Any IT organization sooner or later has to deal with such thing as Continuous Delivery (CD). They realize that there are various environments such as development, QA, support, UAT, production, etc. and there are a number of different systems working in those environments. At some point managing all that stuff manually becomes just impossible and should be automated. There is a plenty of available tools on the market allowing you to automate build and deploy processes. This is a very common case when different tools are used for different applications depending on the underlying technologies of those applications. In time, when the entire infrastructure gets larger, that zoo of different environments, servers, different versions of applications and continuous delivery tools turns to be a nightmare. I know one organization with a pretty large infrastructure where nobody could draw a diagram of their environments. Another guy from the same company told me that it was just impossible to represent it on a peace of paper in two dimensions and it probably would be possible to do that in 3D or better 4D environment :)
So, it would be nice to have a system which allows you to organize and put together all pieces of your infrastructure, to setup, to control and to monitor them. And such systems exist. In this post I'm going to focus on one of them. This is FlexDeploy. This system is pretty new on the market but I believe that because of its concepts and ideas it has good chances to become popular very soon, especially among organizations working with Oracle Fusion Middleware Products. FlexDeploy itself is an ADF application and it is mostly focused on continuous delivery and integration of systems which are built using Oracle Fusion Middleware.
FlexDeploy claims that it doesn't matter how many servers, applications and tools you have. The fundamental theorem of software engineering "We can solve any problem by introducing an extra level of indirection (... except for the problem of too many levels of indirection)" works very well here. There is always some real number of environments in any complicated infrastructure. For example development, build, production, user accepting testing, QA and support. Using this obvious indirection or abstraction any infrastructure can be easily split into these six parts. Read the complete article here.
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