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Atlassian spurs DevOps adoption for the enterprise

Atlassian adds new features to Bitbucket and Bamboo to enhance DevOps security and reliability, as well as to simplify the build process for developers.

Software development toolmaker Atlassian is moving to empower large organizations to adopt DevOps despite challenges, such as global scale, deep-rooted silos, disconnected tools and complicated compliance requirements.

To help spur DevOps adoption in the enterprise, Atlassian has added new features in its Bitbucket Server and Data Center 5.0 and Bamboo 6.0 products. Bitbucket is a hosting service for source code and development projects that enables developers to collaborate on projects. Bamboo is a continuous integration, deployment and release tool. The company introduced the new product features at its Atlassian Summit Europe 2017 in Barcelona.

Alison Huselid, head of HipChat Server, Bamboo, FishEye and Crucible at Atlassian, said the new features help enterprises overcome the challenges of compliance and scale to encourage DevOps adoption.

New Bamboo and Bitbucket features

For instance, the new Bamboo Specs feature in Bamboo 6.0 modernizes enterprise software development by allowing Bamboo build plans to be configured as code. This gives developers more control over the development process, removing the need to involve other teams or switch between their code and their build systems.

"Developers can now control the process of updating their build," Huselid said. "They don't need to context switch between their code and the build that's been established."

Meanwhile, the new committer verification in Bitbucket Server and Data Center 5.0 addresses compliance requirements by enforcing that only the author of a commit can push included changes back to the central repository, and it stores a log of code changes for audit purposes.

"Committer verification for Bitbucket is focused on addressing compliance requirements for enterprises," Huselid noted.

Kurt Chase, director of engineering services at San Francisco-based Splunk, which uses Atlassian's Bitbucket, said committer verification is "a feature we will certainly take advantage of, because we have to be compliant with [Amazon Web Services] GovCloud, with PCI [Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard], with HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act]. There's a number of security programs that we maintain compliance for, so this will help us."

Regarding the new features in Bamboo, Chase said, "It's about time that they have given us the ability to have our build jobs as code and we can commit them to the repo."

Chase said Splunk also is investigating smart mirroring, a new feature in Bitbucket Data Center 5.0 that enables global teams to maintain mirror access in the event of short outages by caching authentication credentials locally.

Though Splunk has not started using the new feature, "we need it desperately," he said, noting that Splunk runs large engineering teams all over the world, and "the ability to avoid all that latency for local engineers is absolutely huge."

Chase explained that Splunk is an Atlassian shop up and down the stack. They are heavy users of Atlassian's JIRA, Confluence, Bitbucket and Bamboo products, as well as FishEye and HipChat. Chase said one of the things the Splunk DevOps team values most is the integration between the Atlassian tools, because a developer can open a defect in JIRA, get a branch created in Bitbucket and see the build status from Bamboo.

DevOps adoption in the enterprise

"Adopting DevOps in the enterprise is more than just better communication across operations and development, modern continuous integration practices, or the type of version control in place," said Amber Frauenholtz, Bitbucket product marketing manager at Atlassian, in a blog post. "Things like compliance and scale become just as important. Tooling must provide freedom and structure, scalability and performance -- things that are not often found together."

Atlassian is targeting DevOps adoption in the enterprise because DevOps is still underutilized in enterprise environments. A recent study -- the "DevOps Maturity Model" report -- conducted by xMatters and Atlassian indicated that 43% of respondents in organizations of 1,000 people or more said they either didn't know of or didn't have a DevOps initiative in place.

"Though vendors often talk and their customers often think of DevOps as a naturally occurring, seamlessly integrated whole, the reality is often messier," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "In part, that's because many solutions focus more on making life easier for developers than they do on ensuring that operational requirements are met. That issue impacts enterprises especially hard, since their applications often need to be more scalable and follow more rigorous compliance guidelines."

Frauenholtz said smart mirroring in Bitbucket Data Center is a hassle-free way of providing geographically dispersed teams a read-only copy of the repository. Also in Bitbucket Data Center 5.0, Atlassian introduced authentication caching -- a way for end users to maintain mirror access, even in the event of short outages, she said.

In addition, Frauenholtz said Atlassian is breaking through silos and introducing tighter integrations between Bitbucket Server, Bamboo and JIRA Software Server. JIRA is Atlassian's bug-tracking, issue-tracking and project-management software.

"Changing the way your teams work, adopting new tools, and learning new technologies is hard and doesn't happen overnight," she said. "When you add disconnected tools, complicated compliance requirements and scalability to the mix, it makes 'going DevOps' that much more difficult. No matter where you are in your DevOps journey, Atlassian provides the guidance and tools to help you succeed."

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