There are many planes and points-of-view from which to examine how DevOps changes development. One way to look at it is to cut an application down the (more or less) middle, dividing it between its system of engagement and its system of record. Briefly, the system of engagement interfaces with the customer while the system of record engages with the backend systems that contain the data stores that the application leverages for the benefit of the customer. These two systems must interoperate smoothly and intuitively with each other internally, and with the systems and people they interact with external to the app.
DevOps affects the entire workflow as development, testing, and operations work together to better build their apps. “This is a big part of what IBM InterConnect is about,” says Mike Fulton, IBM DevOps for Enterprise Systems CTO, and blogger, https://makingdeveloperslivesbetter.wordpress.com/. DevOps really defines how enterprises pull systems of record and systems of engagement together more cohesively while enabling people from different components of the development-operations / CD process to communicate to and learn from each other more quickly and efficiently, speeding the arrival of deployable software. DevOps connects workflows into this learning process even as workflows enable efficiency improvements. IBM tools surrounding development workflows participate in that process.
“IBM provides a series of tools to help you move through each unique state of the development lifecycle,” says Fulton. IBM’s Rational Team Concert (RTC, http://www-03.ibm.com/software/products/en/rtc) is an ALM targeted to DevOps team work for teams of several developers, testers, and operations professionals working with application building workflows. IBM’s UrbanCode Deploy (UCD, http://www-03.ibm.com/software/products/en/ucdep) helps teams deploy apps onto different systems and to a variety of test tools.
“You can build pieces in IBM Worklight Studio to use for building a system of engagement,” says Fulton. IBM tools make it easier for teams taking a DevOps approach to create code more efficiently and precisely, reaching a higher standard of quality, while getting it out to the customer for quicker feedback sooner so the teams can figure out how they need to further innovate the app for the better.
“Whether you’re using IBM’s tools or anyone’s, the notion of having well-defined processes for building apps is important,” says Fulton. IBM’s RTC can track workflow for the pieces going through the system to get developers to work on the code and to check the workflow so that the system hands code over to testers while making sure there are no regressions. This intertwines with the build process in UCD so builds start seamlessly with the most appropriate timing.
When DevOps teams have good, clear communications and processes for how to build an app, they can optimize for speed while making the process and the app better. This is a result of learning while using workflow tools. “If you don’t have these processes in place, you will struggle with how to build apps quickly and efficiently,” says Fulton.
IBM InterConnect attendees looking forward to Mike Fulton’s talks should ask themselves the following questions in preparation to absorb and thoroughly benefit from these sessions. “One of the talks on enterprise devops focuses on the systems of record side. One of the questions you should ask yourself is, ‘how can I improve my process so that I can become more agile and be able to respond more quickly to customers’ demands?’” says Fulton. And that is potentially a multitude of questions since the answers will vary widely from customer to customer.
“Come into these sessions and IBM InterConnect as a whole ready to talk about specifics. Come with the thought of where and how you think you can improve the entire process you use to build your apps at your business,” says Fulton. Attendees can discuss their answers and more questions with Fulton and with each other, talk about their experiences as these relate to others experience with IBM UrbanCode and with other tools.
“One key is to have an understanding of what you have in your application development environment, where it is today, in order to know where you want to go with it,” says Fulton.
Get ready to enjoy a rewarding IBM InterConnect.