A software toolchain is a collection of software development tools used concurrently to carry out challenging software development tasks or to produce software. Each component of the chain is a separate piece of software that performs a distinct function and is designed to cooperate with other components.
Businesses can alter software toolchains to meet their unique software requirements. Additionally, some software providers provide their own toolchains. The constant programming environment and seamless tool switching as development moves forward are two of the main advantages of using a software toolchain rather than a dispersed collection of tools.
The key components of the toolchain
A software toolchain serves the purpose of having a collection of related software tools that have been optimized for a particular programming process. The output produced by one tool in the chain serves as the input for the following one.
The toolchain takes into account the various tool dependencies by integrating tools; as a result, it speeds up the software development process. For instance, a debugger or compiler may be necessary for a programming language such as C++. A development team that is familiar with C++ can incorporate one of these tools into their chain to prevent bottlenecks.
The advantages of a Toolchain
Having a single toolchain in place for creating, sharing, and managing open source software across the organization is absolutely essential for any business looking to take full advantage of the potential that open source offers for accelerating development processes.
When using a single toolchain for all of your open source build requirements, you can:
1. Reduced Overhead.
The amount of work required on the part of developers to package open source code and integrate it into their applications is exponentially increased by managing multiple sets of build tools. Additionally, it significantly increases the chance that build tool or process errors will cause a delay in the deployment of the application. When your build pipeline depends on a dozen different compilers and package managers, issues are much more likely to arise than if you only rely on one trustworthy source to get all of your open source dependencies.
2. Greater Reusability.
All developers throughout the entire organization can use the same open source dependencies thanks to a single toolchain. Developer effort is greatly reduced as a result, and open source usage is more uniformly applied throughout the organization.
3. Automation that is easier.
Teams can use open source components that are developed, packaged, and distributed throughout the entire organization using a single toolchain. In order to fully automate the software delivery pipeline and reduce the risk of build delays that might impede continuous delivery, developers must be able to pull all open source dependencies from a single location.
Since public repositories do not provide any assurances regarding the security and integrity of the open source code they offer, importing prebuilt open source components from them presents a security risk.
Remember that a single toolchain isn’t always the best option for every situation. In some unique situations, a single toolchain might not be appropriate.
DevOps Toolchain: What Is It?
Organizations use DevOps tools to manage and automate DevOps operations across the entire software development lifecycle.
The technology and tools that allow development and operations teams to collaborate throughout the entire software lifecycle make up a DevOps toolchain. Automation, collaboration, continuous integration, and delivery are the fundamental components of DevOps.
A toolchain helps software development teams complete challenging tasks. The parts of a toolchain typically work in succession, with the output of one tool serving as the input for the next. However, some DevOps technologies are used outside of the DevOps pipeline.
There isn’t a single technology that supports the principles and practices of DevOps because it is a cultural shift in which architecture and operations operate as a single entity. A DevOps toolchain, on the other hand, is a group of technologies that work together to create, construct, test, measure, manage, and run both systems and software. These tools frequently come from different vendors.
Why Is a DevOps Toolchain Necessary?
Because businesses must quickly meet customer expectations and release new software frequently in order to remain competitive in the market, modern software development must move quickly. Now, years of development must be finished in just a few weeks or days. DevOps technologies and techniques are used by development and operations teams to collaborate quickly and finish projects.
DevOps has made it possible for development, quality engineering, IT operations, and security. In order to produce better, more dependable solutions, it facilitates team coordination and collaboration. When teams adopt a DevOps culture in addition to DevOps methods and tools, they are better able to respond to customer requests, increase confidence throughout the applications they develop, and complete business objectives more quickly.
Without further ado, here are seven tools that are common in the toolkits of DevOps engineers.
- Jira for tracking issues.
Atlassian created the project management and issue tracking tool Jira. Even in distributed environments where teamwork is valued above all else, the platform makes it easy for DevOps engineers to plan projects and monitor progress.
DevOps teams can monitor releases with Jira and feel secure knowing that all of the platform’s data is current while doing so.
Several other DevOps tools are also integrated with Jira. It can be found in many developer toolchains as a result.
- Mattermost for Collaboration
It’s critical for development teams to communicate effectively in the era of remote work. Using a messaging app like Mattermost to manage tasks and connect people is a simple way to accomplish that.
DevOps teams can easily collaborate in real time using Mattermost, even if they are dispersed globally. This not only facilitates the quick progress of software development projects but also a variety of other use cases, including ChatOps, ops theater, social coding, war rooms, and more.
Leading DevOps teams are increasingly moving away from email in favor of platforms like Mattermost that facilitate work.
- Puppet for Infrastructure Automation
Repeatedly performing the same boring tasks is one of the worst aspects of any job. This issue may be even more acute if you’re a DevOps engineer creating transformative software solutions.
Here comes Puppet, which creates potent tools that automate infrastructure provisioning to ensure security and compliance. Engineering teams can use Puppet to automate and coordinate a variety of repetitive tasks, such as starting and stopping services and restarting systems.
The productivity of DevOps can change with a tool like Puppet. In fact, according to one study, using Puppet can cut costs by 97% while also saving 210% more time.
- Jenkins for Server Automation
Another DevOps tool that makes life simpler for engineers worldwide is Jenkins. It helps developers quickly create and test software while supporting continuous integration efforts made by DevOps teams. Jenkins thus automates the build procedure.
Engineers will be able to quickly determine whether the code they wrote is functional thanks to Jenkins. This is significant. Keep in mind that DevOps teams prioritize delivering software updates frequently.
Jenkins assists in avoiding the release of unstable or bug-filled releases by alerting teams right away when something is wrong in the code.
- GitLab for Source Code Management
Everyone who has worked together on a Word document in a conventional business setting is familiar with the process. You wind up in an endless email chain with a document whose file name is constantly changing. Version control is not possible in these circumstances. All too frequently, people will base their work on various documents, causing everyone to lose their hair.
Software teams can experience the same thing. But here, programs like GitLab can come to the rescue.
GitLab makes it simple for distributed DevOps teams to manage version control and keep track of their CI/CD pipelines. The progress of DevOps projects is accelerated because everyone is using the most recent branches.
Whether or not your DevOps toolchain resembles the one we’ve shown above, one thing is constant: In order to maximize your effectiveness, you need visibility into your tools. We might have a bias. However, in our opinion, Plutora is an essential component of any DevOps engineer’s toolkit.