What is CI/CD?
DevOps are evolving and changing the face of the software engineering industry. In that case, it is important to know the best practices associated with every development and make the most productive use of all that is there to offer.
Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) are two such culture components, in fact, a set of principles that ease operations and help developers to bring modifications in their existing DevOps systems. They are promising due to their reliability and flexibility. More important is to know the concept that with the multi-purpose and expanding usage of DevOps in various areas. CI/CD gives us the perfect mechanism to induce and give validation to the specific changes.
Continuous Delivery follows Continuous Integration where the former tests applications and their viability while CD automates the delivery process of those applications. Incoherence, they give the desired outcome. The implementation is called the CI/CD pipeline in easier terms.
Advantages of CI/CD
Naturally, it is easier to see how CI/CD modifies and attempts to provide a better quality to users in terms of codes and applications working on them. Thus, teams frequently use this to deliver efficient schedules in the process of production. It aligns the two goals at hand – the developers who want to innovate frequently and the operation executives who want fruitful stability in the procedure. It aids both of them effectively without causing any disruptions.
- Better feedback – It is a great idea to improvise on the way rather than have everything pose problems at the end of the process. CI/CD helps avoid end minute breaks and keeps the developer’s updates with the possible errors at every stage.
- Coordination and increased visibility – Developers should commit together and learn if they are not missing out and ramifications or modifications that took place. A CI/CD pipeline ensures better viability prospects.
- Connection – CI/CD is highly integrated and it would not allow different parts and subsidiaries to be disconnected and neglected in a process.
- Cross-checking easier – If the developers can be intimated of the changes at every step, they can further improvise and test the quality and reliability to remove or fix any bugs encountered in the process. Writing tests will only help enhance the final testing procedure which goes a long way in contributing to efficiency.
However, there is the other side of the coin too because this strategy may not choose to be the best optimal strategy for some firms. It may always not make economic sense due to its highly challenging nature and the need to face a tough, competitive market out there.
The disruptions may not be affordable by all firms due to the experienced technical investment strategies it needs. To take the most advantages, one should be thoroughly prepared for it.
- CI/CD needs a relevant set of skills and technical enhancements.
- Huge investment in the plan.
- A large amount of rework is needed.
- Developers and users need to be equipped with the development too.
The CI/CD pipeline is more like a strategy where different steps involve different segments like CI, CD and continuous deployment. Every part of the pipeline acts like an individual unit and keeps the whole system working. The whole team is automated and any fallbacks in any one stage can be rectified within that stage without going further.
The activity is much more comprehensive than it sounds and all the components are effectively tested and mechanized together to create final results.
A worthy example of the pipeline would be the pipeline provided by Amazon as a cloud computing provider. It has a magnificent and impressive pipe environment with all the resources linked together amazingly and monitored with much ease and beauty.
There is an abundance of tools relating to these developments in the market today.
Buddy is one of the best CI/CD tools available in the market for web developers with a huge pipeline network created which enhances speed deployments and works within isolated containers. BuildMaster provides a full-fledged environment with relevant tools and deployments necessary to serve the purpose.
Then, there is Jenkins which is an open-source CI tool that is written in a programming JAVA language. It is better for large processes and has easy installation procedures. It has recently evolved and automated its server processes to larger levels and is a promising candidate. Team City is another integration server that provides the advantage of extensible and customized features while keeping the server healthy and comprehensive to work upon.
Moreover, GoCD is a model extensively helping to simplify complex mechanisms and provide a smart interface for pipeline building. GitLab CI should find the necessary mention. It acts as a repository hosting platform with relevant development tools. While configuration, one is given the choice to choose between different executors like Docker, Kubernetes, whatever serves the purpose.
BuildBot, as the name suggests, helps to build up a testing platform that supports various operating systems and has a preferential and easy architecture to use and understand. Many others like Drone, Concourse, Travis, Codeship, Wercker, etc. are an indication of the various and abundant options that one can choose from specific to their needs.
Selecting the right CI/CD tool
There are some essentially important features to be kept in mind while selecting the right tool for the CI/CD pipelines and development process.
- Encryption and end to end security.
- A good alert system with a good follow-up plan to plan any rollbacks if needed.
- Faster deployment and recovery.
- Checking model and costs to make the best choice.
- Account for the short term fall in productivity, see if the firm is ready for change.
- Checking integration with other tools.
- Checking for data storage and hosting processes of the applications.
- Tool support and its familiarity with the team.