SaaS (software as a service) Release Management refers to the scheduled deployment of program code changes for cloud-based software applications, including: upgrades, enhancements and bug fixes. SaaS Release Management is similar to traditional software release management, in that it requires the capacity to store, retrieve and deploy different software versions or releases from a catalog of software applications. The key difference between SaaS Release Management and traditional software release management is that the latter typically requires distinct software versions for specific platforms or operating systems. This is not the case with SaaS Release Management, as software releases only need to be deployed to a single platform (the web) which greatly reduces the cost and complexity of software release management, including a reduced workload on IT personnel.

SaaS Release Management can be executed using manual methods for configuration and deployment, however, this comes at a higher cost to organizations, in terms of operational efficiency and labor expenses. Automated SaaS Release Management tools provide a better SaaS Release Management solution; in terms of cost, operational efficiency and effectiveness. SaaS Release Management tools may be incorporated into the cloud services platform used to deliver cloud-based software applications. For example, Apprenda’s Private PaaS offering includes Application Lifecycle Management tools that make the following capabilities available to SaaS providers:

  • Upload software patches through Apprenda’s Patching Engine
  • Upload entirely new application images through Apprenda web-based interfaces
  • Enable role-based security over application lifecycle events
  • Run parallel versions of applications in a testing sandbox with production stage upgrades at the click of a button
  • Capacity for continuous integration through Apprenda’s SaaSGrid API

What’s more, Apprenda’s Private PaaS offering also includes a Service Management and Configuration component which provides SaaS providers with the necessary interface to track and version web services, web service dependencies and changes over time, from a single easily accessible catalog.

The combination of features available within a SaaS application’s cloud services platform can have a major impact on the success of a SaaS offering. This is because the software-as-a-service model of software delivery requires continual deployment of software releases within very short time frames. This fact makes the use of a tightly integrated set of SaaS Release Management tools imperative to the success of SaaS providers, allowing them to avoid the pitfalls of poor software quality and application downtime which are more likely to occur when manual release management processes are utilized. Apprenda’s Private PaaS and SaaSGrid offerings provide ISV’s (independent software vendors) with the necessary tools to excel in an increasingly competitive cloud services marketplace.

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