5 Application Deployment Best Practices

Fewer failures and quicker recovery time during deployments can be a real challenge for many companies, especially in the earlier development stages. In theory, we all know that without the right processes in place, moving fast will cause downtime, bad user experience and multiple errors in 99% of cases.

Of course, each and every app will vary in processes, as well as your team’s skills and experience will vary from those of another application, but there are still a handful of best practices that extend to any type of apps under any circumstances.

We’ve handpicked these 5 best practices to help you and your teams overcome complex problems when implementing app deployment strategies.

1. Choose what suits you best: Cloud Vs. In-House App Deployment

The difference between deploying apps on-premises and using cloud-computing is tremendous.

  • Firstly, and most importantly, cloud-based deployment minimizes the risks. The only resource you lose in case of a failure — is developer time, but you save on equipment like servers and assets like software licenses.
  • You save precious time since deploying in cloud is a lot faster. There is no need to deploy the on-premises equipment, everything in the cloud starts in a blink of an eye.
  • The expenses might be unpredictable. If you are deploying a large app that needs to run 24/7 and has loads of data to process, your bill from AWS will grow, where if you decide to purchase your own servers these charges will be avoided. Of course, this applies mostly to larger enterprises.
  • Data access can become an issue. Moving data to the cloud is costly and complicated while storing it on local servers will grant you full round-the-clock visibility and control. You might also face additional regulatory concerns and be forced to store some of the data, which can’t bypass your firewall on-premises.

2. Follow This Application Deployment Checklist

Keep It Simple. Stick to the minimalistic file distribution and try to avoid installing libraries that won’t be used — don’t spread files all over the place.

Be Consistent. Keep to a consistent deployment mechanism and avoid altering things in between development, testing and deployment stages.

Be Organized. Like in life, clean up and remove old files if you want to install the new version. The best way is to delete obsolete files prior to the installation to go through it in a clean environment.

Security First. This should be any company’s primary focus in any activity. Look for vulnerabilities across systems and don’t hesitate using application security tools.

Be ready to roll back. Having a plan B might help to save your company money and time in case a problem arrives. Prepare a rollback strategy beforehand.

Be Agile. You’re moving fast, so be agile. Agility is the power behind rapid deployment and continuous delivery. Obviously, it will work only if you are already implementing all of the above points.

Continuous. Finding out why the code broke down in a deployment setting but worked fine on a developer’s computer is one of the biggest challenges, so a CI server will pull the code from all developers involved and test in real-time. Use a continuous integration server.

Automate everything you can. Needless to say, automation is the king of rapid development. Use tools like Ajustee to manage and keep track of app features and parameters and be able to push out the most recent build of your app for deployment.

3. Adopt CI/CD

If you want a flawless deployment you can’t do without a working CI/CD pipeline. It’s taking you to the next level allowing you to deploy new versions of your software to the customers automatically (every time a developer is making a change). Of course, continuous deployment needs additional advanced testing automation and acceptance of bugs in the production version. If the error occurs rollbacks take place. CI/CD can’t work on the spot, it requires a lot of upfront preparation and testing but will be worth every minute of your team’s time and effort.

4. Track your KPIs

Make sure that you have identified your metrics. The most common deployment KPIs are exception rates, server utilization, log volume, database performance. In case you are facing a performance issue, it’s highly important to know what’s causing it and where it is coming from. It is sometimes helpful to use tools that let you monitor all of your KPIs to identify the source of problems in case of occurrence.

For your deployments to run smoothly everything needs to be highly organized and up to date. Your app features too. If your project is in its early stages, it’s the best time to think about managing your software configuration. Give your developers an ability to deploy and new features at any time risk-free, and release them to users whenever you decide. Utilizing a software configuration management solution in your team will help you to manage every phase of planning, building, testing and launching, which will give increased control over the entire release process.

Originally published at https://ajustee.com.