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What is CI/CD and How It Works in Software Development?

Author: Innotech Vietnam
Date: 11/11/2022

Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery have developed to become a standard practice in software development. They reduce not only the amount of work required in software development but also the costs as well. 

  

Automatic builds, better communication, automatic shipping, and no need to maintain servers are some of the many advantages of CI/CD in software development. Through automated integration and delivery, CI/CD helps developers concentrate on business requirements and improve code quality. 

 

What are CI and CD in software development? 

 

Continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) is a subset of DevOps (the merging of development and operations). Build, test, and deployment, as well as infrastructure provisioning, are all steps that have previously required human interaction to move new code from a commit into production.  

 

Using a CI/CD pipeline, programmers may make changes to source code and test them before releasing to users. If you master CI/CD, you can cut down on server downtime and speed up your software development releases. 

 

What is Continuous Integration (CI)? 

  

Using continuous integration means committing and merging your code changes into the master branch of a shared source code repository. After that, you immediately trigger a build, and then automatically test each change. Errors and security flaws may be found and repaired much faster in the software development lifecycle using continuous integration. 

 

Learn about Software Development Life Cycle here: WHAT IS SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT LIFE CYCLE AND HOW IT WORKS?

 

Even when numerous developers are working on the same software, the likelihood of a dispute is reduced by frequent merges, as well as automated testing and validation procedures. Secondly, you won’t have to wait for responses, so you may address any problems with functionality or safety right away. 

  

Static code analysis is often the first step in code validation processes since it quickly checks the code’s quality. Automated CI procedures package and build the code when it has passed the static tests. The code used in CI procedures should be tracked using a version control system. 

  

And what is Continuous Delivery (CD)? 

  

When combined with continuous integration, the software development strategy of continuous delivery automates the whole process of application deployment. 

  

Continuous delivery takes over the last steps of the CI process to guarantee that the code is ready to be deployed to any environment at any time once it has been tested and produced. Everything from setting up the necessary infrastructure to releasing the finished product to a testing or production environment may be a part of a continuous delivery process. 

  

The software is created for continuous delivery so that it may be put into production at any moment. After that, you can either use a manual trigger for deployments or switch to continuous deployment. 

 

ci cd in software development outsourcing

 

The benefits of CI/CD implementation for your software development project 

  

Adopting CI/CD has several beneficial effects for businesses and organizations. You may expect the following gains with CI/CD: 

 

1. Increased satisfaction among end-users and customers 

  

With fewer bugs and problems in production, you can provide a higher-quality experience for your users and customers. The result is higher levels of pleasure, trust, and credibility among customers. 

  

2. Improved ROI in a shorter amount of time. 

  

Quicker product and feature releases are possible with continuous deployment. With a shorter turnaround time and cheaper software development costs, your team could focus on other projects. Also, clients get a competitive advantage and speedier outcomes. 

  

3. Less urgent issues 

  

Doing tests on the code more often, in smaller batches, and earlier in the development cycle help avoid emergency situations. The software development cycle is streamlined and conflict among the team members would be reduced as well. It’s simpler to detect and solve flaws, and the outcomes are more reliable. 

  

4. Accurately time your dates 

  

Much of the unpredictability in meeting critical dates may be eliminated by avoiding deployment bottlenecks and making deployments predictable. Dividing a large project into smaller, more manageable chunks improves the likelihood that each phase will be completed on schedule and allows for more precise monitoring of progress. This method allows for a more precise estimation of when tasks will be completed and monitoring of overall progress. 

  

5. Take the burden off developers 

  

By automating more of the deployment process, the team may focus on other tasks in the software development process. Between 35% and 50% of a developer’s effort is allocated to checking the code, making sure it works and fixing bugs. A developer’s productivity may be greatly increased by automating these tasks. 

  

6. Fewer context switches 

  

To reduce mental strain, developers may focus on one task at a time when they get immediate feedback on their code changes. Developers may swiftly debug code while their heads are still fresh by working with short parts of code that are automatically tested. When there is less code to go through, it’s simpler to find bugs. 

  

7. Minimizing burnout 

  

Continuous delivery has been shown to reduce the stress associated with deployments and prevent software development team burnout. When using a CI/CD pipeline, developers experience less stress and dissatisfaction. A direct result of this is a decrease in burnout and an increase in employee happiness and wellness. 

  

8. Faster recovery 

  

Through the use of CI/CD, problems may be resolved and events can be recovered from more quickly (MTTR). By updating the program often and continuously, continuous deployment procedures make it simpler to track down and fix bugs. So that the client can go back to work quickly, developers may either repair the bugs or reverse the update. 

 

ci cd in outsourcing

 

Development Phases of CI/CD for Software 

  

There are seven distinct phases that makeup software continuous integration and continuous delivery. 

  

1. Code: 

The code is the heart of every program. The development and maintenance phases of their creation are connected. To be ready for automation in subsequent steps, developers in the continuous integration and delivery methodology create code for CI components. 

  

2. Build: 

The building of the app starts here. Every day, several developers participate in the process. However, in the case of software CI/CD, software development team only uploads their changes to the CI app after they have finished.  

This step creates a URL as its final product. 

  

3. Test: 

The next stage, once the code has been submitted to the CI platform, is to test how well the app runs with the latest upgrades. The CI tool in this case provides developers with metrics and statistics on the app’s health. 

Even if it’s automated, having a member of the software development QA team available at this step is helpful for making sure the modifications are suitable. 

  

4. Package: 

Having completed all necessary quality and performance testing, it is now time to release the application to the public. The platform works for both brand-new softwares and updated versions of already available apps. 

  

5. Release: 

Software continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) include the subsequent step of updating the app’s URL prior to its public release. 

  

6. Configuration: 

Building out the framework is the next step. You’ll have to rearrange all the administrative and software development resources such that developers may use the CI system on a regular basis. 

  

7. Monitor: 

Even when the app is up, you’ll need to keep an eye on how it’s doing. To this end, developers now check that every newly added code for app enhancements has passed through the CI processes. As a result, there will be less of a possibility for any unforeseen issues to crop up in the middle of the process.
 

Key takeaways 

  

To review, continuous integration is a software development practice that automatically tests and bundles new code versions and notifies developers if any changes fail the associated unit tests. Continuous delivery is the automated process that deploys software, services, and other technological components to the infrastructure used during runtime and may also conduct extra tests. 

  

For companies that often upgrade applications and need a dependable delivery procedure, creating a CI/CD pipeline is normal practice. Once the CI/CD pipeline is in place, the team can invest more effort to improve the application and have less time to worry about how it will be deployed to different environments. 

  

Collaborating on technologies, methods, and priorities is essential for getting started with CI/CD within a DevOps team. Teams must reach an agreement on the best strategy for their unique business and technology needs. Once a pipeline has been established, the team should adhere to CI/CD best practices. 

 

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