Release Update: XebiaLabs DevOps Platform 9.5 and Integrations

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XebiaLabs Support -

Dear XebiaLabs community,

We are pleased to announce the release of the XebiaLabs DevOps Platform 9.5, which offers new features to help teams manage complex software deliveries, automate audit reporting, troubleshoot failed deployments, share DevOps expertise and best practices, install and manage XebiaLabs products, and more. In addition, we have released improved versions of our integrations with Nexus, AWS, Kubernetes, OpenShift, Bamboo, and many other tools.

Get a preview of the new features from our Product Team! Join us for an exclusive webinar on December 18 at 2 PM Central European Time or 1 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Manage release complexity with delivery patterns

Managing complex application release processes across the enterprise is hard. Teams move at different speeds through iterative build-test-deploy cycles; dependencies between applications slow down pipelines and introduce risk; planned features are delayed or descoped without business stakeholders knowing about it; and the information required to track it all is spread across a hundred different tools and systems.

To help organizations achieve effective enterprise-scale software delivery, XL Release 9.5 introduces delivery patterns, the world's first mechanism for synchronizing the delivery of business applications as a whole across different technical release pipelines. Delivery patterns give all stakeholders a 50,000-foot view of their software releases from a business perspective. They allow DevOps teams, release managers, product owners, and others to:

  • Track the components that make up a complete business application as they progress through technical release pipelines
  • Synchronize those components so they can be released together
  • Visualize the real-time status of components across release pipelines
  • Control the release of components so dependencies are preserved

You create a pattern to represent a complete business application, or to represent multiple applications that are based on multiple components across different release pipelines. The pattern documents the flow of activities that the application(s) or component(s) must move through as they go from planning to production. Patterns are reusable, which means they help teams make their business software deliveries repeatable and consistent. XL Release supports patterns such as Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) release trains, multi-pipeline releases, "big bang" milestone releases, master/subreleases, and interdependent microservice releases.

Enhanced audit and compliance reporting

XebiaLabs' one-of-a-kind release audit report provides comprehensive auditability for every single release you run, on-demand, with a push of a button. The XebiaLabs DevOps Platform 9.5 significantly enhances the release audit report's capabilities:

  • When you are generating audit reports for multiple releases at once, you can select releases based on the applications, environments, or ServiceNow change numbers that are related to them
  • You can easily monitor the progress of audit reports as they are generated and delete old audit reports that are no longer needed
  • Detailed information about Checkmarx tests is available in the audit report's Security and Compliance activity category
  • Detailed information about Ansible deployments is available in the report's Deployment activity category
  • A new release audit report API allows you to include custom information from any tool or plugin in your audit reports
  • A new API allows you to automatically generate release audit reports
  • A new API allows you to retrieve release activity log data

Improved resiliency for high availability setups

XL Deploy's master-worker setup provides high availability and horizontal scalability by distributing deployment loads across workers. In XL Deploy 9.5:

  • You can create or schedule a deployment, even when there is not a worker node available to run it. XL Deploy will queue the deployment task and automatically execute it when a worker is available.
  • XL Deploy saves information about your session while you are logged in to the GUI, so that if a master node fails, you will not lose your work when your session is transferred to the new master node.

More robust handling of historical logs for deployment plan steps

When a step in a deployment plan fails and is retried, XL Deploy now saves all log data from the failed execution of the step. These complete step logs allow you to review everything that happened during step execution, even if a step failed and was retried many times. This improvement also applies to deployment plan steps that are executed on satellites.

In addition, you can now store step logs for deployments that are executed on worker nodes in Elastic Stack, so log data is not lost if a worker fails.

