October 20, 2021 | Updated: February 28, 2022
Over the course of my career, I’ve had the privilege of deploying many different types of software. I’ve shipped CDs. I’ve pushed customer software over the web. I’ve updated database instances and control planes. And I’ve live-updated large, running, mission-critical systems.
I call this a privilege because getting software into the hands of end users is what software engineers love most. But deployments are not all fun and games. And while each deployment presents its own unique challenges, there is one thing they all have in common: fear.
Those of you responsible for significant software deployments know exactly what I’m talking about. You work, you prepare, you test. But when the day finally comes for your software to set sail, you are left hoping and praying it proves seaworthy on the Ocean of Production. In most companies, production is so different from your development and staging environments, that it’s almost impossible to know whether the code that worked in staging is going to succeed in production. Yet one thing is certain: if your software fails, everybody is going to know about it. Hence the fear.
When it comes to understanding the effects of fear on the developer, I think Frank Herbert, author of the epic science-fiction saga Dune, said it best: “Fear is the mind-killer.” Fear undermines experimentation and the entrepreneurial spirit. It discourages risk-taking and leads to bad habits, like avoiding deployment for months. And worst of all, fear slows down the innovation process. (See my post on the Innovation Tax many organizations are paying, and don’t know it.)
Pushing to production is undeniably scary. But over the last 30 years, working with my peers, I’ve developed a few methods for creating the conditions for safe, confident deployments. And my next four blogs in this series will unpack each of them in turn:
The 180 Rule - Enabling fast, automated, easily reversible deployments
Z Deployments - Limiting downtime from failed rollbacks
The Goldilocks Gauge - Making the size and frequency of deployments just right
Through the Looking Glass - Ensuring alignment between Dev, Stage, and Prod environments
These methodologies aren’t perfect and they won’t guarantee you a bug-free deployment. But they’re the best practices I’ve seen. And they help create a culture of confidence within an engineering team, which is the foundation of meaningful innovation.
To get started, my next blog will explain the “180 Rule” to help you reduce outage minutes in production. In the meantime, feel free to share your own tips and techniques for safe deployments with@MarkLovesTech.
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Announcing the GA of the Atlas Device SDK for C++
MongoDB's Developer Data Platform was designed to offer unparalleled flexibility and scalability for developers. By streamlining the integration of complex data structures and real-time analytics, and accelerating the development and deployment of mission-critical applications, its adoption has added significant value to businesses across industries. Today we continue our mission to provide the best experience for developers and are excited to announce the general availability (GA) of the Atlas Device SDK for C++ . The updates in this release come after numerous iterations that were guided by feedback from our preview users and target performance and portability. The Atlas Device SDK for C++ enables developers to effortlessly store data on devices for offline access while seamlessly synchronizing data to and from the MongoDB Atlas cloud within their C++ applications. It serves as a user-friendly alternative to SQLite, offering simplicity due to its object-oriented database nature, removing the necessity for a separate mapping layer or ORM. Aligned with MongoDB's developer data platform mission of streamlining the development process - the C++ SDK incorporates networking retry logic and advanced conflict merging functionality, eliminating the traditional need for writing and maintaining extensive and complex synchronization code. Why choose the Atlas Device SDK for C++? The Atlas Device SDK for C++ is particularly well-suited for applications in embedded devices, IoT, and cross-platform scenarios. It serves as a comprehensive object-oriented persistence layer for edge, mobile, and embedded devices, offering built-in support for synchronization with the MongoDB Atlas as a cloud backend. In the evolving landscape of connected and smart devices, the demand for more data, including historical data for automated decision-making, highlights the importance of efficient persistence layers and real-time cloud-syncing technologies which are robust towards changing network connections and outages. The database included in the Atlas Device SDK for C++, comes with over a decade of history, and is a mature, feature-rich, and enterprise-ready technology, integrated into tens of thousands of applications on Google Play and the Apple App Store with billions of downloads. Its lightweight design is optimized for resource-constrained environments. It considers factors like compute, memory, bandwidth, and battery usage in its design. Embedding the SDK directly into application code eliminates the need for additional deployment tasks and simplifies the development process. The fully object-oriented nature of the SDK guides the data modeling, providing a straightforward and idiomatic approach. This stands in contrast to alternative technologies like SQLite database, which require an object-relational mapping library, adding complexity and making future development, maintenance, and debugging more challenging. Furthermore, the SDK’s underlying data store enables seamless integration with reactive UI layers across various environments. In the Atlas Device SDK for C++ we give examples of how to integrate with the Qt framework , but other UI layers can also be added. Improvements in the GA release The new API was developed based on performance measurements with a coordinated focus and effort to improve the read/write operations of the data layer. There has been great interest from major automotive and manufacturing OEMs and this feedback has been invaluable in guiding our final API. Some of the changes added to the Atlas Device SDK for C++ include: Aligning our APIs with other Atlas Device SDKs, e.g. improved control of the database state with monitoring and manual compaction HTTP tunneling Better control for the Atlas Device Sync sessions Windows support Compatibility with OpenWRT among other Linux distributions by supporting musl Android Automotive support with Blueprint/Soong build files What's next Looking ahead we are working towards geospatial support as well as the ability to build with a variety of package managers such as vcpkg and Conan. We welcome and value all feedback - if you have any comments or suggestions, please share them via our GitHub project . Ready to get started? Install the Atlas Device SDK for C++ — start your journey with our docs or jump right into example projects with source code . Then, register for Atlas to connect to Atlas Device Sync, a fully managed mobile backend as a service. Leverage out-of-the-box infrastructure, data synchronization capabilities, network handling, and much more to quickly launch enterprise-grade mobile apps. Finally, let us know what you think, and get involved in our forums . See you there!