Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery: benefits and recommendations
In DevOps and Agile methodologies in general, we often hear about the acronyms CI and CD, but what are they all about?
Continuous Integration: what is it?
Continuous Integration (CI) is a practice that applies in contexts where software development is done through a version control system, where changes are merged with the main branch as often as possible. Changes are automatically tested with a build and run system to avoid issues at the final release point.
Controlled integration, automation and testing are the main elements of Continuous Integration.
Continuous Integration: benefits
- Less bugs and issues
- Increased control
- More time to work on the project
Continuous Integration: disadvantages
An important initial preparation phase is required, which for the organization means investing budget and time to begin implementing the procedure.
Continuous Delivery: what is it?
Continuous Delivery (CD) is a methodological approach that allows the software to be released frequently and quickly through a fully automated release process.
Every single software change (configuration changes, new features, bug fixes) is immediately and automatically built, tested and delivered to the user in a safe, fast and sustainable way.
Continuous Delivery: benefits
- Risk control
- Better work quality
- Less pressure on small decisions
- Better working method
Continuous Delivery: disadvantages
- highly trained team on CI principles
- a robust and proven testing environment.
Continuous Deployment: what is it?
Continuous Deployment is a technical practice that goes "one step further" compared to the automation of Continuous Integration: through these procedures, the methodology called Continuous Delivery is implemented.
Many of the advantages and disadvantages identified in Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery are amplified in Continuous Deployment and require more effort.
Continuous Deployment: benefits
- Minimized risks, issues and bugs
- Continuous feedback
Continuous Deployment: disadvantages
In order to work according to Continuous Deployment, two fundamental factors are required:
- extremely well trained and competent team
- optimized work server
- constantly updated documentation
- support from other departments (marketing, customer service, etc.)
Continuous Deployment: automation
This degree of automation requires a cross-functional team, equipped with the fundamental skills: what matters is not having an army of super-specialists but a trained DevOps team.
However, if managed, this same automation brings many advantages in the work structure:
- professionals have more time to devote to development
- issues are identified and solved easier and faster.
Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment practices are very important: they allow to have a good continuous delivery process, to obtain quality results and frequent feedback, in order to have a continuous improvement on the development process implemented by a team.
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