Effortless CI/CD: Accelerating Chef Habitat Application Delivery

The blog below is a guest blog post written by ShuttleOps, one of our ChefConf Online sponsors.

Consistent Application Packaging

The Chef Enterprise Automation Stack (“EAS”) and the “Effortless” pattern were created to give organizations the ability to automate configuration management, compliance and application delivery via a unified set of tools. More specifically, the Effortless pattern provides a path for organizations to achieve automation with EAS by replacing environment and role cookbooks with a consistent delivery mechanism using Chef Habitat.

The beauty of Chef Habitat is in its ability to provide consistency in application packaging across operating systems and runtimes. Consistency is important in order to simplify how you automate your application’s lifecycle, but it also helps increase application delivery speed by providing a singular way to deliver applications of all flavours, whether it was developed in-house or purchased through a vendor (“COTS” – commercial, off-the-shelf software).

Defining CI/CD

Chef Habitat is great for packaging applications, however it requires supporting elements to fully realize its potential. These elements become evident when you think through the process of building application delivery pipelines for Habitat. 

Typically, the CI/CD process requires these steps:

  1. Setting up your own CI with Habitat to build application packages to the Chef Habitat Builder
  2. Baking approval gates into the CI/CD process to align with business processes
  3. Managing Habitat channel promotion strategies to align with application environments
  4. Applying application-environment configuration files and secrets at runtime across your application pipelines 
  5. Provisioning infrastructure to run your Habitat applications

This can take hundreds, if not thousands of hours to build, scale and maintain when you consider the effort required to onboard several applications or application teams.

Using ShuttleOps to Accelerate Application Delivery 

So how do you get going quickly with Chef Habitat, EAS and the Effortless pattern? The answer is to take an opinionated approach. Chef Habitat provides a concrete framework for application packaging, which provides the basis for high-level abstractions that can be implemented and consumed by many. This is exactly what we’ve done with ShuttleOps. 

ShuttleOps is a no-code CI/CD platform that allows DevOps stakeholders (application developers, infrastructure, security, IT operations, business stakeholders) to collaborate and create CI/CD pipelines that leverage Chef Habitat, without having to handroll and maintain all the associated CI/CD elements. It also allows them to easily onboard and scale processes as application and environment needs change. 

No-code CI/CD provides the ability for product teams to onboard applications quickly and easily using a visual pipeline editor that supports approval gates, notifications and scaling across the organization. ShuttleOps allows all stakeholders -technical and non-technical – the ability to participate in the application delivery process. More importantly, this also allows the technical product teams to focus on building great applications instead of worrying about building and maintaining CI/CD processes to deliver their applications.

In order to take advantage of ShuttleOps no-code CI/CD capabilities, all you need to do is connect it to your favourite source control repository on GitHub, GitLab or Bitbucket and start creating build and deploy pipelines with your Habitat packaged code. 

Where The Coded Enterprise and No-Code CI/CD Meet

There are a lot of advantages to no-code CI/CD – it greatly accelerates your digital transformation initiatives, however, there’s still a place for low-code and code solutions. 

Application development and packaging will always require code. In some cases, custom integration may also require hand-coding – and even within the CI/CD pipeline there may be occasions where a specific script or piece of code needs to run. So, code is not going anywhere, however there is a natural hand-off in the application delivery lifecycle, when no-code widens the number of stakeholders involved, namely automating processes at scale. 

No-Code CI/CD strives first and foremost to address the common challenges that organizations face with application delivery in an opinionated manner. If these approaches greatly diverge with what you want to achieve or if what you want to achieve this in a way that’s very specific to your organization, then a combination of no-code, low-code and code CI/CD may be a better fit. 

As the no-code CI/CD landscape matures, more use cases will be addressed so organizations can continue to focus on creating applications that delight their customers and worry less about how applications will be delivered to their customers in a fast, simple and secure way.

To learn more, get a demo or try ShuttleOps FREE visit shuttleops.io/

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Damith Karunaratne, CEO at ShuttleOps

Damith is passionate about building loved and trusted software for developers. Over the last decade, he has helped small to Fortune 50 companies solve complex technology issues. Over the last 5 years, Damith focused on driving DevOps adoption in partnership with top technology vendors such as Chef Software and HashiCorp. Today, Damith is the CEO of ShuttleOps, a new and innovative No-Code CI/CD platform that helps organizations automate application delivery, without writing code.