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Focus on the artifact for an organizational DevOps strategy

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JFrog Shippable aims to simplify pipeline management. JFrog VP of Engineering Avi Cavale discusses strategies to implement DevOps with TheServerSide's Cameron McKenzie.

Each enterprise has a unique challenge when it lays out a DevOps strategy. The question that all IT strategists must ask is: Based on circumstances within their own enterprise, what’s the best place to begin?

There are a few options. For JetBrains, the makers of the IntelliJ IDE and the TeamCity continuous integration tool, it begins with examining each line of written code. For GitHub and GitLab, a DevOps strategy comes together where developers merge code in a  distributed version control system tool like Git.

Or maybe the DevOps strategy starts with the artifact? If continuous delivery's goal is to repeatedly push a new component into production, then perhaps this is the world on which continuous integration pipelines should revolve.

That happens to be the JFrog perspective.

Artifactory wants code Shippable

JFrog is known for its popular Maven-compatible binary repository named Artifactory. Complementary products such as JFrog XRay and the JFrog Container Registry round out the company portfolio. But, one DevOps tool was missing -- a continuous integration and delivery tool. That changed when JFrog acquired Shippable in early 2019. Now it had a continuous integration and delivery tool to link all the pieces of a DevOps pipeline.

"What JFrog was really missing was the orchestration piece," said Avi Cavale, VP of Engineering at JFrog. "We left that to the user to decide how to do it."

A simplified DevOps strategy

There's certainly no shortage of software tools that aid continuous delivery pipeline development. One such example of pipeline development is how to get Jenkins to pull code from GitHub and subsequently push it into JFrog's Artifactory product. As more third-party tools integrate -- be it Nexus static code analysis or SonarQube with cyclomatic complexity -- the pipelines become increasingly difficult to manage and maintain.

Cavale likens the creation of these fractious pipelines to a form of "craft work."

"When people chose whatever tools they want, they create a bespoke pipeline," he said. "It's great because it's super-fast and easy to get up and running. But at some point, the scale issues start causing problems."

JFrog is by no means the first company to recognize the need to consolidate software tooling, especially when it comes to creating a continuous delivery pipeline. CloudBees addresses the challenges of complex pipeline creation with Jenkins. GitLab offers DevOps lifecycle tooling in which Git-based source code management only plays a small role.

JFrog's DevOps strategy focuses on the artifact as the driving force behind continuous integration and continuous development.

The accompanying podcast focuses on Shippable, how JFrog's approach for a DevOps strategy differs from other companies on the market, and how the IT industry handles itself during a global pandemic.

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