The benefits of CI/CD implementation
A sturdy CI/CD pipeline adds value for operational and product development teams by increasing quality and speed, which enhances business value for an organisation. In addition, CI/CD enables your company to:
Increase productivity and quality of work: The automated processes and development will allow operations teams to no longer spend time manually integrating, building, testing, and deploying software. Instead, developers can focus more on writing better quality code and monitoring issues or spend more time on more rewarding projects. Developers spend 35% to 50% of their time testing, merging, and debugging code that CI/CD can perform with automation.
Meet the deadline more reliably: Standardised CI/CD automation will allow the processes to follow the same structure, increasing the reliability of predictions while decreasing the risk of human error. And by breaking down work into smaller, more manageable pieces, it will become easier to finish each stage as planned and track progress. Therefore, teams will be more likely to meet the deadlines and precisely define completion dates.
Increase the satisfaction of both users and customers: CI/CD grants users a better experience as fewer bugs and errors make it into production. Moreover, CI/CD allows faster incorporation of user feedback with fewer traditional roadblocks for development. The accelerated process and higher developers' confidence will bring products and new features to market faster at a lower price.
Five fundamentals of CI/CD enable maximum efficiency for your development lifecycle. Try to include these fundamentals in your pipeline to enhance your software delivery and DevOps workflow:
1. Ensure to have a single source repository
It is essential to have a repository that performs Source code management (SCM) that stores all the files and scripts required for testing and creating builds. The repository is to accommodate codes, structure for database, properties files, libraries, and version control so that your team can use any elements whenever necessary.
2. Maximise visibility
The repository must be accessible to every developer, who needs to be up-to-date on any changes made to the code. The visibility has to be maximised so everyone can monitor progress, and version control has to be used to notify developers of the latest version.
3. Frequent iterations
Commits to the repository lead to fewer places for issues to hide. Also, frequent iteration makes it feasible to prevent conflicts or problems by quickly changing back and forth. Instead of making significant changes, make small and recurring iterations.
4. Constant self-testing builds
Creating a build must involve a clean compilation, execution of all available tests, checking known security vulnerabilities of dependant libraries and services and creating installable packages. Builds must not succeed if a flaw is discovered.
5. Deployments should be predictable and reliable anytime
Deployments must be routine and ensure low risk so the team can execute them confidently. Deployments have to be reliable and predictable by making CI/CD testing and validation processes dependable. As the team can confidently deploy updates anytime, they can occur more frequently with lower risks.
Is continuous integration needed before implementing continuous deployment?
Yes, it is not possible to have continuous delivery or deployment without continuous integration. Because it is almost impossible to deploy to production if the CI fundamentals like automating testing and uploading integrated codes to a shared repository have not been practised daily, however, it is possible to do continuous integration without CD in place.
How is CI/CD related to DevOps?
CI/CD is a crucial practice of DevOps that improves an organisation’s productivity and efficiency through automation, collaboration, and testing. It helps Dev and Ops professionals work as efficiently as possible by decreasing manual development work. And instead, it allows them to focus more on innovating their software development. Automation makes the procedures predictable and replicable, so there is less possibility of errors. It also helps DevOps teams collect faster feedback and improve the process through iteration. And as a result, organisations can deliver more value to their customers.
What are some standard CI/CD tools?
Several CI/CD tools can help a team automate testing, development, and deployment. Some tools specialise in continuous testing, while others specifically deal with the CI or CD side. DevOps and SREs widely use CI/CD tools to ensure the code alterations are deployed successfully. Today, two of the most popular CI/CD tools, Jerkins and Gitlab, will be introduced.
Jenkins is a sought-after open-source tool for CI/CD for any development project, and it’s free to use. Although you may need some basic server administration skills on Jenkins, it delivers many advantages. Firstly, it includes an extensive plugin system with more than 1,600 plugins that allow its users to go beyond the CI/CD pipeline. Jerkins simplifies the process of automating tasks that should be performed for CI/CD from tests to builds so that your code can guarantee high-level quality and successful builds.
It is beneficial for a large development team working on a single project and wishing to have fewer conflicting code commits. It is advantageous for a group to instrument the individual steps by connecting individual builds, tests, releases, and deployment tools into one pipeline using robust scripts.
GitLab CI/CD is another tool for CI/CD and is part of Gitlab. With GitLab CI/CD, testing, building, and delivering your software becomes possible without help from a third-party application.
GitLab CI/CD runs automated scripts to test and build your application by making a preview of the changes available in a Review App. Not only this, you can expect to get your code approved and reviewed, and it automatically deploys any changes made to a production environment. Also, you can store commits in a remote repository that is located in GitLab, so you don’t need to own an external repository.
Implementing CI/CD pipelines or modernising existing applications from scratch can be daunting at first. But don’t worry; Catapult CX is here to help you. Our CI/CD experts can help your company to develop pipelines that suit your DevOps or agile infrastructure so that you can improve all of them simultaneously. We are up-to-date with all the existing CI/CD tools, so we can set you up with the one that will maximise the efficiency of your development lifecycle. Contact us today if you want to have a consultation with one of our experts.