Run a release process

This topic describes how to run a release process, execute the release stages, perform actions and evaluate quality gates.

Overview

Release process stages contain actions, both manual and automated, as well as quality gates. Manual actions and quality gates are assigned to users.

Manual actions and quality gates assigned to you are added to the My Work area.

Note: The business rules that control which items are added to the My Work area can be customized.

The items are ready to work on when they are in the "Pending" phase. Items automatically move to pending when their start time arrives, provided that the preceding items are completed.

If an item has not started 24 hours after its start time, the item is flagged "Overdue".

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Start a process

When a process is created, it starts off in "Planned" phase.

When you are ready to start a process, select the process and click Start Process.

When the process' start date arrives, the process moves from "Scheduled" to "In Progress". To ignore the future start date, click Start Process Now.

The process' Current stage field displays the name of the stage that is currently in progress.

A process completes when all its stages are completed. If one of the stages fails, the overall process is set to "Failed".

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Execute stages

When the first stage's start time arrives, the stage moves from "Scheduled" to "In Progress". To ignore a stage's future start date, click Proceed Now.

A stage is completed when all its actions and quality gates are completed. If one of the stage's items fails, the overall stage is set to "Failed".

Only one stage can run at a time. After one stage completes, the next stage begins.

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Perform actions and evaluate quality gates

When the start time of a stage's first action arrives, the action moves from "Scheduled" to "Pending". To ignore the item's future start date, click Proceed Now.

When working with actions and quality gates, consider the following:

  • Auto actions run automatically when the previous action is completed or when scheduled.
  • After an action is completed, the next action or quality gate moves to "Scheduled" or "Pending".
  • If an action item is still pending 24 hours after its start time, the action is labeled "Overdue".
  • After all the actions and quality gates in a stage are completed or skipped, the stage itself is marked "Completed", and the next stage begins.

In the My Work area, mark the outcome of your manual actions and quality gates.

You can also use the Release Management module to access and fulfill your manual actions and quality gates.

To execute an action or quality gate:

  1. Open the My Work area. For details, see The My Work area.
  2. To start a pending manual action or quality gate, click Start. The item moves to "In Progress".
  3. Evaluate quality gate criteria:

    • User input criteria. Go through each of the user-input criteria, and mark them as "Passed" or "Failed".
    • Query criteria. ALM Octane automatically evaluates the criteria and marks them as "Passed" or "Failed".

      Note: If a large number of query criteria are scheduled to run in parallel, ALM Octane may not evaluate them. In such a case, a message will display. To prompt ALM Octane to evaluate the criteria, hover over the quality gate status flags one-by-one, or open the quality gate Criteria tabs.

      The number of query criteria that can run in parallel is set by the QUERY_CRITERION_CALC_COUNT_PER_TASK parameter. For details, see Configuration parameters.

      You can simulate the results of planned query criteria, or drill down to the results of evaluated query criteria. For details, see Simulate or drill down to query results.

    Quality gates are flagged according their status. For details, see Quality gate status flags.

  4. After handling the manual action or quality gate, mark how the item concluded, using one of the following buttons: Complete, Fail, Skip.

    Conclusion Details
    Complete

    Indicates that an item completed successfully. The item is marked "Completed", and the next item moves to "Pending".

    If you mark a quality gate as completed, although not all its criteria passed or were evaluated, you are prompted to provide a reason for completing the gate. Your input is added to the Transition note field. The quality gate's phase is set to "Completed".

    • If none of the criteria were evaluated, the quality gate's success flag is set to "Not evaluated but overridden".
    • If at least one of the criteria failed, the quality gate's success flag is set to "Failed but overridden".
    Fail

    Indicates that an item failed. The item is marked "Failed".

    The parent nodes and overall process are labeled as follows:

    • Sequential group or stage: The item's parent groups and stage, and the overall process are marked "Failed". The process stops, and the subsequent actions and stages are suspended.
    • Parallel group or stage: The item's parent groups and stage, and the overall process are marked "Failing". After all the parallel items are processed, if the failed item remains failed, its parent groups and stage, and the overall process are marked "Failed". The process stops, and the subsequent actions and stages are suspended.

    You can retry a failed manual action or quality gate. In the Release Management module, select the action, and click Retry. The action returns to "Pending". The parent groups, stage and process return to "In Progress".

    Skip Indicates that the action or quality gate was skipped. The item is marked "Skipped". The next action moves to "Pending".
  5. Add a comment regarding the conclusion.

Unlike manual actions or quality gates, auto actions do not require a user to manually mark how the action concluded:

Conclusion Details
Completed The auto action is automatically marked "Completed" if the action ran successfully.
Failed

If a failed auto action is assigned to a user, the action is displayed in the My Work area.

Note: You can retry a failed auto action by selecting the item and clicking Retry. The auto action moves back to "Pending" > "In Progress" in case the action execution started successfully.

If necessary, you can skip or abort an auto action. An aborted item is marked as "Failed", and you can retry the failed auto action.

Note: Aborting ALM Octane's auto action that runs a Jenkins job also aborts the job in Jenkins. And vice versa, aborting a job in Jenkins also aborts the corresponding auto action in ALM Octane.

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Complete or skip in advance

You can skip or complete items in a release process that are still in "Planned" phase.

  • Skip items in advance: Select an action, quality gate, group or stage in "Planned" phase and click Skip. All child items in a skipped stage or group are also marked "Skipped".
  • Complete items in advance: Select an action or quality gate in "Planned" phase, and click Complete.

Reopen items

You can reopen items that were skipped or completed in advance: Select an item and click Reopen.

  • If you reopen a stage or group, all its child items are reopened.
  • Reopened items are restored to the phases they had before they were skipped or completed in advance.

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Quality gate status flags

A flag alongside the quality gate's name signals the quality gate's status:

Flag Details
Not evaluated The default flag as long as the gate's criteria have not been evaluated.
Not evaluated but overriden None of the quality gate's criteria were evaluated. The owner nevertheless marked the quality gate completed or skipped.
Failed

One or more of the quality gate's criteria failed.

Failed but overridden/ skipped One or more of the quality gate's criteria failed. The owner nevertheless either marked the quality gate completed or skipped.
Passed All the quality gate's criteria passed.

Mouse over the status flag to open a hover box displaying the gate's criteria and their evaluations. You can simulate the results of non-evaluated query criteria, or view the results of evaluated query criteria. For details, see Simulate or drill down to query results.

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Simulate or drill down to query results

You can simulate the results of non-evaluated query criteria, or display the results of evaluated query criteria.

  • For evaluated query criteria, you can click on the result link in the hover box to display a list of the items returned by the query.
  • For non-evaluated query criteria, you can click the Simulate Results link in the hover box to predict what the criteria outcome will be. After the simulation, you can click the result link for each criterion to display a list of the items that the query returns.

    Note:  

    • You can simulate query criteria of quality gates that are in the "Planned" phase only.
    • The simulation reflects the current situation. The results of the actual quality gate evaluation may be different.

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See also: