application lifecycle management Questions

Below are some observations I've made and I'd like to solicit the communities feedback on the conclusion I've drawn from it.

When looking at industrializing software development by creating a fully integrated and automated pipeline through which changes flow from check-in, through integration, build, testing, packaging and deployment; there are 2 paths one can follow:

1) Buy and implement a single vendor solution that covers the whole pipeline from check-in to deployment, the main drawback with this option being that most of the tools that make up the pipeline will do an OK job, not great, not the best in the industry but they will get the job done. Secondly there is the tie-in to a single vendor which is often perceived as a thorny issue because of the usual what-ifs and the constraints on customization of processes, tools etc.

2) Buy individual 'best of breed' tools to cover each of the stages in the pipeline and integrate these tools with your own resources. Creating this integrate pipeline with your own resources will take time, most likely a couple of man years to get a fully automated pipeline in place and then there is the support. Second because of the less than 'uber' tight integration the value of all the tools together is less than the sum of their individual value.

The above observations bring me to the conclusion that there isn't that much to be gained from buying the best of breed tools for the individual areas, sure you will have the most powerful tool for this and the other, but in the bigger picture that value won't be that noticeable. Just like a single vendor solution won't give you the best pipeline just because it's fully integrated as each of the stage which will be performed OK.

At the end of the day the value you will gain from both paths will be more or less equal, some areas will be better in one others will be better in the other.

What do you say? Did I miss something obvious?

- Antoni

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