Release orchestration is the ability to coordinate automated tasks performed by multiple systems in order to deliver software updates to users.
A fully automated release pipeline will involve version control systems, build agents, testing frameworks, artifact repositories, monitoring tools, and communication channels.
Release orchestration coordinates all these activities and applies the relevant business logic to ensure that environments are refreshed automatically, test results are communicated rapidly, and changes are deployed promptly when release conditions have been met.
While the early stages of setting up a CI/CD pipeline typically involve several manual tasks, as your processes mature and you begin to automate more steps, having a platform to coordinate the various moving parts will help you cut down on wait times and keep the pipeline efficient.
Similarly, as you expand your CI/CD pipeline to handle the work of multiple development teams, release orchestration will keep the process working reliably and consistently, pushing changes through the pipeline as they are ready, delivering feedback in the form of test results and production metrics, and reporting on the impact of specific changes.