Software development in today’s world depends on two things, namely – our own source code and additional binary components. Binary components to understand it perfectly, it can be understood as the output of an intermediate step in your actual development process. Most common examples for the binary components are the JAR, WAR, EAR packages in the Java world and these can vary as we vary with the Programming language itself.
Most of the Organizations would want to set up their DevOps process based on their build tool and then comes the need for a Repository Management tool that handles all such requirements. There are various kinds of options available in the market that can take up the responsibilities of a Repository Manager (either we can choose for a free open source version or we could go pro with a paid version, this helps mature the whole DevOps process in your Organization).
With this common understanding let us now go through the various available options that we can see in the DevOps space of Repository Management.
Types of Repository Management DevOps Tools:
In the section above, we have tried to understand the requirement where we want the Repository Management tools to kick in, in the actual DevOps process. With this understanding, let us take a look at the available tools in the market and understand the pros and cons of each of these tools. You can go through all the available options and make your choice to fit your Organization requirements precisely.
1. Helix Core Version Control:
The next product in the listing for the day is Helix Core Version Control which is based on the Versioning engine that powers Perforce customers who see lightning fast, file level asset management. Helix Core, formerly known as Perforce Helix is the version control engine for the large-scale development environments. It manages a centralized database and also along with it a master repository of all possible file versions.
Helix Core clients are classified into 5 categories (based on the way that they connect to the Code repository): GIT, Command, GUI, Web, and Plugin. Perforce system can make a portion or all of its content made available as GIT repositories. Users of GIT and of other clients can make use of this and work with the same file content and history. GIT commits will further be visible to others as Perforce Changelists and the other way round for others.
Following are some of the advantages of using Helix Core Version Control, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- Users can work remotely from any part of the world, pulling only the files that they require
- Users can add a lock over files in order to prevent overwrites on binaries
- Users can set granular permissions to the file level for having complete control
- Users will be ensured consistent performance even when the repositories scale further
- Users will be having global visibility, as in, which files are checked-out by which users and etc.
- Users are provided the best of the tools to identify differences in the files that they work on parallel before commits
- It simplifies and also automates the branching best practices
- It provides a pretty good search functionality, which scans on your entire repository for any content that you are currently interested in.
Archiva, yet another tool from the Apache family of software offerings – It is an extensible Repository management software that provides its help in taking care of the enterprise-wide build artifact repository. An incoming request with a virtual repository or a repository group URL – Archiva would look for the requested artifact from the repositories under that specific group. Having said that, Archiva would look for the artifact under the specified group only when it has the permission to do so. The very first resource that is found for the requested artifact would be returned as a response to the incoming request.
Following are some of the advantages of using Archiva, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- Saves loads of time as there is no need to download any of the libraries from internal, but does a direct download from the Archiva repository on your site
- Centralizes the whole management process (i.e., from the Archiva repository) instead of different unmanageable repository locations from the internet.
3. Cloudsmith Package:
Cloundsmith Package is one of the best DevOps tools that is available in the Repository Management space and also ensures that levels up your DevOps enterprise grade repositories as like Debian, Maven, Python, Ruby, Vagrant and more. It lets you focus on your product as Cloudsmith Package simplifies all your concerns related to the whole process in itself and handles the package management in the best way possible for you.
Following are some of the advantages of using Cloudsmith Package, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- If you are having troubles managing your dependencies, then you can totally manage all your universal dependencies and artifacts within just one repository
- Ensures that there is no latency and ensures better throughput
- Ensures that you pay for what you have used for
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Artifactory is the enterprise-ready repository manager available today, supporting secure, clustered, High Availability Docker registries. JFrog is a universal artifact repository and distribution platform. A unique DevOps tool, JFrog Artifactory is a universal artifact repository manager that fully supports software packages created by any language or technology. Integrates with all major CI/CD and DevOps tools to provide an end-to-end, automated, bullet-proof solution for tracking artifacts from development to production. Remote artifacts are cached locally for reuse, eliminating the need to download them again and again.
Following are some of the advantages of using JFrog Artifactory, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- The best thing about Artifactory is ease in setup. It is a very less time-consuming task to set up a repository using Artifactory.
- The UI is clear and provides a lot for tooltips to make a repository better.
- Mirroring external repositories using Artifactory is very easy.
- Huge files can be uploaded into this repository in a short span of time. Also, the upload status can be found out by calling there API with the file name being uploaded to obtain an exact percent of the file being uploaded instantly.
- It is very easy to upload and download the latest products from the repository. It works great with Gradle.
- Also, we can view the metadata of the files being uploaded into the repository by which we can make sure all the file information being passed from source system can be validated easily.
Pulp, a platform that is specifically designed to manage repositories of software packages to be made available for a large number of consumers to consume. Pulp can locally mirror small part or all parts of the repository, host your own software packages in repositories and also manage various kinds of content from various sources to a single and a centralized place. Pulp as a tool has its plugin integrations with software like RPM, Python, Puppet, Docker and also OSTree. To be very precise, the primary focus was on software packages such as RPMs and/or Puppet modules.
There are few core capabilities of Pulp as like syncing and publishing to the repositories have been implemented in a rather generic way so that it can be extended further by the plugins to support specific content types. Since the design of Pulp is flexible enough, Pulp can be extended further to nearly any type of digital content. The most important feature of Pulp is that it makes it very easy for the third-party plugins to be written and deployed separately from the Pulp platform. Any of the new plugins that are installed on Pulp, it detects these and activates them automatically.
