Plug-ins provide basic processing functions as well as integration with third-party tools. Serena Release Automation ships with plug-ins for several common deployment processes, and others are readily available for a wide variety of tools, such as middleware tools, databases, servers, and other deployment targets.

Third-party tools exhibit wide and varied functions, of course. Plug-in integration is achieved by breaking down a tool's functions into simple, discrete steps that invoke a specific behavior. A plug-in step might invoke a tool, or invoke different functions in a tool, such as extracting or inserting some type of data.

When you use plug-ins to create a component process, you can use steps from several plug-ins and configure the steps as you go. For example, you might create a process using a plug-in for a source control tool that deploys a component to a middleware server, and another plug-in to configure a step that removes the component from the server.

A component process that contains a plug-in step requires an agent. Unless the agent needs to interact with the host's file system or system processes, the agent does not have to be on the same host as the target resource.

Serena Release Automation enables you to download and install numerous component plug-ins. Serena does not charge any additional fees for plug-ins. The plug-in system is open and extensible–plug-ins can be written in any language.