The rapidly increasing speed of tech evolution is known to everyone. Despite working tirelessly, the balance between the demand, development, and delivery of tech products is getting really hard to maintain. Well, it would be even harder if the savior named CI/CD was not there. It has been supporting the tech world in ways more than you can imagine. So, let’s know more about it to utilize this blessing in a much better way.
CI/CD stands for Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (or Continuous Deployment). It is a system or culture based on the objective of maintaining a great flow through the steps i.e. integrating new codes, developing the products, and deploying them into the market. You can call it a modern-day approach to streamline the complete journey of tech products making it less time & resource-consuming and overall more efficient.
Continuous Integration enables developers to build, run & test the code, and then integrate it into the main branch of the repository. They become free to integrate frequently rather than creating several branches to test the codes and integrate them by the end of the cycle. As CI allows the developers to integrate their code more frequently, it becomes easier for them to identify the boundary conflicts between new and existing code in less time. Hence, eventually, the process of resolving those conflicts becomes easier and more cost-effective.
A definition by the people at ThoughtWorks describes Continuous Integration as a development practice that requires developers to integrate their code into a shared repository multiple times a day. An automated build verifies every check-in of the developers and allows them to detect the problems earlier.
Now, CI can provide ease in the development operations only if its steps are properly executed. The product team, especially the developers have to go through the following steps to achieve the best results through Continuous Integration.
These steps may differ a bit depending on which testing tool you are using. However, the following principles of CI will remain constant irrespective of the tool being used.
Now, smoothly developing and maintaining products does not complete the job. They will mean nothing if the products are not delivered conveniently. So, basically, Continuous Delivery means keeping the products ready to release and ensuring immense ease in deploying the products more easily and efficiently at any point in time.
Well, for better understanding, CD can be termed as an extension of the Continuous Integration process. It deals with the next set of steps in the complete software development and delivery process. The main purpose of the Continuous Delivery process is to always maintain a deployable codebase. This maintains an efficient routine in the software release process and exempts the production team from the stress and anxiety about the deployment. They stay confident that they can deploy a production-grade release at any time without the hassle of repeating lengthy, inefficient tests.
As we mentioned earlier, CD is basically all about maintaining the smoothest delivery process of a tech product and keeping a production release always ready. Hence, its foundation is based on a central deployment pipeline used by the product team for automating the testing and deployment processes. The main task of this pipeline is to automate the execution of a couple of progressive test suites against the build to keep a codebase ready to deploy. The most common tests that are performed during the CD process are system testing, unit testing (including API testing and load testing), and integration testing. The Continuous Delivery process is really easy to automate and also easily configurable in some cloud-computing environments.
The steps that are run throughout the CD process are -
We can clearly see how the CD process ensures that there is always a build ready that can easily be deployed and verified in an actual production environment. It is indeed an essential phase to keep your business running smoothly.
Though the world lives in a massive dilemma about considering Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment as the same phase, there are some minor yet significant differences between them. While Continuous Delivery is mainly concerned with always keeping a good build ready to be released, Continuous Deployment is more focused on automating the steps for releasing the good build to the production environment. The objective of Continuous Delivery was to reduce the overall time for testing the production releases, resolving the issues, and maintaining the delivery chain intact. And, all these can be done within less time only if the complete process is automated and Continuous Deployment is all about that.
The task of the Continuous Delivery pipeline is to ensure that the software build passes all the tests and the Continuous Deployment works on automatically deploying the build components/packages exiting the Continuous Delivery pipeline. The product teams usually have the goal of configuring the Continuous Deployment process for the fastest distribution of features, components, and fixes to the customers. It also helps in having clarity about the build that has moved to the production stage.
As Continuous Deployment focuses on providing immediate feedback to the product team and ensuring that the users get the best experience, it is a great necessity for large companies with numerous clients. This system enables the team to receive quick user responses on not so useful or misunderstood features so that they can shift their focus to the functional areas that will justify their investment better. Hence, Continuous Deployment is really crucial for quickly delivering the features to the users and it ensures that the significant issues are quickly resolved by the team so that they do not get overwhelmed with fixing bugs besides releasing new features.
We are brainstorming so much to know and understand a lot of details about the CI/CD pipeline. But, its users must get benefitted from a number of advantages offered by these processes. Otherwise, there will be no logic behind putting so many resources into them.
Well, those investments are always justified. The CI/CD pipeline is so advantageous in numerous ways that tech companies always consider having the smoothest CI/CD pipeline as one of their topmost priorities. Take a look at the benefits that CI/CD offers.
Reduces Cost and Complexity
Normally, the steps of CI & CD need to be repeated again and again. Manually executing those lengthy and complex repetitive steps does not only waste huge resources but also decreases the overall efficiency of the product team. Automating those steps through a smooth CI/CD pipeline will help you reach better efficiency along with significantly reduced consumption of resources.
Any complex web product is the result of work done by different people. So, it’s quite normal that anyone from the team can hamper the whole script while trying to fix a small bug. That’s why in manual CI & CD, the development team struggles a lot to maintain the isolated branches and commit them properly. And, during all these hassles, they often end up exceeding the time and resources planned for the project. But, an automated CI/CD pipeline helps you get rid of all these issues and keeps your business running efficiently.
Makes Your Team More Preferred By Developers
Imagine how you will try to figure out the standard of a tech business from the outside. A company that has a smooth, well-organized automated CI/CD pipeline supporting the continuous flow in the business, will certainly have a more organized condition than someone doing it manually. Hence, such a company has much better chances to attract expert developers to join an efficient community. Inherit an amazing CI/CD pipeline with PreFlight and enjoy the best recruitment experiences.
Using a convenient CI/CD pipeline has some more advantages that collaboratively push your business to the heights of success. Let’s check them out too.
The awesome CI/CD pipeline can improve your business only if you make complete use of efficient automation tools that easily integrate with popular developer tools. And, anyone in the market will not take even a second to say the name of PreFlight as the most convenient no-code test automation tool that provides the smoothest CI/CD experience to its users. So, let’s check out a detailed overview of how PreFlight excels among its competitors in terms of the best infrastructure for supporting CI/CD pipelines.
You can clearly see how PreFlight justifies its tag of being the best test automation tool to get the most of an amazing CI/CD pipeline. And, you can always stay assured that awesome updates are always getting planned and developed by Team PreFlight. To know more about our products, do check out our website and feel free to contact us for any queries. Also, if you are keen to go through more such amazing pieces on various interesting topics, please visit our blog page.