What is Release Orchestration?

Release orchestration is the process where developers organize tasks such as planning, tracking, and communicating throughout the software release cycle across different teams, departments, and technology to provide updates across the environment or for the users.

Using the release orchestration, an organization can achieve visibility into the release pipeline that improves planning and scheduling of the software updates. And it allows a process of streamlining, maximizing operational efficiency, and identification and fixation of bugs before the application goes live. It also allows a framework to control the process that helps organizations improve reliability and prepare for compliance and audits.

Understanding Release Orchestration

With release orchestration, you can easily orchestrate, automate, and manage your end-to-end software release pipelines without ceasing to the opportunity of using the best tools and practices you have developed and employed. You can model your software development and release process by defining sequences and steps. For that, you can save models as templates, and you can weave them together in whatever way you want to use them.

All the processes involved in release orchestration end up in a complete pipeline that can be triggered with a push of a button. It handles all the interactions with external systems like testing, deployment, CI (continuous integration), ticketing systems, and more. All these features integrated into a pipeline present a holistic view of progress, where all the stakeholders can see how the process is taking place, in which direction it is heading to, and what’s working and what’s not.

Once you adopt a plug-in architecture, you can configure your product pipeline and report or create a regular and consistent schedule for releases freely. Instead of using loose API integration, you can have a single coherent interface that will cut through the different formats or tracking formats so you can take full control over the process. Release orchestration also helps you scale and fill the gaps required by your CD (continuous deployment)pipeline by enabling your team to deliver better quality software to your user in a speedy way.

Components of Release orchestration

  • Orchestration and Packaging: Orchestration manages your release process from the beginning to the release to production. But there is another crucial part of the orchestration, that is the packaging. When pieces of code configuration and other resources are bundled together to handle the release in a functional manner, it is known as packaging. To manage your release orchestration, packaging needs to be included, otherwise release automation can deploy incorrect or incomplete releases to the production environment.
  • Dependencies: To plan a successful application release, you need to have all the interactions between the new product and other systems, applications, or databases into the account. Suppose you remove or forget to add the functionality that your application relies on, then chances are you will create inefficiencies, errors, or outages. To include all the dependencies, you need a thorough process that clearly indicates what dependencies each application requires. Once you have all those dependencies into the account, you can integrate them with your release by automating the tasks.
  • Approvals: You can set up multiple approval requirements, including different team members or managers, to check each release for dependencies, errors, testing needs, and quality control measures. Releases can’t move forward without required approvals, which are needed to improve release quality and decrease production errors and outages.
  • CI/CD Support: In DevOps, there is a buzz about CI and CD, where developers accelerate software delivery with automated build, deployment, and testing of new code in small and regularly scheduled batches. Application release automation is also part of the CI and CD. Once you create and implement your release automation process, make sure to build it around the CI and CD methodology to create a process that includes continuous build and automated testing.

Benefits of Release Orchestration

  • Introduces Automation: Release orchestration allows teams to accurately, efficiently, and quickly automate tasks performed manually in the past. In return, you experience lower operational expenses and a faster time to market. Another advantage of release orchestration is that while automating tasks, you have the privilege to use any platform like on-premise, in the cloud, or any other hybrid configuration. When you optimize the resources available to you, it also reduces the monetary expenses, resources, manpower, and time-related expenses.
  • Improves Efficiency: Release orchestration platforms help organizations achieve efficiency in application development, IT operations, and development operation by incorporating better planning, control, and process automation of the continuous delivery of changes of any nature, including major, minor, or emergency. In short, this kind of efficiency helps companies make a better choice about the usage of their resources, achieve more innovation, and at the same time, shorten the development time and enables developers to spend more time on quality control.
  • Betters Cross Department Communication: Orchestration platforms also improve the communication between release managers and all those who are working in sync even during peak times. Even senior release managers can get a clear and consistent overview of all the releases present in their domain by looking at the centralized dashboard that makes lives easier for everyone. If the communication between the development, quality, and operation teams improves, it also improves the product quality. When everybody on board or the entire organization is revitalized, it helps them offer better productivity and motivation throughout the other departments.
  • Increases Savings: Using various automated tools leads to greater operational efficiency, and it also increases revenue because organizations can deploy new services faster. The ability to simplify the creation of advanced services also helps service providers to significantly lower the cost of ownership.
  • Faster Time to Market: An advanced level of automation helps you launch more services and get them to the market faster. It leads to cost savings and revenue benefits. Release orchestration helps service providers to provide tailored or customized services to their customers. And as a result, the products get more traction and a positive word in the market due to the amplified customer satisfaction.

How Does Release Orchestration Help You?

To assess how the release orchestration truly helps developers, you need to know how it has solved the problems after its introduction:

Before After

Rise in problems regarding planning, tracking, and communicating throughout the release cycle when team size or the scope of the release is large.

Flexible solutions for traditional agile and continuous delivery methods. With minimum controls and coordination, you can handle release management effectively.

Segregation of the duties like orchestrating approvals and other controls that are responsible for effectively meeting the requirements is difficult.

Easy to use controls to handle any sort of changes into production and other controlled environments. Also, these controls ensure efficacy during change processes and audit requirements.

Problems in monitoring the changes that are happening or about to happen because of improper coordination.

You can see the release pipeline via dashboards and reports. This data helps you plan and execute releases throughout the release lifecycle.

All the processes are manual, which makes them time-consuming and error-prone. The most amount of the time is spent in regular maintenance, delivering updates, enhancements, and fixes.

Because of automation, you can repeat changes across all environments at any frequency: daily, weekly, monthly, or based on your organization’s need.

Best Tools for Release Orchestration

Release orchestration solves the complex problem that developers face on a daily basis because it allows them to use various tools. If you want to know about those tools then take a look at the list of tools given below:

  • GitLab: It is an open-source DevOps platform that facilitates coordination among the Development, Security, and Ops teams to build software.
  • Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform: This platform is able to handle application deployment, configuration management, and continuous delivery. Thus, automate apps and infrastructure.
  • Azure Pipelines: It lets you automate your builds and deployments with Pipelines to save your precious time.
  • CloudBees CD: It provides release orchestration, deployment automation, and environment management capabilities, with integration to your existing DevOps toolchain and analytics to measure, track, and improve your software delivery pipeline.
  • Octopus Deploy: It was the first release automation tool, adopted by many software teams to automate releases and deliver working software to production.
  • AWS Amplify: It eases the creation, configuration, and implementation of scalable mobile applications powered by AWS. Seamlessly amplifies provisions and manages your mobile backend and provides a simple framework to easily integrate your backend with your iOS, Android, Web, and React Native frontends.
  • Puppet Enterprise: It helps you explore your infrastructure, its configuration across all the physical components of your data center; your cloud infrastructure; and everywhere you're running in containers.
  • BuildMaster: It lets you release your software reliably, to any environment, at whatever pace the business demands.


The software release is the most crucial stage of any software development life cycle, and it needs proper planning and strategy. This is the reason why developers put so much stress on release orchestration. It does not just help you plan and strategize but also communicate the process throughout the organization. The biggest advantage of using release orchestration is, it lets you use various automation tools to improve the development cycle and lower the operational cost.