JFrog's Mission Control for Binary Repositories

JFrog wants to make it easier for users of its Artifactory binary repository manager to monitor and manage the thousands of binaries that often comprise a software release and what the company sees as an "explosion in binary artifact types." Toward that end, the company last week launched a new product: JFrog Mission Control.

"Right now, software development executives tend to rely on things like burn-down charts to control what's going on in their organizations," Adam Frankl, JFrog's VP of marketing, told ADTmag. "We want to complement this human-reported information with real-time visibility into the world-wide development, distribution, and consumption of software packages—in other words, a view into what's actually going on in the servers."

JFrog Mission Control is a kind of executive dashboard that provides a single, integrated view an organization's distributed binary artifact repositories. The company designed the product to deal with some challenges that appear to be common to most enterprises, Frankl explained, including maintaining a clear, real-time inventory of binary artifact repositories; managing binary artifact workflows among multiple global teams; locking down security, user entitlement, permissions, and provisioning policies; and ensuring highly reliable storage of and access to artifacts.

"This is the stuff that tend to bog down software development and DevOps teams as they scale up to thousands of developers and engineers in multiple teams leveraging multiple data centers around the world," Frankl said. "This is about enabling fast software development at a global scale."

Binary repository managers store binary artifacts and the metadata that describes them in a defined directory structure. Industry analysts, including Forrester's Kurt Bittner, see these repositories as an increasingly essential enterprise tool. "I usually tell customers, if you're not using an artifact repository, you should be," Bittner said in an earlier interview.

Mission Control is JFrog's third product. It's flagship product, Artifactory, was one of the first cloud-based binary repository managers. It integrates with the open-source Jenkins continuous integration (CI) server, Atlassian's Bamboo CI, JetBrains' TeamCity build and CI server, the Gradle and Apache Maven project automation tools, and the NuGet package manager for .NET, among others. The company released Artifactory 4 as a universal artifact repository in September.

The company's second product, Bintray, is Distribution-as-a-Service (DaaS) platform designed to give dev organizations full control over how they store, publish, download, promote, and distribute their software. The product comes with features that fully automate the software distribution process, which supports IoT applications. The majority of Bintray downloads are, in fact, not human downloads, Frankl said.

Mission Control 1.0 works seamlessly with both products, Frankl said, and is available now as a free download for Artifactory users.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].