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How Task Tags Make Release Management Easier

Blog and wiki users (and New York subway commuters) are familiar with the concept of tagging. Tags are simple keywords that you can add to a piece of content to categorize it. It’s an easy, non-technical way to let users find related content or explore a single topic or idea.

XL Release has had support for release tags for a while. Users can add tags to a release from the release properties screen, and then use those tags to filter what’s shown on the release overview screen. For example, microservice releases could be tagged with the application in which they’re consumed so that the team can filter using the application name to see their progress together on one page. But this approach to categorizing content only existed at the release level. That changes with the introduction of task tags in XL Release 6.0, which let users more easily classify and manage granular details for large, complex releases.

The Benefits of Task Tags

Task tags are key words that you can add to individual tasks in a release to categorize them. They are user-defined so you can use any words that makes sense to your team. You decide what information is relevant to you and how you are going to label it. Add as many tags as you like to a task.

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Adding a task tag to a release task

Tags are a great way to group tasks together, even when the actual task type is different. For example, testing-related tasks in a release could consist of some manual tasks and some tasks from different testing tools like Loadrunner or Sauce Labs. These tasks could all be tagged “testing.”

Once you’ve categorized a group of tasks, the release table view is a handy place to apply the task tags as filters. For example, a number of your release tasks may be handled by your in-house team while others could be handled by a partner. By tagging those releases as “Outsource,” you can apply that tag filter to the table view to see the status of all of those tasks.

Tags are also a great way to share information about your release with stakeholders who are focused on specific types of information. For example, security and risk (S&R) team members are keenly interested in the status of security-related tasks, but may not want to look through all of the other types of tasks in a release to get a status update. They want to know the progress of manual security-related tasks, like logging the results of pen tests or confirming that an architectural risk analysis was performed, as well as automated security tasks, like checking the results of static and dynamic analysis.

Viewing Task Progress

XL Release 6.0 includes a new dashboard tile called the task progress tile which, when combined with task tags, provides a view into the status of related tasks in the release. The main view of the tile includes a chart showing the percentage complete of all the tasks in the release that are categorized by one or more tags. For example, you could set the tile to show progress on all tasks tagged as “Security” for your S&R team. When they click on the chart, the tile opens into a detailed progress view that is similar to a release table view, but only showing the tagged tasks.

Task tags in XL Release 6.0 are simple yet powerful tools to help you categorize and work with the tasks in your release. They help you always know what’s going on in your release pipeline, across all tools, so you have the insight you need to make the right decisions about your release at the right time.

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XebiaLabs is the technology leader for automation software for DevOps and Continuous Delivery. It focuses on helping companies accelerate the delivery of new software in the most efficient manner. Its products are simple to use, quick to implement, and provide robust enterprise technology.