Chef is making it easier for developers to continuously develop new features without breaking the applications they’re working on. To further that goal, the company today announced a set of new features aimed at streamlining the process of deploying secure and compliant code.
The company’s Automate continuous integration platform gained support for automatically validating security and compliance policies. It’s a feature that’s supposed to make compliance easier by ensuring that developers’ work matches policies, like ensuring the use of specific software packages.
It’s all based on InSpec, an open source project designed to allow companies to express their compliance policies as code. Those policies can then be applied to a wide set of applications, and integration into Chef Automate makes it easier for businesses to adopt InSpec.
That project gained three new components aimed at making the compliance-as-code tool work with APIs from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and VMware’s vSphere. Those tools allow companies to enforce compliance rules with higher-level services like AWS Lambda and Azure Cosmos DB.
While cloud computing and continuous integration tools like Chef have enabled developers to work faster, maintaining compliance and security in the midst of rapid deployments is a challenge. These new tools are designed to help by making developers responsible for ensuring that their code is compliant.
There are two major benefits to this approach, according to Ken Cheney, Chef’s chief marketing officer. The first is that auditors and compliance officers can see policies expressed in code and know that the policies are being enforced in software. The second is making compliance part of the development process and ensuring that code is compliant when it’s committed.
When Chef released Automate last year, the service included some support for compliance rules, but the tools weren’t fully integrated into the user interface. Now, the software will provide visual alerts for developers so they can see compliance issues alongside the rest of their development pipeline in Automate.
Chef also launched its new Habitat Builder service, which is designed to make it easier for developers to build and package up applications and manage dependencies.
The company also released Learn Chef Rally, an online learning portal that’s designed to train people to use the company’s tools and teaches them how to implement DevOps practices that use them.
Today’s announcements were all part of ChefConf, the company’s annual customer conference being held this week in Austin, Texas.