In a move designed to highlight its growing range of development options and bolster the relationship with developers, Oracle announced the general availability of a pipeline for automating the continuous integration of software. The set of tools, sometimes referred to as a CI/CD (for continuous integration/continuous deployment) pipeline, handle many stages of packaging and installing new software, allowing programmers to rely upon the Oracle cloud for all of the steps between creation and deployment.
Offering a CI/CD pipeline is often seen as a way to move closer to the code authors and DevOps teams that make or at least influence decisions about which cloud services are used. If the CI/CD pipeline makes it easier to choose Oracle Cloud services, the company thinks, developers are more likely to follow that path. A well-designed pipeline can also enhance security and offer a more trusted path between the programmer’s keystrokes and the version running in the cloud.
“We’ve created what we believe is the best secure way for customers to build, test, deliver and deploy to the OCI platforms.” said Jonathan Schreiber, a principle product manager at Oracle.
Cloud vendors look to dominate CI/CD
The area has seen active investment as cloud companies work to establish control over the commanding heights of the software creation ecosystem. Dominating one part of the CI/CD pathway was Microsoft’s goal when it paid $7.5 billion for GitHub in 2018. Another competing tool, GitLab, also offers a wide range of development tools for the pipeline and its market capitalization is just short of $11 billion.
The announcement caps several months of beta tests . Earlier in the year, Oracle released tools for continuous deployment. The new announcement highlights the availability of features in the first stage of the pipeline that usually precedes CD. During this continuous integration phase, the newly created code is tested and packaged into artifacts or containers that will eventually be staged and deployed during the Continuous Deployment part of the pipeline.
“Where we shine is the integration with the rest of the platform.” said Schreiber. “Customers can, for instance, take advantage of things like Vault [for passwords and secure secrets] They can get back database connection credentials into their build if they’re going to use them to run validation tests.”
The new DevOps service charges for the computation and storage used during the process. Some other CI/CD services add a charge per user but Oracle is avoiding that to simplify adoption.
Oracle pushes its platform for security and governance
Indeed, Oracle wants to encourage developers to rely on the platform for much of the security and governance of the running applications. They want to allow teams to offer accounts to all members and give them the flexibility to assign build control as needed without being afraid of raising costs.
“Customers don’t have to recreate their team structure.” said Schreiber. “They already have that in OCI and they can use Identity Service to map the groups and users who have access to check-in code and, maybe, deploy. You’re able to set up those fine-grain permissions.”
Oracle is also highlighting the deeper integration with all of the options available in the Oracle Cloud. The CD section of the pipeline has options to target the various options that range from bare-metal servers to Kubernetes clusters and serverless Functions.
“Deployment orchestration and then being able to set up secure pipelines that can validate a container before it’s deployed is really what we’re proud of.” said Shneider.
While much of the messaging highlights the deeper connections with the entire Oracle infrastructure, the company understands that many customers are inherently drawn to the perceived flexibility of multi-cloud options. Their pipeline is designed to be open to multi-cloud deployments, relying on an open-source tool known as Spinnaker to handle integration with non-Oracle clouds.
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