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10 Best Software Release Management Tools In 2022

Tools Shortlist

Here’s the list of the best software release management solutions that I’ll cover in this article.

  1. Freshservice

    ITSM tool with release management features

  2. JIRA

    Plan and manage software releases

  3. Chef

    Release management with automation features

  4. Jama Connect

    Requirements management and traceability tool

  5. Octopus Deploy

    Powerful release management and automation

  6. Darkly

    Feature release management tool

  7. Plutora

    Powerful software release analytics

  8. CloudBees

    DevOps tool for large and compliance-first organizations

  9. Prodly

    Release management tool for Salesforce

  10. Aqua ALM

    Test management solution with collaboration features

Software is never finished. Dev teams need to make a constant stream of updates to products, whether that is fixing bugs, improving features, or adding entirely new functionality.

In this environment, the number of releases companies can deploy is important. In fact, 75% of organizations say that deployment frequency is the main way they measure DevOps success.  

Managing all these releases isn’t easy, but the best software release management tools can help. They do this by streamlining the development, testing, and deployment process. 

With so many tools available, choosing one can be difficult. In this article, we’ll go through some of the best options. 

Comparison Criteria

What do I look for when I select the best software release management software? Here’s a summary of my evaluation criteria: 

  1. User Interface (UI): The tool should have a clean UI so it’s easy for dev teams to see what they need to do and collaborate on tasks. 
  2. Usability: Look for features like application release automation and templates to make the tools easy to use.
  3. Integrations: The tool needs to integrate with the other software dev teams use. They should also connect with different development and live environments to streamline releases.
  4. Value for Pricing: The cost of the tool needs to be worth the features. Most of the tools on this list offer a free trial so you can test them out without paying. 

Software Release Management Key Features

  1. Application delivery: This connects your test environment with your product to simplify update delivery. Some tools connect with multiple environments so you can update multiple products, such as mobile and web apps, at once.
  2. Segmented delivery: Segmented delivery allows you to release updates to particular segments of your user base. Gradually releasing updates ensures any issues only affect a small proportion of customers.
  3. Compliance: Compliance features let you minimize risk by defining policies as code. 
  4. Collaboration: Some tools have collaboration features that let managers assign tasks and add further details. Some of these tools rival the best product management tools when it comes to collaboration.
  5. Easy roll-back: This ensures that if something goes wrong with your delivery, you can easily roll the product back to the pre-update state.
  6. Reporting: Reporting gives insight into the release process. You can see how different teams are performing. 

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Overviews Of The 10 Best Software Release Management Tools

Here’s a brief description of each software release management platform to showcase each tool’s best use case, some noteworthy features, and screenshots to give a snapshot of the user interface. 

1

Freshservice

ITSM tool with release management features

Freshservice is an ITSM tool that helps with multiple IT services including release management. The main feature is the service desk which allows your IT team to manage tickets and then track and prioritize resolutions.Use automation such as machine learning-powered recommendations to take care of minor tasks while dedicating more resources to high-priority ones.

The release management features allow you to create and test plans before deployment. You can also create announcements to share with your organization to reduce disruption caused by downtime.

Freshservice helps you mitigate risk by mapping out relationships and dependencies between tasks and keeping track of all scheduled releases.The tool has access to integrations via the Freshworks Marketplace. This includes connections to tools such as MS Teams, Slack, Asana, G Suite, and Office 365.

Freshservice starts at $29 per agent per month. You can try the tool for free for 21 days.

Free for 21 days

From $29 per agent per month

2

JIRA

Plan and manage software releases

Jira is a release and update management software for agile teams. It helps with the entire release process, from planning and prioritizing tasks to reporting on team performance.Start by breaking your project into smaller tasks and then assign them to team members so everyone knows what to work on. Team leaders get an overview of all work and they can see estimated timelines as well as all the task status.

The tool comes with a variety of ready-made templates including those for teams that use Scrum and Kanban methodologies to organize their work. This ensures the tool fits your team’s style of working. There’s also a bug tracking template so you can see issues and assign people to make fixes.

