How do you automate continuous change to your environments consistently?
Consider a simple scenario. You have a Composite Application and you want to deploy it from Development/CI through to Production. Oracle provide a useful Apache Ant script for doing automated deployment of Composites with relative ease.
Now let's consider the fact that multiple revisions of a single BPM or SOA Composite Application can be deployed side-by-side. You may choose for each change to be a new revision or for only major and breaking changes to be a new revision. Either way, your automation will probably need to consider retirement of Composite Application revisions over time. After all, you don't want to have unused Composite Revisions hanging around in your Platform doing nothing but adding overhead.
Of course, Oracle also provide an Apache Ant script for doing automated undeployment of Composites. Unfortunately, it will fail if a composite is already undeployed. But, does this matter?
For me, this matter's a lot. Let me explain and discuss some of the solutions for reliable Continuous Delivery of SOA and BPM Composites.
Don't make me think
Automation should focus on taking a desired state and applying it to a target environment rather than performing a specific task which only works under certain strict conditions. In other words, an operator shouldn't have to think too hard about whether their automated deployment is going to work, it should just work.
For automation to just work it should first be idempotent which means when executed with the same input more than once it should have no additional effect. Read the complete article here.
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