XebiaLabs Release Update: XebiaLabs DevOps Platform 8.5.0 and Integrations

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XebiaLabs Support -

Dear XebiaLabs community,

We are pleased to announce the release of the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform 8.5.0, which offers powerful new integrations with AWS, new DevOps as Code features, and a DevOps data model for end-to-end visibility into your entire Continuous Delivery ecosystem. In addition, we have released new integrations with Octopus Deploy and Jira, as well as new versions of our integrations with ServiceNow, OpenShift, and Kubernetes, and more. 

Deploy approved IT services on AWS through Service Catalog

AWS Service Catalog allows IT administrators to create centrally managed portfolios of approved IT services that teams across their organization can provision on AWS. XebiaLabs now supports the AWS Service Catalog as part of our AWS integration, so it’s easy for teams to provision products from their organization's Service Catalog as part of their deployment pipelines. XebiaLabs also provides step-by-step visibility and logging for the provisioning process.

Define the end-to-end release pipeline with DevOps As Code

DevOps As Code allows development teams to define deployment packages, infrastructure, environments, release templates, and more in YAML files that they can store in source control alongside their application code. Everything you need to execute fast, repeatable, scalable releases and deployments can be defined as code that is version-controlled, auditable, and easy to share across teams and projects.

With DevOps As Code, development teams can on-board with the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform by simply adding a YAML file to their development project and applying it using the new XebiaLabs CLI. XebiaLabs automatically creates the configuration items that are required and starts the release pipeline—whether you're targeting mainframes, on-premises infrastructure, container platforms, or public, private, or hybrid cloud.

Work with XebiaLabs at lightning speed with the XL CLI

The new, lightning-fast XebiaLabs command-line interface (CLI) enables development teams to apply YAML files to the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform to create configuration items, releases, and more. The XL CLI can also export data as YAML files, so it's easy for teams to get started with the data they've already defined in the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform. And the XL CLI works with both XL Release and XL Deploy, so teams only need to use one tool to put DevOps as Code into practice.

It’s easy to automatically invoke the XL CLI from Continuous Integration (CI) pipelines running in tools such as Jenkins, Azure DevOps, and TravisCI—no need to download and install a plugin. A single XL CLI command in the CI pipeline can apply YAML files and kick off releases in the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform.

Implement best practices across the enterprise with blueprints

The XL CLI includes support for blueprints that guide developers through a process that automatically generates the XL YAML files for their application. A blueprint asks the user a short series of questions about their application and the type of environment it requires. The CLI uses the answers to generate everything a development team needs to get started with XebiaLabs: YAML files to define configuration items and releases, plus special configuration files that manage sensitive data such as passwords.

Organizations can use the blueprint framework to create blueprints that reflect their own standard application, infrastructure, and environment profiles, so development teams can on-board with the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform in a standardized, controlled way.

And XebiaLabs provides sample blueprints with best practices built-in, so teams can migrate from on-premises infrastructure and legacy middleware to cloud-based platforms. Blueprints are available to deploy a monolith application on Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) with the AWS Fargate launch type; to deploy a microservices-based application on Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS); and to deploy the sample AWS data lake solution using AWS CloudFormation.

Get enhanced visibility into deployment activity

The Application Deployment dashboard template provides a single pane of glass where everyone who is involved in the release and deployment process can see the applications and versions deployed to each environment, who deployed them, and the status of each deployment. The dashboard shows real-time deployment activity to help teams monitor the state of their application deployments. It also provides aggregate information such as the total number of deployments per environment and the deployment success rate.

The dashboard brings together deployments executed by XL Deploy with deployments that were executed by other tools, so teams have a comprehensive view of their application deployments, no matter what tools are part of their software delivery pipelines.

Take control of compliance and security

The new Security and Compliance dashboard template enables Release Managers and DevOps Engineers to ensure that applications meet IT compliance requirements and helps them identify applications that are failing to meet security standards. The dashboard gives the team a complete overview of test results from the static application security testing (SAST), dynamic application security testing (DAST), and open source security management (OSSM) tools in their release pipelines. Combining test results from across the pipeline in a single dashboard helps preserve the chain of custody of a release and makes it easy for DevOps teams and Security Officers to review results, identify trends, and make decisions about security findings.

Teams can also add new SonarQube, Fortify, Checkmarx, and Black Duck tiles to custom release and report dashboards for their applications, so they can catch compliance and security issues early in the release process. The tiles show test result summaries, compliance overviews, trend analysis, risk profiles, and more.

