Many people confuse Application Release Automation (ARA) with Continuous Delivery (CD). Many people confuse Continuous Delivery with Continuous Deployment but that will be discussed later.
ARA automates deployment on a target environment. ARA tools primary purpose is to push the build with a single click. As long as it can do that, in a repeatable, predictable fashion, the ARA tool has done its job.
Continuous Delivery however has much more to it than just pushing the bits out. CD can only be achieved if you can build, deploy and test every change while providing feedback at every stage. The fundamental principles of CD demand constant feedback and an almost sacred oath to not pass the defects forward.
Here’s my view on RA vs CD (inspired by Nhan Ngo’s sketch)