Jira integrates with a ton of tools including Slack, Figma, and Tempo Timesheets via the Atlassian Marketplace.

Jira has a free plan for up to 10 users. Paid plans start at $75 per month and provide advanced features and more file storage.

7 Days Free Trial

$10/user

3

Chef

Release management with automation features

Chef is a software release management tool with features to help teams scale continuous delivery.Dev teams can use the tool to deliver applications to almost any environment on any OS or deployment platform. The automation stack helps teams automate key release processes, while the infrastructure management features ensure consistency across all environments.

The tool also has robust compliance features to ensure updates process according to your rules, thus preventing security incidents. You just have to define infrastructure, application, and security policy requirements as code.

Together, these features mean the release process is simplified and more consistent. You’ll release products faster and save potentially thousands of hours depending on the size of your teams.

Chef doesn’t promote pricing. But you can contact the sales team for a quote based on your exact needs.

4

Jama Connect

Requirements management and traceability tool

Jama Connect is requirements management software that helps guarantee releases are compliant and high-quality.Use the tool to create compliance frameworks to ensure design, development, and testing is done in a way that minimizes risk. The tool also increases process efficiency by letting teams create reusable versions of software for testing and validation.Change management features ensure all edits are stored so you get complete live traceability across the development cycle. And you can use the review center to invite relevant stakeholders to manage feedback and the review process.Jama Connect integrates with plenty of tools including task management, design and simulation, DevOps, and risk management. The tool doesn’t promote pricing, but you can sign up for a demo or a free 30-day trial on the website.

Free 30 days trial

5

Octopus Deploy

Powerful release management and automation

Octopus Deploy is a deployment automation tool that aims to make deploying web apps fast, repeatable, and reliable. The tool works with both on-premises and cloud-based applications.The tool is solely focused on deployment. And you can deploy directly to web services like AWS or Microsoft Azure.

The tool has a step template library that comes with hundreds of official and user-generated workflows for deploying different types of projects. This means you can get up and running by creating scripts yourself.It’s also easy to configure variables such as login data for third-party services or database connection strings. This allows Octopus to automatically update your configuration files as it pushes your file to different environments.

Octopus pricing starts at $50 per month for 5 deployment targets. You can grab a 30-day free trial on the website.

30 days free trial

From $50 per month

6

Darkly

Feature release management tool

Darkly is a release management tool with plenty of features to help you deliver releases faster.It uses feature flags to help you decouple software deployment and releases. This allows you to release new features to different segments of users, thus decreasing risk and ensuring release managers stay in control.

It’s easy to test your code in production before releasing it to reduce risk. And if issues occur, instant rollback ensures you can resolve issues as soon as you discover them.

The tool has features for agencies that allow you to develop the software or updates and then hand the release over to business owners. The tool has SDKs for all major platforms including iOS, Android, Salesforce, and more. It also integrates with Microsoft Teams and Slack to keep your team in the loop.

Pricing starts at $10 per seat per month. This provides unlimited feature flags and access to all the tool’s 25 plus SDKs.

You can sign up for a free 14-day trial on the website.

Free 14-day trial

From $10 per seat per month

7

Plutora

Powerful software release analytics

Plutora is a software release management tool that helps you understand the entire software release process across your organization. It lets you see how different teams perform and ensures that independent teams are aligned with the business.The idea is that it connects with all the technology used by each of your organization’s teams. This gives your organization’s leaders unparalleled insight into the production process of each team.

The tool comes with powerful analytics and visualization features that show information about your entire software delivery process. You can see data on factors like completed items and item throughput. And the tool will visualize trends or potential bottlenecks so you can take action early.

The tool integrates with plenty of other software in many categories, which is essential for organizations where different teams rely on different types of software.

The tool doesn’t advertise pricing but you can contact the team to schedule a consultation.

8

CloudBees

DevOps tool for large and compliance-first organizations

CloudBees is a software delivery platform with features to help your delivery updates at speed.The tool has powerful compliance features and is designed for large organizations that prioritize compliance. For example, the rule designer tool lets teams set enterprise-wide standards for code, data, identities, and cloud environments.