Following are some of the advantages of using Pulp, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- The pulp is free and also Open source
- There is a provision for REST APIs from Pulp and also command-line interface for management.
- You can pull content from your existing repository to Pulp server either manually or on a recurring schedule.
- There is a provision to upload new content to the Pulp server
- There is also a provision to mix and match the uploaded and imported content to create new repositories. You can then publish them and then host them on Pulp
- You can push your content to consumer machines and be tracking what each of these consumers has installed.
- Publish your content as a web-based repository, to a series of ISOs, or in any other way that meets your needs.
6. Sonatype Nexus:
Sonatype Nexus manages all the software artifacts that are required for your development, deployment and also for your provisioning. Nexus also helps in sharing these artifacts are needed by other developers or end-users. Nexus provides greater and an easier way of maintenance of your internal repository and also access to an external repository. Nexus controls access to and also deployment of each and every artifact in your organization from a centralized location.
Sonatype Nexus is the repository that any of the teams would require as it is one of the most reliable sources for the components that are needed and when they are needed the most. With this tool in your DevOps pipeline, you can completely forget the past with stalled build because of missing components or unavailable components. It is built on the same foundation as that was built for the popular OSS solution Nexus Repository Pro which includes enterprise support. It provides features like Repository Health Check, Application Health Check which provides security and also licenses details for components that are found inside your applications or repositories.
Following are some of the advantages of using Nexus, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- It is quite simple to have it working with the Maven artifacts
- You should be able to standardize on Maven repositories
- It provides great support to release artifacts and also extends support snapshots as well
- It also supports a staging repository where everything nitty and gritty details are tested before officially releasing your products.
NuGet is the official package manager for .NET managed by the Outercurve Foundation. The original purpose to have a repository manager is to organize on your binary components that the development team relies upon and to maintain it properly. The whole idea of committing these along with your source code beats the purpose of using any Repository Managers and hence NuGet comes into use. The NuGet workflow has been put in place to commit the packages folder into source control with the reasoning that if they don’t have NugGet, they might end up dumping all these binaries into the source control only for the reason to allow others to build the whole application code.
Following are some of the advantages of using NuGet, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- NuGet ensures taking the responsibility of dependency chains and version conflicts at the installation time.
- NuGet also facilitates installing, uninstalling, updating, removing packages at the application level.
- NuGet can act more than just a package manager, but also as a protocol for other means because of its extensibility, tooling and also because of its integration capabilities.
- NuGet also ensures better performances, application security.
- NuGet is lightweight, improved and reduced servicing.
There are scenarios where MyGet gets to be implemented quite differently from NuGet or the like and the scenarios as like:
- Any specific feed that contains only the packages that an individual or an Organization uses often.
- Any specific feed that only a specific open source project or its dependencies uses.
- Any specific feed that contains a few packages which you want to use for a certain project and all the developers of the project are instructed to install and use them.
- Any specific feed that creates or pushes packages on itself by polling your GitHub or Codeplex or Bitbucket repositories and then triggering their build services.
With that discussed, let us now take a look at the difference that is observed between MyGet and NuGet. With MyGet, there is a possibility to set up the feed less than 5 seconds and all this can be done without even setting up any of our own infrastructures. There is only one feed per account in NuGet whereas with MyGet you can have multiple feeds per account. It also allows you to delegate privileges to others without even sharing an API key as everyone would be having their own API key and secure access to MyGet.
Following are some of the advantages of using MyGet, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
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- One of the best advantages of using MyGet is that you get to have multiple feeds per account whereas you get only one feed per account with NuGet.
- Setting up a feed is all done without even having your own infrastructure.
- You don’t see any network latency only for the first time where the package mirroring is triggered.
- We are covered against any upstream source availability issues.
There are three components to npm, they are the website, registry and the cli. The npm website is the place where developers discover packages, set up their profiles and also manage the other aspects of npm. The npm registry is the huge database that contains all the dependencies and stuff whereas the npm cli is the one that is used by most of the developers to interact with npm.
Following are some of the advantages of using npm, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- With npm, you can adapt packages to your specific applications without any hassles.
- You can download and use standalone tools then and there itself.
- You can share your code with any other user who again uses npm.
- Having said that, you can also have restrictions on who to see and share this as well.
- You can form as virtual teams and manage versions of code.
- Updating your applications with the updates from underlying dependencies easily.
- Find and collaborate with other developers working on similar issues, problems, technologies, products etc.
10. Docker Hub:
The Docker Hub can be very easily defined as a Cloud repository in which Docker users and partners create, test, store and also distribute Docker container images. Through the use of Docker Hub, a user can very easily access public, open-source image repositories and at the same time – use the same space to create their own private repositories as well.
Following are some of the advantages of using Docker Hub, let us now take a look at each and every one of them:
- Forms the central repository for all the public and private images created by the users.
- Provides central access to all the available Public docker images.
- Users can safely create their own private docker images and save them under the same central repository, the docker hub.
In this article, we have gone through the basics of Repository Management and also understood the reason why Organizations have to focus on having such tools in their DevOps pipeline for their software development processes. We have also gone through a relatively thorough list of DevOps tools that fit in, in the world of Repository Management processes. Hope you have got all the information that you were looking for at one place and please do provide us with your feedback to improve upon the upcoming articles as well.