Manage environment bookings and resolve conflicts

Release Engineers and Environment Managers now have more extensive options for managing environment bookings and application deployment windows in an easy-to-use calendar interface that is fully integrated with release processes. XebiaLabs checks for environment bookings before executing application deployments, so teams can identify and resolve conflicts early, before the deployment fails. This feature is available as beta functionality.

Manage satellites across the enterprise

XebiaLabs Satellite is designed to scale application deployments exponentially, whether you're deploying on-premises, to the cloud, or in globally distributed data centers. The new Satellite graphical user interface allows both technical users and business stakeholders to monitor and manage the satellites in their system. It features at-a-glance overviews of satellite health, one-click maintenance actions such as restarting satellites and synchronizing plugins, and comprehensive overviews of which deployments are running on which satellites.

Guide users through complex configurations

The new input hint feature enables XL Deploy plugin developers to build in hints that guide users through the process of creating complex configuration items. Hints can inform users about valid values for a configuration item property or show users what type of data is expected in a property (for example, an integer or a Boolean). Input hints help ensure that users specify the right data before deployment time, so they can resolve potential deployment errors earlier in the process.

In addition to the input hint framework that plugin developers can use, the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform 8.5.0 adds input hints to XebiaLabs' integration with AWS, so users who deploy applications to AWS will receive best-practice guidance when they create configuration items.

Visualize data in folder dashboards

Teams can now create folder-level dashboards that show detailed data about running and completed releases in a particular folder. Folders are often used to organize projects, so this feature allows teams to set up dashboards that cater to their specific needs; they can focus on the release, deployment, security, and compliance data that is most relevant for them.

Take advantage of enhanced release variables

Release variables have been enhanced with support for auto-completion of variable values in release properties, phases, tasks, and dashboards, and with support for nesting variables inside other variables. In addition, the new special variable ${release.url} is automatically available for use in all releases.

Filter task monitors and report data for better visibility

You can now filter information in XL Deploy task monitors and reports by one or more task states, so it’s easier for teams to focus on groups of tasks, such as those that are failing. This feature also makes it easier for teams to find completed tasks and review detailed report data.

New integrations now available

We are pleased to announce the following new integrations:

  • The Octopus Deploy integration for XL Release allows you to deploy applications from your release pipelines
  • The Atlassian Crowd integration for XL Release allows users to authenticate with Crowd and fetches role and permission information from Crowd
  • The XL Release app for ServiceNow, which is now available in the ServiceNow Store, provides a more powerful integration with XL Release (note that you must install this app to use version 8.5.0 of the XL Release ServiceNow plugin)

Updated integrations now available

We are pleased to announce the following new versions of integrations:

  • The OpenShift and Kubernetes integrations for XL Deploy offer support for all resource types and for both JSON and YAML configuration file formats
  • The ServiceNow integration for XL Release is required for compatibility with the new ServiceNow XL Release app
  • The SonarQube, Black Duck, Fortify on Demand, and Fortify SSC integrations for XL Release include new dashboard tiles and visual improvements
  • The Checkmarx integration for XL Release includes bug fixes
  • The IIS integration for XL Deploy includes an important security fix
  • The Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) integration for XL Release includes new features for retrieving and updating work items in VSTS/TFS
  • The XL Deploy extension for Azure DevOps now supports cross-platform agents and includes performance improvements
  • The Relationship View for XL Release includes several visual improvements
  • The Compare feature for XL Deploy includes an important security fix
  • The XL Deploy integration for XL Release includes bug fixes

Other improvements

This release introduces several improvements to XL Release:

  • The Release Overview can show planned, in-progress, failed, and completed releases in a single view
  • An API that returns the number of releases that meet specified criteria
  • A full search API that returns information about planned, in-progress, failed, and complete releases
  • You can include Markdown-formatted tables in email notifications
  • You can add tiles with Markdown-formatted text to release and report dashboards
  • You can customize the default report dashboard by adding or removing tiles and by filtering tile data
  • The timestamp of each user's last activity in XL Release appears on the Users screen in the graphical user interface

This release also includes improvements to XL Deploy:

  • You can now manage local user accounts in the graphical user interface
  • The screens for managing global permissions and local permissions load more efficiently and are easier to use
  • You can delete multiple configuration items at once, using the Explorer tree

For complete details about this release, please refer to the release notes:

Download

You can download the newly available software at the XebiaLabs Software Distribution site and at Docker Hub.

Support

The XebiaLabs DevOps Platform 8.5.0 is a long-term support (LTS) version that will be supported for a year after it is superseded by the next major LTS release. For more information, refer to Supported XebiaLabs product versions.

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