New blueprints for Microsoft Azure and Secrets Management

Blueprints let DevOps experts define infrastructure, release pipelines, dashboards, and more in code. Teams across the enterprise can use blueprints to on-board applications to the CI/CD toolchain, to implement best practices such as automated testing, and to migrate applications to new platforms. XebiaLabs' collection of out-of-the-box blueprints now includes:

  • A new blueprint that makes it easy for teams to start managing sensitive data required for environment provisioning and application deployment (such as passwords and API keys) in HashiCorp Vault or CyberArk Conjur
  • A new blueprint that helps teams get started with Azure Resource Manager (ARM), the infrastructure-as-code tool for provisioning Microsoft Azure instances

Expanded source control management support in the XL CLI

Storing blueprints in a source control management system makes it easy to version-control them and to share them across teams and projects. The XebiaLabs command-line interface (XL CLI) can now retrieve blueprints that are stored in BitBucket.org, BitBucket Server, or GitLab source control management.

Granular permissions for release tasks

In XL Release, the Edit Task permission has been broken down into 13 separate permissions that give administrators fine-grained control over the actions that users can take on release tasks. The new permissions are:

  • Perform task transitions
  • Assign task ownership
  • Edit title and description
  • Edit task-specific properties
  • Edit scripts
  • Edit flag
  • Edit tags
  • Edit dates
  • Edit blackout periods
  • Edit preconditions
  • Edit failure handlers
  • Edit reporting attributes
  • Manage attachment

Easier upgrades for XL Deploy and XL Release

The XebiaLabs DevOps Platform 9.5 streamlines and simplifies the upgrade process for both XL Release and XL Deploy by automatically copying important files from the old installation location to the new installation location. The upgrade process can copy:

  • Plugin files
  • The ext directory (which contains custom data extensions)
  • The Java keystore file (which enables XL Deploy and XL Release to encrypt secrets)
  • The product license file
  • The deployit-defaults.properties file (which defines default values for many properties)
  • The deployit.conf or xl-release.conf file (which contains the server configuration)
  • For XL Release only: the reports directory (which contains generated release audit reports)

Security improvements for user management and reports

XL Deploy 9.5 includes security improvements for user management and reports:

  • A new GUI screen provides an overview of users who are logged in and active, as well as the number of active deployment tasks and control tasks that each user owns.
  • A new API allows you to access users' last log-in date and time data, so you can verify whether there are inactive user accounts that should be removed from the system.
  • The Report Dashboard is automatically filtered based on the user's local permissions for applications and environments.
  • The data in the deployment report, and the applications and environments that are available in the report's filters, are automatically limited based on the user's local permissions for applications and environments.
  • A new report API allows you to retrieve deployment report data, with all permission checks built in.

Other improvements

In XL Release 9.5:

  • You can see the name of the user who completed, aborted, or skipped a task when you hover over the task's status label in the release flow view. If the task was completed, aborted, or skipped by someone other than the task assignee, you will see that user's name in the release flow view.
  • The release table view now indicates tasks that are overdue.
  • The release trigger for Nexus artifact repositories is now compatible with Nexus 3.

In XL Deploy 9.5:

  • When you are searching for a configuration item in a drop-down list, the options will be filtered based on the item's full path, rather than on its name only.
  • When you are creating a configuration item with properties that have masked values (such as passwords and other secrets), you can click to see the property's value in plain text, so you can verify that you have entered it correctly.
  • The options for filtering information in Task Monitors and reports have been standardized.

Updated integrations now available

The following integrations have been improved with new functionality:

  • Checkmarx integration for XL Release
  • Ansible integration for XL Release
  • Microsoft TFS/VSTS integration for XL Release
  • AWS integration for XL Deploy
  • Kubernetes integration for XL Deploy
  • OpenShift integration for XL Deploy
  • Cloud Foundry integration for XL Deploy
  • IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS) integration for XL Deploy
  • Microsoft IIS integration for XL Deploy
  • XL Deploy integration for Bamboo

Bug fixes have been implemented for the following integrations:

  • Terraform integration for XL Deploy
  • XL Deploy integration for Jenkins
  • XL Deploy integration for XL Release
  • XL Release Remote Completion Plugin
  • XL Release Remoting Plugin

Release notes

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 9.5 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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