Jim Rose, CircleCI CEO, said this offering is aimed at developers that either want dedicated resources to speed up their build processes or have to address compliance and security requirements that prevent them from using shared infrastructure via the existing CircleCI cloud service.
Most of the developers building applications on macOS platforms are creating applications that will ultimately be deployed on Apple iOS devices, noted Rose. Given the popularity of those devices, the number of organizations using CI/CD platforms to accelerate creation and updates of those applications has increased, Rose added. CircleCI estimated there are now more than 30 million developers building applications on the macOS platform that would benefit from a CI/CD platform running on dedicated bare-metal infrastructure accessed via the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. CircleCI’s dedicated host provides secure access to 50% more cores and more than twice the storage capacity than is available via a CI/CD platform running on top of virtual machines.
Other capabilities provided by CircleCI include the ability to monitor the performance of apps being developed for multiple platforms in the same pipeline. Many applications deployed on iOS are also deployed on other platforms such as Android, Windows or Linux, noted Rose.
CircleCI also provides access to testing tools that the company recently added to its portfolio of DevOps tools. Those testing tools are especially critical given the stringent requirements developers face when trying to get approval to make their iOS applications available via the Apple Store, said Rose.
Developer productivity is, of course, a major issue for organizations trying to strike a balance between automating software development tasks and the art that goes into building applications. While developers appreciate automation, they don’t necessarily want to feel they are working in a factory. Given the demand for their expertise, many developers will simply jump ship when they feel software development processes have become overly onerous. While many managers tend to believe they have a handle on measuring developer productivity, there is often too much focus on, for example, how many lines of code are written versus the business outcomes achieved.
A recent CircleCI survey also found that more than half (52%) of respondents don’t allow their software developers to choose their own tools. While there is a clear need for a consistent approach to building and deploying applications, organizations will find it challenging to attract and retain the best developers if they don’t allow them to experiment with different tools.
One way or another, however, the rate at which developers can build and deploy applications is rising as DevOps best practices are adopted. It’s not clear that organizations are going to be able to absorb all that software but, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the appetite for mobile applications that drive digital business transformation initiatives has never been greater.