Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) are two widely used acronyms in software development projects. Both are commonly used software development practices to make the development phase more efficient. In the following article, we will be taking a look at an in-depth analysis of these development practices and how it could help development teams, collaborate and develop efficient pieces of code.

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Continuous Integration

Continuous integration is process developers of a specific team integrate their work to the main branch frequently. Mostly it happens on a daily basis. Each time a developer integrates his build, it is verified by an automated build and tested again the build.

One of the key factors of continuous integration is that it makes sure that the application is tested properly whenever a new code commit is made so that there aren’t any code brakes which may cause the whole application malfunction.

Continuous Integration doesn’t get rid of bugs, but it does make them dramatically easier to find and remove.

Martin Fowler, Chief Scientist, ThoughtWorks

Continuous Delivery

Continuous delivery is the process where any code that has been committed and has passed the automated tests is released into the production environment. Continuous delivery helps to software development teams organize release cycles, whereas they can decide if they want to have a release daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly release cycle.

Continuous Delivery vs Continuous Deployment

There is a difference between continuous delivery and Continuous Deployment. Continuous deployment does not require any sort of staging environment for testing purposes. In a continuous deployment environment, automated testing is integrated at the very beginning stage of the project and runs throughout the whole development life cycle.

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One of the main benefits that you could find in continuous deployment is that there is no delay between the code commits passing application, platform-level testing and moving into live production.

The relationship between them

Continuous delivery and continuous deployment start with continuous integration. There is a slight difference in the implementation of continuous delivery and continuous deployment. In continuous delivery deploying to production happens manually by a button click.

Source: Atlassian

Most organizations prefer to manually trigger the deployment just to make sure that a clean solution is deployed.

Benefits of Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery & Continuous Deployment

Continuous Integration

  • Developing a proper release cycle is easy since most of the integration complexity has been handled at the starting stage of the development.
  • QA teams can focus more on fine-tuning the quality of the application since most of the complex testing is being handled by the CI server.
  • A minimum number of bug get deployed into production as regressions are captured early by the automated tests.

Continuous Delivery

  • Development teams can organize release cycles, deploy frequently to the customer and can receive feedback frequently.
  • The team does not have to worry about the complexity of software releases, all these have been taken care of by your continuous delivery environment itself.

Continuous Deployment

  • Customers can see a continuous streamline of work happening on their software and helps to deliver quality work.
  • A Team can continue their development in the midst of a release since deployments pipelines are triggered automatically for every change.
  • Releases have a fewer amount of risks and easier to fix in case of a problem.
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When you adopt Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment practices it helps you develop working software rapidly. It also paves a way for better collaboration between dev ops and delivery.

When Practicing CI/CD make sure you follow these,

  • Make sure to check in code frequently.
  • Don’t check in broken code.
  • Test in your code locally and before check-in it.
  • If the build is broken make sure you do not check in any code.
  • If the build is broken by your code, make sure you fix it ASAP so it doesn’t affect the rest of the team.

So, CI/CD practice helps development teams deliver faster, keep customers updated with new code changes and reduce the risk involved in releases.

In our next blog, we will be looking into creating a CI/CD pipeline.