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JFrog Bintray Premium pumps up DaaS features

In this product of the month, learn about JFrog's Bintray Premium, the company's latest distribution as a service platform.

Bintray Premium is the new commercial version of JFrog's Bintray, an open source software distribution-as-a-service...

(DaaS) cloud platform that automates software distribution. Bintray Premium brings enterprise-grade DaaS features, including support for private repositories, unbound storage, permission management and expirable download URLs. Bintray Premium is SearchCloudApps.com's November product of the month.

Product: JFrog Bintray Premium

Release date: Sept. 30, 2014

What it does

"Bintray helps developers distribute their software releases in a fully automated way," said Yoav Landman, CTO and co-founder of JFrog Inc., Santa Clara, Calif.

Instead of having to build and maintain a download server, Bintray takes care of providing a full platform for downloads, with automation for pushing and signing new releases, download tracking and statistics, and providing private repositories and secure downloads using expirable URLs.

Landman co-created the Artifactory Binary Repository as an open source project. Artifactory supports artifact hosting and remote proxying of artifacts, which can be use cases, documentation or data files, created during software development. Essentially, Artifactory helps developers manage binaries throughout the development cycle, and Bintray enables distribution of binaries.

"Tight integration with Artifactory allows artifacts from a certain build that were deployed to Artifactory to be pushed and distributed through Bintray," Landman said. This use case is used a lot when a release build certification involves human validation, and the natural next step of the build would be a one-button push of the now-certified build artifacts to public distribution.

The Bintray Premium platform is offered on top of a CDN-backed infrastructure for globally fast downloads, according to Landman. When it comes to distributing binaries that require special repository format -- such as RPMs, Debian or Maven -- then Bintray Premium takes care of generating and serving the correct repository metadata automatically.

"All this would have otherwise been extremely hard for an organization to pull off by itself to facilitate a stable, automated download center infrastructure, and would be hard and expensive to maintain down the road," Landman said.

Why it's cool

Introducing an enterprise version of Bintray was the next logical step for JFrog, according to Shlomi Ben Haim, JFrog CEO. Together, he said, Bintray Premium and Artifactory form the only enterprise-ready, end-to-end solution for an automated, continuous delivery pipeline in software development.

Bintray Premium's cool factors are automation and easy integration with existing enterprise development tools, Landman said. Pushing software to Bintray eliminates numerous deployment and distribution steps. "It takes a process that once has been done manually by a human being, and was error prone and cumbersome, and makes it super easy to achieve with a set of public API calls," he said.

Sure, Ben Haim added, enterprises have built and could continue to build websites for distribution of their products, but doing so takes time and money away from their core businesses.

"In the cloud era, when you need to release software every day or every few hours, as well as pushing applications to the cloud, you can't waste time on doing it manually," said Ben Haim.

What an enterprise user says

Pivotal Inc., a VMware-affiliated independent software vendor, moved its distribution processes onto the JFrog Bintray platform six months ago. Previously, deployment and delivery of a new software release were a "nightmare," said Guillaume Laforge, Pivotal Groovy project manager. "We would need -- if we were lucky -- a full day to release a new version, involving error-prone manual steps." Server connectivity issues were common, and the open source code foundation infrastructure used wasn't actively maintained and up-to-date.

With Bintray Premium, Laforge's team is able to fully automate deployment. "I can trigger the whole release, deployment [and] delivery process from my continuous integration tool chain," Laforge said. Also, Bintray Premium integrates with the Maven Central repositories. This helps Laforge deliver software to Maven for those users and helps deliver software there as well, for those who aren't pointing at Bintray yet for fetching their software components.

Currently, Laforge's team is building on the JetBrains TeamCity continuous integration server. When new versions are ready, he doesn't face a full day of error-prone manual tasks. He can trigger the release from Bintray by just "filling some details, version number and such," he said. "On the click of the button, the whole release deployment and delivery is handled by the JFrog DaaS with Artifactory and Bintray."

Improved visualizations would be helpful, Laforge noted. "I think there could be some improvements for the data hungry like me!" Currently, Bintray provides a dashboard view of downloads, an important indicator for the success of the project. He'd like new tools to slice and dice the data, show different windows of time, granularity, etc. He could do build a tool himself, because Bintray does provide access to raw data, but he'd rather not. But Bintray provides the raw logs as well, so he could build something tailored, as Bintray gives you access to that raw data.

Pricing

Bintray's open source software version is free to software distributors. Bintray Premium pricing covers a base package plus pay-as-you-go pricing for additional storage and bandwidth. The current base plan starts $45 per month and goes up. Expect to see new pricing plans in 2015, Landman said.

This was last published in November 2014

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