Software development seems to bring new sensations every passing day. New processes, methodologies, new software tools and more are brightening the industry. The industry is continually developing and becoming more effective. Though, in the software development world, there is no such thing as one solution for all.
Some methodologies will work better in some situations than they do in others. Each organization may have a mixture of different methodologies from one product stream or development team to another. In this blog, we will discuss what is Continuous Integration Continuous Deployment and what its advantages are. We will elaborate them all one by one.
What is Continuous Integration Continuous Deployment?
What is Continuous Integration (CI)?
Continuous Integration (CI) is the process of automating the integration of code changes from many contributors into one software project. The CI process covers automatic tools that support the new code’s accuracy before integration. A source code version control system is the heart of the CI process. The version control system is also enriched with other analyses like automated code quality tests, syntax style review tools, etc.
Continuous Integration assists to make sure that software elements work together. Integration should be accomplished regularly; if possible daily or even hourly is fruitful.
In a Continuous Integration practice, developers create, run, and test code on their own workstations before binding code to the version control repository. After modifications are made to the repository, a series of events is installed into motion. A standard initial step in this chain is to build the latest version of the source code.
If the build is sound, unit tests are executed. If unit testing is successful, the build is deployed to test environments where system tests are executed which are usually utilizing automated tests. The team is informed about the status of this process, and a report is passed to present details, for example, the number of tests, errors, and build number.
What is Continuous Deployment (CD)?
Continuous Deployment (CD) is a method for software deliverance where any code commit that transfers the automated testing stage is automatically delivered towards the production environment, making changes that are obvious to the users of the software.
CD drops the human protection upon unproven code in live software. It should only be achieved when the development and IT teams rigorously adhere to production-ready development practices and meticulous testing, and when they implement advanced, real-time monitoring in production to find any problems with new releases.
Continuous Deployment does not need a staging area for code changes to be manually corrected and tested because automated testing is integrated ahead in the development process and remains throughout all the phases of the release. One of the main advantages of Continuous Deployment is that there is no time delay between when a code change transfers application and platform level testing and when it passes into live production.
Continuous Deployment may seem similar but it is not the same thing as continuous delivery, although the two terms are often confused and, certainly, share the acronym of CD. Continuous Delivery serves business users because as soon as code is strongly accepted in the CI stage and a logical function can be tested, it is delivered to users.
They check that the features meet their expectations and give feedback to developers who then discuss the feedback in this stage. This feedback loop between users and developers is continuous and smooth. Whereas in the conventional waterfall method, users could wait long term to see the characteristics for the first time, and so this method can decrease the time to just a few hours or days.
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Advantages of Continuous Integration
With automated tests on each new commit, Continuous Integration is an excellent way to improve code quality. Here are some advantages of Continuous Integration for which we believe every development team should be arranging this method.
1. Manual Tests Are Just a Snapshot
CI tests your code upon the current state of your codebase constantly in the same environment that mimics the production environment, so you can detect any integration hurdles right away. It is common in development teams that a team member says that the code worked locally and failed when pushed forward. In their support, it actually worked locally. But, when they tested it locally they were experimenting on a snapshot of your codebase and by the time they pushed, things worsened. This situation can be avoided with Continuous Integration.
2. Improve Your Code Coverage
Do you think your tests include most of your code? Then you may have to reconsider it. A CI server can verify your code for test coverage. Now, every time you perform something distinct without any tests, you will feel the guilt that comes with having your coverage percentage go down due to your modifications. Seeing code coverage raise over time which is a motivator for the team to draft tests.
3. Boost Clarity Across the Team
Continuous Integration encourages clearness and responsibility across your team. The outcomes of your tests should be presented on your build pipeline. If a build succeeds, that enhances the spirit of the team. If it loses, you can simply ask team members to support you to decide what may have gone wrong. Just like code analysis, testing should be a visible process within team members.
4. Deploy Code to Production
A Continuous Integration system can automatically deploy your code to staging or even production if all the analyses in a particular branch are green. This is what is formally recognized as a Continuous Deployment. Modifications before doing a merge can be made noticeable in a dynamic staging environment, and once they are merged these can be deployed straight to pre-production, central staging or production environment.
5. Builds Stuff
All your tests are green and the coverage is great, but you don’t manage code that requires to be deployed? CI servers can also trigger build and organize processes that will take care of your requirements quickly. No need to watch terminal expecting the build to complete and fail eventually. You can operate any long-running processes as a part of your CI builds and the CI system will tell you if anything goes wrong, even restarting or triggering specific methods if obliged.
6. Builds Stuff Faster
You can break your tests and build processes over several machines with parallel build support like VMs or containers, so the whole build time will be more precise than the case if you would have run it locally. This also indicates you will spend fewer local resources, so you can remain working on something else while the builds operate.
7. Broken Code will not be Shipped
Using CI it implies that whole code is tested and only merged when all tests pass. Hence, it’s much less likely that your master builds are broken and broken code is transmitted to production. In the strange event that your master build is broken, let your Continuous Integration system trigger a notice to all developers. Some companies place warning light to blink in such situations.
8. Reduces Code Review Time
You can have your Continuous Integration and Version Control System interact with each other and notify you when a merge request is good to merge; the tests have transferred and meet all specifications. In extension, even the variation in code coverage can be reported right in the merge request. This can considerably decrease the time it takes to analyze a merge request.
9. Creates Repeatable Processes
Today’s pace of innovation demands development teams to deliver high-quality software faster than their opponents. Modern development teams are creating client software delivery engines by making repeatable processes that coordinate the development best practices. Your code is tested in the same way for every change with automated testing, so you can believe that every modification is tested before it moves to production.
Advantages of Continuous Deployment
With Continuous Deployment, every alteration that is done is automatically deployed to production. This method works well in enterprise environments where you intend to use the user as the actual tester and it can be more agile to release. Following are the few obvious advantages of Continuous Deployment:
- Removes DIY for Continuous Delivery and improves the focus on the product.
- Automates repeated tasks and concentrates on real testing.
- Composes deployments frictionless without negotiating security.
- Scales from a single application to a large Enterprise IT responsibility.
- Combines your current tools and technologies, for example, CI providers, DevOps tools, or scripts, etc. into a suitable workflow.
- Integrates teams and methods with a centralized pipeline.
- Creates workflows through the development, testing, and production settings.
- Implements a single view over all applications and environments.
- Ships both cloud-native and conventional applications in a blended pipeline.
- Enhances overall productivity.
The DevOps trend has given the rise to plenty of buzzwords and methodologies advancing to speedy delivery and efficiency, giving developers the tools they want to deliver more reliable products, with fewer bugs, and execute developments continuously. The key to a final decision is to approach each project and follow the end-user to decide which strategy you need to take. Did you precisely get the answer to the question “What is Continuous Integration Continuous Deployment”? If not, kindly let us know your concerns in the comment section.
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