Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) introduces automation into the stages of app development to frequently deliver to customers. CI/CD introduces continuous automation and monitoring throughout the app lifecycle, from testing to delivery and then deployment.
Understanding Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment
As the notion of software development continues to expand, many adjacent facets of the software development process have become prime targets for code takeover. Examples of these targets include integration and deployment, which form the basis of CI/CD.
CI/CD introduces continuous automation and monitoring throughout the app lifecycle, from testing to delivery and then deployment. Automation during script execution reduces the likelihood of introducing errors and as a result, requires less human intervention.
Furthermore, code changes are continually built, tested, and deployed at every iteration to lessen the chances that code is based on bugs or previous failed versions.
The CI/CD pipeline
Collectively, these practices are referred to as a “CI/CD pipeline” and are supported by agile approaches such as DevOps or Site Reliability Engineering (SRE). This pipeline has several benefits for business, including:
- The ability to reduce costs and complexities and divert resources to areas that will give the best return on investment. Ultimately, the CI/CD pipeline accurately balances project resources in the context of project constraints.
- Improved reliability. CI/CD pipelines manage the complexity of software integration where the work of multiple developers must be combined. This is achieved using the Continuous Integration Certification Test. The test is comprised of three components: daily commits to the main branch, automated triggering of build and test, and repair from any failed build within ten minutes.
- Making the team more attractive to developers. The chances of attracting skilled talent can be increased by implementing the CI/CD pipeline, which automatically allows teams to meet 25% of the items on the Joel Test. This gives the impression of a high-functioning, professional team.
The two components of the CI/CD approach
There are two core components to the CI/CD approach. Although closely related, each component should be incorporated by the business for maximum effect.
Here is a look at each:
- Continuous integration. Automation is an integral part of an effective development workflow and gives project teams the time to focus on what is important. Indeed, every task that can be automated should be automated. Testing is one such process. They should verify that the steps a customer will take through a system are working – irrespective of any changes made. This gives team members the confidence to experiment, incorporate new features, detect problems early, and deliver quickly.
- Continuous deployment. Essentially, continuous deployment is the release of every good build that passes automated tests into production. This requires an ability to get new features, configuration changes, and bug fixes into production. Importantly, it must be achieved safely, sustainably, and quickly by ensuring that code is always in a deployable state. This state must be maintained in the face of many developers making hundreds or even thousands of changes daily.
Differences between core component terms and phrasing
Many practitioners use continuous deployment interchangeably with another term: continuous delivery.
However, there is a difference in meaning between each term. As we have discussed, continuous deployment concerns the automation of the release of a good build to the production environment. Some prefer to call this component “continuous release” for this reason.
Continuous delivery, on the other hand, seeks to ensure that every good build is potentially ready for production release. Ideally, this means that the build is subject to user acceptance tests.
- Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment introduces automation into the software development process to help businesses remain competitive.
- Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment practices are collectively known as the CI/CD pipeline, which is supported by agile approaches such as DevOps.
- Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment is based on the two core components of continuous integration and continuous deployment. Both work together to ensure that automation – which should be introduced wherever possible – is present in nearly every facet of the product lifecycle.
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