Application release automation

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Application Release Automation (ARA) refers to the process of packaging and deploying an application or update of an application from development, across various environments, and ultimately to production.

In their IT Glossary, industry analyst firm Gartner defines ARA as follows:

"Application release automation (ARA) tools focus on the modeling and deployment of custom application software releases and their associated configurations, often for Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) and .NET applications. These tools offer versioning to enable best practices in moving related artifacts, applications, configurations and data together across the application life cycle. ARA tools support continuous release deployment. They often include workflow engines to assist in automating and tracking human activities."[1]

Activities that comprise application release management:

  • Packaging - creating a collection of multiple configuration items that must be deployed at the same time
  • Dependency Mapping - modeling full application dependencies between components of the application
  • Software Deployment - using package contents to install applications and configure their operating environments
  • Promotion - delivery of tested packages to an environment of higher criticality
  • Compliance - documenting adherence to processes and validating deployed application configurations


BMC Software Release Lifecycle Management
CA Technologies (fka Nolio)[2]
Electric Cloud ElectricFlow
Flexagon FlexDeploy
IBM UrbanCode
OpenMake Software Release Engineer
Release Management for Visual Studio / Release Management Service for Visual Studio Online
Serena Software[3]


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