Teams can create pipelines to manage the release process. And they can test code in production-like environments. It also has deployment automation features with multiple out-of-the-box release and rollback strategies. You can also schedule deployments based on resource availability.

The tool has robust analytics to help you optimize performance, remove bottlenecks, and reduce costs. You can see data such as the number of successful deployments in a given period, as well as the ratio of successful deployments to efforts.

CloudBees doesn’t advertise pricing, but you can contact one of the company’s experts to find out more.

9

Prodly

Release management tool for Salesforce

Prodly is a release management tool built for Salesforce. Its features include release management process automation, sandbox seeding, regression testing, and source control. This keeps everyone in your team on the same page and enables you to deploy changes faster.

It has several features to streamline releases. For example, you can compare different Salesforce environments to highlight differences and see exactly who made changes and when.

When releasing code, you can choose from specific changes and then deploy only these. Releasing features this way means you can slowly change your product.

There are also automated data deployment tools that allow you to move your new configuration data in just a few clicks.

Prodly doesn’t advertise pricing but you can contact the company for more information.

10

Aqua ALM

Test management solution with collaboration features

Aqua is a software release management tool with features that cover all areas of software development, including project management, test management, and reporting.The tool enables easy collaboration between developers. It’s easy for anyone to log in and then assign tasks, start discussions, or send notifications.

The tool integrates with plenty of other tools such as Jenkins, Ranorex, and Jira so you can automate test cases. You can also create your own scripts using the Aqua API. All tests can be run in Aqua so anyone in your team can view and analyze the results. If there’s an issue with the test, it’s easy to create a new defect and the tool will export information from the test.

The tool has in-depth requirements management which allows you to specify requirements in each task so everyone is aware of them. And any changes are tracked in the tool’s history, ensuring revision safety and easier audits.You can also create a dashboard highlighting the information you deem to be most important. For example, you can see the status of defects and tests, as well as view cases by creation date. This information can then be exported into reports.

Aqua pricing starts at $35 per month. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial on the website.

30 Day Free Trial

$38/month

The 10 Best Software Release Management Tools Summary

Tool Free Option Price
1
Freshservice

ITSM tool with release management features

Free for 21 days

From $29 per agent per month Visit Website
2
JIRA

Plan and manage software releases

7 Days Free Trial

$10/user Visit Website
3
Chef

Release management with automation features

Not available

Visit Website
4
Jama Connect

Requirements management and traceability tool

Free 30 days trial

Visit Website
5
Octopus Deploy

Powerful release management and automation

30 days free trial

From $50 per month Visit Website
6
Darkly

Feature release management tool

Free 14-day trial

From $10 per seat per month Visit Website
7
Plutora

Powerful software release analytics

Not available

Visit Website
8
CloudBees

DevOps tool for large and compliance-first organizations

Not available

Visit Website
9
Prodly

Release management tool for Salesforce

Not available

Visit Website
10
Aqua ALM

Test management solution with collaboration features

30 Day Free Trial

$38/month Visit Website

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Other Options

Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list.

  1. Ansible – Automation platform on Microsoft Azure
  2. Jenkins – Open source automation server
  3. Clarive – End-to-end release management with automation
  4. Spinnaker – Cloud-based continuous delivery tool
  5. Azure Pipelines – Pipeline tool to manage development

Related: Status Dashboard Software To Monitor Product Health Online

What are software release management tools?

Software release management tools help dev teams plan, develop, test, and deploy software releases. They are essential for agile teams who need to release continuous updates at speed. 

They do this by streamlining the process and automating time-consuming tasks. Many tools also include collaboration and process management features.

What do you think about this list?

This list contains ten of the best options that dev teams have for release management software. Any of the tools on this list will do the job, the best one for you just depends on your specific needs and budget. 

If none of the tools meet your exact needs, then take a look at our list of the best application lifecycle management tools to see if one of these is a better fit. 

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By Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and founder of thedpm.com. I've been in the industry for more than 15 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from film to CMS', games to advertising and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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