Fundamentals of CD/CI Pipeline
Continuous delivery (CD) pipeline is the process of making sure your software is always ready for deployment. It goes together with the DevOps and agile methods.
Providing your clients with the best possible software is always the No.1 priority. But doing so in the fast-paced, ever-changing technology landscape we live in is not an easy task. As soon as an update is deployed, it seems like the requirement for the next is already here. This has been a constant battle of development teams for the past few years. The introduction of DevOps was a great start, the need to become even more efficient yet remains.
Deployments are available with the click of a button, and rollbacks, when needed, are seamless. Achieving continuous delivery bliss is the fantasy, but how do we get there? Just follow these points:
- Establish continuous integration.
- Test some more.
- Deploy when ready.
Before embarking on the Continuous Delivery journey, it’s important to depict on the state of your team. Ensure all the pieces are in place and you feel confident that you’re ready for CD. Rome was not created in a day, and neither was the Continuous Delivery dream team.
Continuous Integration Foundation:
Behind every great CD pipeline is a well-defined continuous integration (CI) pipeline. CI is the process of developers adding code early and often into a code repository for automated integration testing. The idea is that every piece of code sent to the repository will be tested within seconds and flagged if any bug occurs. If a bug does occur, that now will become the main priority of the developer.
Without continuous integration, back-tracking bugs can be a tedious and time-consuming process, and it’s easy to get lost in the mesh of code changes. Integrating as early and often as possible makes it easier to identify where the bug occurs. CI also minimizes the risk of having bugs flare up further down the CD pipeline. While the specific continuous integration process can vary slightly based on a team’s preference, the necessary steps are:
- Build code.
- Send code to repository.
- Test code.
- Send back errors.
- Fix code.
- Repeat step 2 and 3.
Test, Test, and Test Again:
Once fixed through the code repository tests, the next step is to send your code to more costly-staging and production tests. Once again, the key step here is automation. For an effective Continuous Delivery pipeline, little to no effort should be going into these tests, enabling your team to focus on development in the Continuous Integration stage. The tests performed through the stage typically have regression tests and performance tests.
These tests should verify that your application works as it should and integrates properly with your existing platform. In different cases, teams will have small user groups test deployments in production-like environments. This provides your team with explicit feedback from customers.
To Deploy or Not:
This is where continuous delivery and continuous deployment contradicts fundamentally. In a basic CD pipeline, once your application is fixed through testing and declared ready for deployment, it remains in a deployment queue. It is will be deployed manually. On the contrary, in a CD pipeline, as soon as an app declared ready through testing, it is automatically deployed to end-users.
As thought works put it, the decision to deploy is a business decision, not a technical limitation. Deployment frequency differs from business to business. What makes sense for a social network might be is not going to be the same for downloadable software, such as Adobe Creative Suite or Jenkins. Let us say having to download new software every day… the horror.
Monitor, Monitor, and Monitor Again
Just as DevOps does not end for developers after the coding is done, continuous delivery does not end once an app is deployed. Inevitably some applications will have bugs, despite all the testing you worked so hard to automate. This is totally normal. Catching the bugs early is critical to the well-being of your application and to the user experience.
Automation is still a ruler. Incorporating tools to monitor deployments and trigger bugs can help your team focus on the earlier stages of the Continuous Delivery pipeline. Retrace is another monitoring tool, among many, to keep track of deployments and how they affect your application.
Continuous Delivery Pipeline:
Every DevOps team varies, and each CD pipeline will be different. Some teams choose to test heavily to make sure quick and responsive log times, while others may select to focus more of their efforts on security and reliability. Whatever is most necessary to your team and your application should be your No.1 priority throughout CD.
Committing to continuous delivery is formidable, and we get it. But once you’ve got the ball rolling and keep up with deployment best practices, there are never-ending possibilities. Your team and most significantly, your users will thank you.
Clarity is proud to have been providing DevOps Consultancy and help companies implementing CI/CD Culture to North America for many years including with clients worldwide offering our unified communications platform. Clarity Technologies Group, LLC surpasses expectations
Call Clarity at 800-354-4160 today or email us at [email protected]. We are partnered internationally around the globe and we are open seven days a week 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM EST/EDT. https://claritytg.com and https://dotmantech.com.