Before we look ahead, let us appreciate how much we have evolved in delivering on our founders’ vision to simplify the complexity of deploying changes to Enterprise Software Platform Technologies.
Looking Back to 2022: Transforming Developer Productivity
In the past year, we aspired to transform developer productivity and transform your business. With the release of FlexDeploy 6.0 in September 2022, we delivered tremendous innovations and improvements to our DevOps platform that were market and customer driven.
Enterprise Platform Support
- FlexDeploy for Salesforce extended support to the migration and deployment of Profiles and Permission Sets, Sub-components, and Value Sets. We also added support for Rollback, Dependency Analysis and advanced our Comparison reports.
- FlexDeploy for Oracle extended our support for automating the deployment of configuration changes to Fusion Apps (Value Sets, Setup Tasks, Lookups, Flex Fields) and our support for Oracle Integration Cloud and Oracle Analytics Cloud.
- We increased our investment in support of enterprise software technologies with support for Oracle EBS on OCI (Oracle Cloud Infrastructure), Oracle Fusion Apps, SAP, and Salesforce continuing to address the inherent complexities and intricacies, simplifying the adoption speeding the development and delivery pipelines.
General Platform Capabilities
- With our next gen UI/UX users can now tailor the appearance, navigation, and their search queries. Users can find their projects, packages, and pages quickly without navigating the menu and hierarchies of objects using the new global search. Users can quickly access the data they are interested in, in the format they want through powerful saved queries capability, and users now enjoy a personalized user experience to drive productivity and efficiency.
- With our new customizable dashboards, we gather metrics and insights from development and delivery processes, including DORA (DevOps Research and Assessment) metrics, to facilitate continuous improvement. Now users can visualize and track their software delivery performance. And we enable Project-level insights to continuously improve your value stream process.
- The FlexDeploy Home Page now includes popular blogs, getting started videos, and discover articles that are regularly curated and updated, providing insights to speed onboarding and learning.
- Installation and upgrades were simplified for existing and new customers to save time and speed adoption.
- We enhanced the ability to integrate test automation using preferred testing tools and frameworks to accelerate delivery of high-quality software while reducing manual test cycles. Users can now define and store tests along with their source code to utilize continuous testing in their release pipelines, view test results and take any necessary action.
- We extended the ability to guard against security vulnerabilities in CI/CD pipeline with integrated security scanning and trigger actions based on the scan results.
- With FlexDeploy 6.0 users can automatically trace issues and commits though the development and delivery pipeline, allowing users to easily track what issues and commits have been deployed into an environment and at what time.
Whew! What an exciting year of evolution and innovation for FlexDeploy in 2022!
Looking ahead to 2023
In 2023, we are building on the momentum and continuing to deliver innovations to sustain and transform developer productivity further, and to measure the business outcomes and value of your deliveries. This kicks off with the delivery of FlexDeploy 6.5 in February 2023.
NOTE: If you’re interested in a deeper dive, I’ve reviewed the 2023 roadmap in a brief video, which you can see here.
- Work items allow you to track flow from customer request to production and are now natively supported by FlexDeploy. This includes the ability to associate attachments, add comments, change status, and view history and associated activities. In addition, FlexDeploy supports internal or external work items from JIRA, GitHub, GitLab or Azure Boards.Using work items to track your work provides many benefits, including the ability to share and track flow, support traceability, add context, share progress and status.
- A blackout window, also known as a deployment freeze, is a scheduled period where developers are prevented from deploying code to an environment or target. A Blackout Window provides control over deployment pipelines and helps mitigate risk during key windows of company revenue.
- Next Gen UI/UX, our modern look & feel with Flexagon’s branding, now extends to the Topology screens for Environments, Target Groups, Targets and Endpoints. In addition, Groups and Credential Management, and Systems Setting Management are also now available in the modern UI.
- Global and Deployment Permissions management is now simplified and has the same look and feel as Folder / Project security management. All Global Permissions can be managed from a central location for all FlexDeploy Groups.
- Change History now extends beyond user’s changes to group permission, group details, work items, credentials, and property values. Change history report can be filtered as desired to gather the necessary data for audit purposes.
- Role-based Access, permissions have been extended in FlexDeploy 6.5 to include object level permission support for Environment and Target Groups, allowing customers to check Read and Update permissions for specific Targets. For example, Production Targets can be restricted to being managed by Operators vs. other Targets can be managed by other Groups. Object level permissions were previously only available for Folder, Project, and Release.
- Toolchain Integrations are now consolidated on the Integrations page where connection accounts and providers can be managed. This also includes Credential Stores and Providers. Java or Groovy based custom integrations for Change Management, Issue Tracking, Credential Store can also be managed from the same location.
- Performance improvements for Property Value management at Target-scoped or Project-scoped properties. Properties on Target are now paginated to allow for cleaner view, and it also allows for filter to find specific property easily.
- Plugin updates include:
- Enhanced Kubernetes plugin to support Azure, GCP, and AWS (Amazon Web Services) Clusters
- Azure WebApp & Functions: An easy and simplified approach to deploying Functions and WebApps in FlexDeploy.
- Oracle FSM (Functional Setup Manager) – Fast Formulas: Supports compilation of Fast Formulas on deployment for HCM (Human Capital Management), for example.
- Salesforce enhancements
- FlexDeploy Browser extension is now available to increase Salesforce developer productivity, allowing developers to trigger actions in FlexDeploy from any URL through the extension pop up window.
- Support for Destructive Packages allows you to delete components from Salesforce Orgs, along with retrieving and deploying them to Salesforce Orgs – allowing you to remove retired or no longer required components.
- Comparison improvements to compare results down at the sub-component level, and not simply at file level.
What’s Coming: 2023 Beyond FlexDeploy 6.5
We continue to make the complex simple to help users achieve secure, repeatable, and auditable releases with speed and high-quality software development. Building off the work completed over the last two years, modernizing Releases and Pipelines screens will complete the Next Gen UI/UX initiative and afford users with a common modernized look and feel throughout FlexDeploy. This will also lay the foundation for our SaaS (Software as a Service) offering toward the end of 2023, acknowledging the increasing preference for the adoption for Cloud with Enterprise Software Technologies.
We will build upon our existing value stream analytics capabilities to provide significantly more insights into flow metrics to our customers in 2023. Toolchain integration will continue for the never-ending best of breed tools and integration with other DevOps platforms. Finally, we will continue our ongoing commitment to easing the challenges of Enterprise Platforms such as Salesforce, Oracle, and SAP. For Salesforce, Data Migration, Sandbox Refresh and Seeding features are scheduled, and for Oracle, we are going to make FlexDeploy available in Oracle Managed Cloud Service for EBS customers, add support for Oracle Integration 3, and continue to evolve our support for Oracle Fusion Apps.
Gartner predicts that, by 2025, 70% of new custom applications written by enterprises will exploit some low-code technologies. Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) extensions are applicable when software engineering teams work with application leaders and IT service providers, in particular implementation partners for ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), HCM, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or SCM (Supply Chain Management) enterprise software suites. Examples among Enterprise Software Technologies include Oracle APEX (Application Express) and Salesforce. Fortunately, FlexDeploy already supports both Oracle APEX and Salesforce so we will look to service customers who adopt Low Code Application Platforms (LCAP) for extending their Enterprise Software Technology Platforms with a FlexDeploy solution offering.
Finally, we see increasing interest in the application of AI/ML for DevOps to further stabilize and streamline the model release process and are actively working to identify technologies and partners to augment AI/ML into the software delivery process.
If you are already a FlexDeploy customer, you can feel confident that we will continue to help you optimize your DevOps journey. If you haven’t tried FlexDeploy yet, then it is time for you to learn more by checking out our latest release, FlexDeploy 6.5.