Shippable, creator of one of the first container-oriented enterprise workflow tools, has announced a significantly revised version of its deployment platform that eliminates the need to cobble together multiple tools at each stage of the workflow.
The Shippable platform, available as a free-to-use, pay-to-upgrade SaaS offering, manages each distinct phase of an application's lifecycle -- packaging, integration, delivery, and deployment across multiple clouds -- through a single, top-down toolset.
Shippable co-founder and CEO Avi Cavale described in a phone call one of the key changes for the new version: a YAML-based, declarative configuration system for describing the behavior for each lifecycle stage. Scripts can also include direct configuration instructions. This is handy if you want to make use of a bleeding-edge feature in your cloud service or manually manage an aspect of the configuration.
This approach contrasts with writing scripts for individual tools at each stage of the app's deployment -- for example, using Jenkins and other tools for CI. "Jenkins 2.0 is trying to get to what we already have as a platform," said Cavale, "but the challenge is that Jenkins is an extremely task-based workflow."
Cavale believes modern cloud-native applications need a platform built to handle the workloads natively. Tasks created in Jenkins then have to be stitched together with other applications, and while rolling such custom solutions does work, "you spend a ton of time creating it, and anytime anything changes, everything has to be rewritten," Cavale said.
Another partial competitor could be HashiCorp's Atlas, which orchestrates multiple tools like Docker, Chef, and Jenkins across multiple phases of an application's lifecycle. Cavale sees Atlas as more about managing infrastructure under the app-deployment lifecycle, rather than managing the app itself.
"Infrastructure is becoming commodified, especially with containers and microservices," said Cavale, so Shippable shifts focus to the application-delivery side of the picture.
Shippable's long-term plans include releasing a privately hosted edition, named Shippable Server, but there is currently no general-availability date for that product; it's only available right now as a private beta.