If your CI/CD implementation is not done correctly, integration and deployment issues such as slow application updates, build errors, and flawed automated testing can affect your software speed, alertness, reliability, and overall scalability.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of a properly configured CI/CD system and how to increase adaptability in your applications.
Continuous integration lets you commit your code shares to a shared repo frequently, and each commit triggers an automated workflow. This workflow is deployed using the Continuous deployment process to your staging or production environment.
Before we get started, we will also explore:
- What exactly is CI/CD?
- Difference between Continous Integration and Continous Deployment
- Problems Faced before the adoption of CI/CD
- CI/CD to the rescue
- Benefits of CI/CD
- CI/CD Tools
Continuous integration (CI) is an automation methodology meant to solve the challenges of merging conflicts between individual developers' code and separate code branches. CI introduces workflows to frequently compile code changes, build the application, and test the new version for bugs and errors. If it passes the testing suite, the updates are cleared for the next phase of the development process.
Once code changes are merged, the application is built in a demo environment, and automated tests are run against it. This ensures that edits are constantly being validated and lessens the risk of bugs making it to the delivery and deployment phase. Evaluations will range from unit tests of individual files to more extensive app infrastructure integration tests. If bugs are discovered, developers can address them quickly before more code is written on top of a defective code base.
After the process of automating builds and configuring changes in your continuous integration, continuous delivery prepares and automates your code and resource changes for release to your specified environment. Continuous Delivery helps to boost productivity in your organization and enhance code quality. Continuous delivery aims to have a codebase ready for deployment in a production environment.
Continuous delivery usually means a development team’s changes to an application and resource workloads are automatically bug tested and uploaded to a repository (like GitHub or a container registry), where they can then be deployed to a live production environment by the development team.
What is CI/CD?
Recently, we have heard about the buzzword “CI/CD” and wondered what it is all about. So basically, Continuous Integration(CI) and Continuous Deployment(CD) is a DevOps Methodology that encapsulates a culture, principles, and collection of practices that software development teams use to ship code changes, updates, and new features in a more frequent, reliable, and efficient manner. CI/CD is for sure part of the best practices in agile methodology. Because it helps in automating code integration and delivery, thereby ensuring the developers can focus on meeting the business' primary requirements. With that in place, the code quality and security of the software are all in check.
Difference between Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment
In as much as CI and CD work conjointly, they perform different tasks.
Firstly, Continuous Integration (CI) is a step geared toward ensuring all codes from developers are being pushed into a central repository simultaneously for automated builds and tests to be executed. Whilst continuous Deployment(CD) is the process of taking/moving the built software/software artifact successfully into production.
Problems Faced before the adoption of CI/CD
Before the adoption of continuous integration and deployment, many issues were faced with the entire software release process. Some of the issues/problems which were faced before the adoption of CI/CD include:
- Difficulty in detecting a broken application before release.
- The slower release of new features.
- Difficulties in detecting points of failure.
- Longer waiting for manual code checks.
- A lot of repetitive manual tasks were error-prone.
Above, we have seen a few of the problems faced by engineering teams throughout the development process until the release phase. The above problems were all solved efficiently with Continuous Integration(CI) and Continuous Deployment(CD).
Benefits of CI/CD
Previously we have looked at what Continous Integration(CI) and Continous Deployment(CD) are and the problems that were faced by engineering teams before the adoption of CI/CD. Now, we will discuss the business benefits of CI/CD:
- Reduced Risks: It is easier and quicker for defects to be found and resolved during development because of how frequently our code can be tested and deployed.
- Increased Revenue: Continuous Integration(CI) and Continuous Deployment(CD) can help increase the company's revenue by helping the engineering team release new features to customers more frequently and also help reduce downtime, which leads to loss.
- Better Code Quality: Better quality code is being produced by developers. With CI, we can detect bugs sooner with the help of automated tests in the pipeline, and those can be resolved as soon as possible.
- Improved MTTR: Mean time to resolution (MTTR) is shorter because of the smaller code changes and quicker fault isolation.
- Shared Repository Changes: In CI/CD practice, developers have a shared repository where they integrate code changes several times in a day, and the code is then verified by an automated build which allows teams to detect any problems early on.
CTO.ai enables engineering teams, software developers, and solutions architects to build and deploy software faster. With CTO.ai, developers and teams can authenticate code changes in real time by connecting to your Version Control System like GitHub or GitLab. With CTO.ai delivery practices, you have full control over your workflows. For your applications, you can configure a simple YAML file that defines all the CI/CD processes for your application.
Author: Jacobs David