve the quality of the deliverables.
- Provides visibility into the entire SDLC
- Integrates data with existing tools
- Built-in dashboards
- Powerful customization engine
- Standardize processes throughout the organization
- Offers visibility into and control of every team, tool, and pipeline across your enterprise
- Contact team Plutora for custom pricing details.
Spinnaker is our next pick on this list of best release management tools.
Originally developed at Netflix, Spinnaker is an open-source platform equipped with the latest features for quality deployments. The core feature of the tool is the construction and management of continuous delivery workflows.
Spinnaker is specially designed to help improve the velocity of deployments and improve the overall efficiency and productivity. Spinnaker also offers integration with other cloud providers for added ease for the users.
It also helps standardize the release management process across the organization and improve the quality of the releases.
- Role-based Access Control
- Chaos Monkey Integration
- CI Integrations
- CLI for Setup and Admin
- Built-in deployment strategies
- Restrict execution of stages to certain windows of time
- Manual approval process
- Monitor integrations
- Set up notifications
- Spinnaker is available for free.
Clarive is another release management tool that is favored by release managers all over the world.
The tool makes release management a piece of cake by providing a unified workflow, equipped with the latest features and advanced tools. You can also choose and implement a template from Clarive’s arsenal.
It offers an integrated experience for Dev and Ops throughout the whole DevOps lifecycle.
- Project and role level authentication
- Branch management
- Global pipeline and predefined natures for continuous integration
- Merges topic branches for clarity
- Define DevOps automation pipelines using rule-based event triggers
- Write DevOps code in any language of your choice
- Communicate with peers by adding comments to code
- Use Kanban boards for visualization
- Release planning with workflows
- Community – Free for up to 25 users or nodes
- Team – €2 per month per user or node
- Business – €6 per month per user or node
- Enterprise – Contact the Sales rep team for custom pricing
Chef is our last pick for this list.
Chef is automation software designed for the continuous delivery of secure applications and infrastructure. Chef simplifies collaboration and allows teams to scale delivery across various applications. With its efficient automation features, it drives teams from the inception till the deployment of the release.
- Compliance testing at every stage
- Standardized tools and processes
- Enterprise dashboard and analytics tool
- Advanced automation features
- Scale continuous delivery across all environments
- Common toolset and automation library for application, operations, and security teams
- Continuously check compliance status and resolve issues
- Test-driven infrastructure configuration
- Contact team Chef for pricing details.
This was all from our side. The 7 tools listed above are top-tier tools with some of the best, most efficient solutions. Along with the efficient features, most of the tools are available for free and others have inexpensive pricing packages, making them even more likable.
Whether you are new to release management or a veteran n the field, having a release management tool can certainly make the process a lot easier for you. Although all the tools listed above are the best of the lot, nTask is our favorite considering the vast variety of features it offers its users, affordable pricing packages, and much more.
You can start your journey with a release management tool right away – sign up to nTask for free and get started now!