We noticed a trend with those who use our continuous delivery platform, HCL Launch. Many customers use third party tools such as Jira or ServiceNow to validate that a change request has met some defined standards before deployment. This leads to gaps in governance and the need for manual approvals to check the status of the CR and greenlight the process. While this method works, it’s not ideal, which is why we developed a way to automate this in HCL Launch 7.1.

In 7.1.0.0 we’ve added External Approvals, a generic template for any tools you might use to automatically validate your processesAt their core, External Approval processes are more like generic processes than our pre-existing approval processes – these processes run on an agent and have access to plugin steps. In line with our current security scheme, we’ve also included a handful of new permissions to control themFrom a governance perspective, this means a team can fully control who has access to External Approvals and require an External Approval be set. 

External Approvals are created and modified in the Processes tab: 

hcl launch external approvals

External Approvals don’t replace the current notion of Approval Processes – instead, Approval processes can be utilized for any part of the deployment that needs manual approval from a specific person, whereas External Approval Processes happen automatically before a deployment and are better suited to validate that a deployment should run according to your systems of record”. Approval processes are still kicked off as soon as a process request is submitted or scheduled, whereas External Approvals will be executed after the manual approval is responded to and immediately before the deployment starts. 

External Approvals are set on an Environment’s Basic Settings: 

hcl launch external approvals

The permission to change the External Approval Process from “Validate JIRA Record” here is distinct from the rest of the basic settings. This means a developer can be restricted from managing external approvals, while still being able to modify environment-level properties. 

In the Execution Log, you can expand an External Approval process to get a closer look at the steps: 

hcl launch external approvals

As you’d expect, an application will export with its External Approvals and there are new granular security permissions to control what is described above. 

Let us know if External Approvals have helped your DevOps transformation! 

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Further Reading
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Secure DevOps  /  August 7, 2020
Adding Security to Continuous Delivery
By: Brian Stump, Product Specialist
HCL Launch, together with AppScan on Cloud (ASoC), gives us the ability to automate control of our application security within our overall DevOps lifecycle, including automation, reporting, and release management.
article-img
Secure DevOps  /  August 4, 2020
Boost performance with agent relay caching in HCL Launch
By: Hayden Schmackpfeffer, Senior Developer
HCL Launch is designed for the enterprise, of course, and provides features that help you grow while remaining performant.
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