Deployed in the Time it Takes to Chill Champagne

 

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“Drinking our own champagne” is how we approach technology here at Serena. If we have a our own tool that supports part of the application development lifecycle we use it for our own development efforts. In fact the Serena development teams deploy the beta versions of our solutions straight into their production environments because they want exploit the cool-new-stuff just as much as you do!

When I sat down today to start writing about automated deployment in modern enterprises I thought I’d follow the Serena mantra and “drink our own champagne” too. So I jumped on the serena.com website and downloaded the completely free and completely pre-configured “appliance” and the virtual environment that runs it.

All appliance – no science

This is something truly amazing. The appliance is a fully installed, configured and ready to go. All you have to do is press the “deploy” button. It runs on top of Virtual Box which is a virtualized environment that runs on most enterprise platforms. Now I will tell you that the download of the appliance took almost 20 minutes as it is over 5GB but the Virtual Box download only took a few seconds.

While it was downloading I read through the easy to follow documentation that walks through deploying an application to Tomcat, one that deploys a database update and a deployment to WebLogic. I also took a look at the cool videos so I could get a sense of what was ahead. By the time I’d watched the last one the downloads were done.

Installation of Virtual Box took a couple of  minutes and was easy as I just took all the defaults. Importing the Appliance also took a couple of minutes.

It takes a community

My environment is Windows 8.1 Pro on a Surface II computer. The moment I started the Appliance I got an error message.

So I popped over to the Serena Deployment Automation Community forum where my exact problem (Symptom: Appliance won’t start: Reason: Pop up blocker software on Windows 8.1) was described. I followed the advice and voilà!

Moments later I found myself looking at a logon screen for Serena Deployment Automation.

Mr. Impatient

Like most geeks I want to click buttons and links more than I want to read documentation or follow a script.

So I clicked on Application and got a list of applications to be deployed. Then I clicked on Tomcat Sample Application and got a list of deployment areas. Next to DEV it asked me to Request Process. Deploy Application was already selected so I just hit SUBMIT.

Seconds later I get the deployment results screen appear and I can see the steps executing.

That was fast

So I installed and configured enterprise class Deployment Automation technology. I executed my very first Automated Deployment. All in under an hour.

The software is free forever. It is unrestricted in functionality and supported by the community of users. This free version limited to a generous 5 deployment end-points and I can buy more for under $1,500. I get a tee-shirt when I do.

How cool is that?

Follow the recipe

So now I am going to settle down and follow each of the guided tours and see what other miracles of technology await my discovery.

Next week I’ll share those experiences too.

In the meantime why not take an hour and try out Serena Deployment Automation for yourself?

Cheers!


Kevin Parker is a 30 year industry veteran, holder of three technology patents and is VP of Worldwide Marketing at Serena Software. He speaks and writes on application development methodologies, business analysis, quality assurance techniques, governance, open source issues, and tool interoperability, from the mainframe to distributed platforms to the web and mobile and embedded systems.



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