Introduction to Java Deployment Tools
Deployment is one of the crucial steps in the software development life-cycle since it can be said that the birth of the application starts from there. Hence the deployment tool we choose is one of the important factors in the development of software. As the technology has progressed, a lot of advanced Java deployment tools have emerged in the market which serve multiple purposes like building and testing the code automatically and by supporting proper error monitoring.
Top 5 Java Deployment Tools
Let us go through 5 of the major and powerful Java deployment tools in the market right now which can help you and your management in most of the facets of the software development cycle.
Jenkins is an open-source Continuous Integration (CI) tool capable of automating a series of tasks such as building the code, testing it and deploying the software. It is a server-based application completely written in Java. It is one of the most popular tools because it continuously monitors and tests the project builds so that if there is an error in the development, it can easily be found in the beginning stages itself.
Some of the advantages of using Jenkins is that
- As soon as the code is built, it can be immediately tested hence called continuous integration.
- Can do multiple commits of code and the build proceeds with each commit
- Jenkins notifies the team in case a build fails, and the error logs are well defined
- Can easily debug in case a build fails as to which commit caused it to fail
- Since the entire deployment and testing process is automated, it helps save a lot of time.
2. Team City
JetBrains Team City is another open-source cross-platform CI/CD tool which has the option of official Docker images for agents and servers. Some of its key features are that it supports unlimited users, supports up to 100 build configurations (plug-ins), can run up to 3 concurrent build agents also supporting extra agents if necessary and supports several third-party tools without the requirement of any modification. One of the unique features is that it supports building and running automated tests even before the code changes have been committed and hence keeps the code base clean.
There are a lot of smart configurations which can be done such as:
- Forming a hierarchy for each project and creating templates so that common settings for build configurations can be shared and inherited across other projects.
- An independent build procedure can be broken into different parts so that it can be run in the required sequence or concurrently.
Atlassian’s Bamboo is a Continuous Integration (CI) tool with a feature to pipeline the tasks to be performed one after the other. Some of the basic configurations are already built-in with this tool. It can be used in building, testing, and deployment of even complex applications having numerous servers and components. Bamboo is integrated with Bitbucket (which monitors source code repositories) and Jira which helps in reporting on the progress of builds and their deployment information.
Some of the key features of Bamboo are:
- Comparatively faster in build release management and its automation process.
- It is compatible with most of the programming languages.
- It can easily be integrated with other software like Jenkins or Hudson.
- Supports the concurrent running of multiple builds at the same time.
- It has the feature where it can trigger unit tests after deployment and then the integration test suite. After which the test results are passed on to Jira where the team can see them.
- A single main project can be further divided into several plans, stages, jobs, and tasks.
4. AWS CodeDeploy
This is a deployment service from Amazon which supports automation of numerous services such as AWS Lambda, AWS Fargate, Amazon EC2, and even on-premise instances. CodeDeploy can scale up as per the infrastructure needs across various instances. It makes the releases to be available as rapidly as possible thus reducing the downtime during software deployment.
Some of the features of CodeDeploy are:
- The application can be accessed even during the deployment process.
- The centralized control allows us to easily deploy and start the application deployment via the AWS Client Interface.
- It also supports push notifications which help receive updates about the deployments.
- Supports the tracking of application health as per the configurable rules.
- The deployment process can easily be stopped, and the changes can be rolled back in case of encountering errors.
- The most important advantage and feature of using CodeDeploy are that it can be used to integrate almost any application also supporting reuse of the existing code.
It is an open-source build tool that was built in 2012 keeping the advantages of Maven and ANT and eliminating some of their disadvantages. To name a few, few of the disadvantages removed were the removal of compulsion to write build scripts in XML format, resolving problems of Maven in dependency management and handling conflicts between versions of the same library.
Below are some of the features of Gradle:
- Gradle runs checks in between build checking if any new commit has been done from the last build. If no, then the task is considered up to date and execution is stopped.
- Availability of Deep API using which the behaviour can be monitored and configurations can be customized as required.
- Supports integration with Maven, ANT tasks and Ivy repositories for deploying and fetching dependencies parallelly. It also has the option to convert Maven pom.xml to a Gradle script.
- Supports Task output caching which helps Gradle skip the local execution in case the same task has been executed already on another computer and retrieve the task output from its build cache.
The above tools are the most commonly used tools right now. There are various other tools too such as
- Octopus Deploy: Which can support the most complex application deployments from cloud and on-premises.
- CircleCI: Provides VCS Integration and focuses mainly on speed and reliability supporting Docker and almost any language that builds on Windows, Linux, and macOS.
- Cloudbees Flow: Helps to build and monitor microservices releases in a pipelined manner across various containers and also provides automated rollback feature.
Some of the other tools are Automic, Codeship, XL Deploy, Travis CI and Google Cloud Deployment Manager.
In total, there are still a lot more CI/CD tools available in the market which are either getting built newly or yet to be explored with a lot of companies trying to create a full-fledged suite for all deployment-related dependencies. The focus is on automating the entire process of software development lifecycle starting from building, testing, error monitoring and deploying the application as well as adding numerous other extra features like integration, Docker support, etc. aiding to this process.
This is a guide to Java Deployment Tools. Here we discuss the basic concept with top 5 different deployment tools in java with their features. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –