Why build it, if you can buy it? Unparalleled Release Management in CI/CD

Dive into the world of seamless CI/CD workflows and take your release management process to a level of efficiency your team can’t achieve on their own. Streamline your releases with Release Management.

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) transformed how we develop, test, and deliver software. This made the entire process–efficient, reliable, and faster.

Release management, a critical aspect of CI/CD, is the process of managing, planning, scheduling, and controlling a software builds through different stages and environments, including testing and deploying software releases.

In the mobile-first landscape, quick and error-free updates are necessary. This is where efficient release management provides a competitive advantage by resolving:

  • Enhancing Quality Assurance: Through rigorous testing and ensuring stable versions.
  • Increasing Development Speed: By automating release processes.
  • Fostering Team Collaboration: Promoting transparency and visibility across all stages.
  • Mitigating Risks: With early issue detection and quick recovery mechanisms.

The pains of traditional release management tracking

In traditional release management, inefficiencies abound. Release managers combat outdated information, while developers’ overlooked dependencies affect the product’s quality and delivery time. These issues extend beyond the team, impacting the end product.

Only 45% of firms use specific frameworks for release management. The rest, reliant on manual processes, face delays. This results in challenges in the mobile sector, including:

  • Inefficiency: Error-prone, time-intensive manual tracking.
  • Outdated Data: Decisions marred by delayed updates.
  • Collaboration: Hindered by limited data sharing.
  • Dependency Management: Complexities disrupt smooth rollouts.
  • Scalability: Manual methods struggle as the mobile app releases increase.

These challenges highlight the need for a streamlined and automated release management process. 

Modern tools can:

  • Provide real-time updates, 
  • Faster time-to-market,
  • Promote collaboration,
  • Simplify dependency tracking, 
  • Scale with release frequency. 

However, the question remains: Can merely automating traditional spreadsheets lead to a more streamlined process? 

Let’s find out!

The pitfalls of traditional release management: Spreadsheet tracking

Mobile tech thrives on flawless user experiences. As user numbers and release rates rise, spreadsheets' simplicity gives way to the necessity for more robust release management tools.

 Source: Reddit

Often the go-to for release managers, spreadsheets start strong but soon fall short. 

The question arises: What does a release manager do here? The answer: They transition to more sophisticated tools–fit for complex release tasks. If not made, this shift could be risky and rudimentary, affecting their role in orchestrating smooth software releases and managing releases effectively.

The upcoming sections will address spreadsheet tracking challenges in release management–crucial to upgrading to stronger solutions.

Limited visibility and collaboration

In the remote work era, traditional methods limit collaboration. True contribution becomes nearly unattainable with spreadsheets, presenting substantial obstacles:

  • Limited Accessibility: Spreadsheets are accessible only to authorized users.
  • Data Silos: Essential information isn’t universally shared.
  • Update Lags: Changes aren’t immediately communicated.
  • No Version Control: Tracking changes is challenging.
  • Complex Dependencies: Inter-sheet links are error-prone.

Moreover, granting full access to everyone could lead to compliance issues.

Platform-specific requirements

In mobile, developers face challenges: keeping up with Google's policy updates and juggling the unique requirements of App Store Connect and Google Play Console. These tasks can detract from their primary goal of enhancing the app’s core features to meet the user's needs.

Release Management simplifies this process. It negates the need for specialized expertise in these platforms and minimizes reliance on error-prone spreadsheets. It addresses several critical issues:

  • Removes platform-specific distractions for market adaptability.
  • Encourages creative development and innovation by easing platform constraints.
  • Shifts resources from platform management to app improvement for cost efficiency.
  • Facilitates swift adaptation to changes, safeguarding their competitive standing and store ranking.

By adopting Release Management, developers can concentrate on their forte—building exceptional apps—while fostering an environment ripe for innovation and efficiency.

Human errors and inconsistencies

The arXiv.org paper, “What We Don’t Know About Spreadsheet Errors Today,” reveals that spreadsheets–due to their hard-to-spot, error-prone nature and lack of advanced error detection–are unsuitable for release management. 

Errors from data entry, formula misuse, or misinterpretation, escalate with complexity and can lead to inaccurate results. The manual update process and absence of version control further complicate error management. 

This highlights the need for more sophisticated tools for release management.

Furthermore, inconsistencies become a bottleneck when different teams have to reconcile them. This creates a gap and inconsistency in team collaboration due to:

  • Varied data interpretation, leading to inconsistencies in entries.
  • Asynchronous updates cause discrepancies in data.
  • Time spent resolving inconsistencies which can delay releases.

Time-consuming and manual processes

In mobile, rapid and reliable app launches are key to user satisfaction. Traditional tools like spreadsheets, often used by release managers, present challenges as releases scale: they’re detail-dependent, time-intensive, and error-prone.

 Source: Reddit

Consider a scenario where a dedicated release management tool is employed. It offers:

  • Automation: Minimizes errors by eliminating manual data transfer.
  • Efficiency: Streamlines the process, saving time.
  • Reliability: Ensures consistency by not overlooking any detail.
  • Faster Communication: Provides real-time updates via integrated communication platforms.

In summary, a dedicated tool mitigates traditional tools' challenges and optimizes the release process.

Choosing the right tool among many can be challenging. Bitrise’s release management add-on with automated updates via Slack and Teams optimizes communication and minimizes manual intervention. A technologically superior choice.

Rise above the chaos with integrated release management

Release management in mobile development is a systematic five-step process: Plan, Build, Test, Prepare, and Deploy. However, overseeing numerous apps manually in an organization is an intimidating task for release owners.

Integrated tools streamline this process with features like version control, change management, automated testing, deployment orchestration, and more – making tracking changes, systematizing documentation, and reference tasks easier.

However, the real game-changer is automation. It eliminates errors, boosts efficiency, and speeds up delivery. 

It facilitates: 

  • Continuous Integration (CI): Automates build and test phases for immediate validation
  • Continuous Deployment (CD): Automates deployment for reliable releases

This ensures consistent deployment and reduces downtime, enabling faster delivery of high-quality software. These tools streamline workflow, accelerate delivery, and ensure deployment consistency.

Pro-Tip: ITIL 4 enhances release management by organizing software releases in an organization’s IT infrastructure.

Unlocking efficiency with Bitrise's release management add-on

The move from cumbersome traditional release management tools to integrated, streamlined ones is an unavoidable necessity. The dilemma for managers: develop a custom tool or buy a ready-made one?  

    Source: Reddit

In-house tools offer customization but are resource-intensive. Ready-made tools provide immediate sophistication. This is key in CI/CD release management, where buying often outpaces building. 

Ready-made tools are efficient, bypassing lengthy development, feature-rich with immediate access to updates, and economical, avoiding high costs.

Bitrise’s Release Management Add-on recognizes this need for efficiency. It offers:

  • Automated Notifications: For key events.
  • Google Staged Rollouts: Simplifying release management.
  • Localized Metadata: Easy addition without Google Play Console.
  • Staged Rollout Management: Minimize the impact of potential release issues.
  • Beta Testing Distribution: For Internal, Closed, and Open tracks.

It has free and paid versions, with the latter offering full automation at $250/app/month. 

Moreover, This add-on automates CI/CD, accelerating setup from days to hours with webhook-triggered builds and tests. This empowers release managers to prioritize strategic work, thus enhancing productivity and effectiveness.

Take the pain out of release management 

Traditional tools for release management fall short as release complexity grows. Spreadsheets, while basic, can lead to disarray due to:

  • Limited visibility hinders team synergy.
  • Platform-specific requirements cause misalignments.
  • Human errors lead to unexpected delays.
  • Manual processes drain resources and productivity.

On the other hand, efficient release management streamlines software updates, reduces errors, ensures deployment consistency, and quickens delivery times. This allows teams to focus on creating quality software, improving productivity and effectiveness, and enhancing workflow.

Bitrise offers an efficient CI/CD process and superior release management, transforming development teams by simplifying workflows, minimizing errors, and fostering teamwork. This shift in focus from logistics to quality can significantly improve productivity and effectiveness.

Don’t wait! 

Start your journey with Bitrise today. Witness firsthand the transformation in your release management process.

Get Started for free

Start building now, choose a plan later.

Sign Up

Get started for free

Start building now, choose a plan later.