One of the trickier issues IT vendors in the age of DevOps are dealing with is that very few organizations have standardized on a platform from a single vendor. Not only do organizations mix and match tools as they see fit, but different departments within the same organization also embrace different tools to automate the same tasks. That DevOps reality requires collaboration between IT vendors that normally would prefer to not work together, whether they like it or not.
Case in point is a move by CircleCI, a provider of a continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform, to provide integration with the Jira project management software developed by Atlassian. While Atlassian makes its own CI/CD platform, customers and business partners alike have made it clear they needed CircleCI to support Jira, says Tom Trahan, head of business development for CircleCI. In some cases, those organizations have adopted Jira without having Atlassian’s CI/CD platform in their environment, while in other cases, a department within one part of an organization has opted for CircleCI while others are employing a CI/CD platform from Atlassian.
At the same time, Trahan notes that many DevOps projects now span multiple organizations that have standardized on different DevOps platforms. Jira provides a way for teams in differentorganizations to manage those projects collaboratively, he says.
To achieve integration with Jira, CircleCI now offers its CircleCI for Jira module, through which teams can assign new tasks and fixes based on job status with CircleCI orbs, a set of reusable configuration packages that allow CircleCI customers to integrate external tools into their workflow. That capability also makes it possible to launch new Jira issues directly from the job page within the CircleCI user interface.
Trahan says that in the polyglot world of DevOps, it is apparent vendors are being required to expose open application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable organizations to build and integrate various DevOps platforms anyway they want. Organizations won’t consider IT vendors that are too rigid in terms of what level of integration they enable, he says.
As DevOps continues to evolve, it’s clear that a wave of merger and acquisition activity is makeing the IT vendor landscape somewhat volatile. Providers of DevOps tools that organizations have standardized on are being acquired at a rapid rate. IT organizations can’t be certain that any given tool or platform they are using won’t be scooped up by a vendor they might not want to engage. In that kind of environment, it’s critical for IT organizations to leverage open APIs that not only make it easier to collaborate, but also replace elements of their DevOps stack whenever they deem necessary.
The challenge, of course, is that IT vendors are always trying to lock customers in as much as they can. Those efforts are not as heavy-handed as they once might have been. But almost inevitably, the extension being offered to access functionality will disappear if the underlying platform that enables it suddenly disappears. IT organizations, therefore, need to determine whether those extensions are worth any potential trouble they might cause somewhere down the DevOps road.