CICD is one of the most common practices in software development, and CI/CD is rapidly becoming a mandatory part of the software development cycle. Just as the name suggests, CI/CD involves different sets of continuous processes to automate the development process.
In simple words, CI can be defined as a software development technique which allows the developers and coders to combine different sets of code into a central repository. This process is carried out multiple time in a single day.
CI/CD is continuous integration, and it consists of smart techniques which allow the coders to make small changes in their code to make it more efficient and allow easy testing. The primary role of continuous practices is to achieve quality and error-free software at regular intervals. CI involves automation in all the process which are involved in software development such as development, testing, versioning, and even deployment.
It also allows the development team to make changes in the code recurrently and then deliver the results consistently. This process of making small continuous small changes in the code using CICD is also called CI/CD pipeline. It is one of the most commonly used and productive practices used by development teams all over the world.
Continuous Delivery Pipeline
The various tasks which are involved in CI are combined into a "pipeline." The pipeline includes the successful and final delivery of tasks and processes. It allows the software developers to automate the various steps which are involved in the delivery of the final product. These different set of tasks includes coding, testing, and deploying. Continuous Delivery Pipeline helps in the removal of manual errors and also offers frequent and efficient iterations in the software.
What is the role of CI/CD and Why do you need it?
The digital era is transforming rapidly, and many new platforms, tools, and programming languages are evolving with each passing day. Now, coding isn't confined to a single platform only. Coders and development teams are using a variety of platforms, languages, compilers, and tool to develop applications. In such a scenario, it becomes vital that there should be a method to integrate the code and modify it for validation. That is where you need the support of CI/CD.
The main role of CI is to create a mechanized and continuous way to improve applications and test them frequently. Moreover, it also serves as a bridge between the team members to collaborate and work more effectively to produce better software quality.
Coming towards Continuous delivery now, it is the second step of Continuous Integration. The process CD begins immediately when the process of CI finishes. The main role of the CD is to deliver the end-product in specific environments.
As software development teams work in multiple environments such as coding, maintenance, and testing, CD ensures the delivery of the final product in the same environment. It automates the software development process by making its deployment easy and simple.
Nevertheless, of different roles, both CI and CD are used together to improve the quality of software applications. CI involves everything from continuous testing, continuous implementation, and continuous deployment of applications. A good CI/CD practice ensures that the modified codes are directly deployed through the CI/CD pipeline to the targeted production environments. You can set a specific deployment time such as hourly, weekly, or daily schedule for the continuous deployment of code.
Thus, the most significant advantage of CI is that it helps the developers and software companies to integrate and merge their code into a common repository. Unlike the old tradition od coding, in which the coders used to work in isolation and then combined the code at the end of the cycle, CI works the opposite. With the deployment of code many times in the repository in a single day, the chances of errors, as well as the workload of the team, is reduced.
Benefits and perks of continuous integration and delivery
CI/CD are excellent options for collaboration and increasing the quality of software applications. It allows the software development team to identify the defects and quality control issues easily. The modifications in smaller chunks of code are always better than larger chunks. Moreover, it also makes work easy and automated by allowing the developers to keep editing their codes and then merging it frequently.
- Working in chunks is always better than working in bulk and then finding out a bug at the end. CICD helps in the continuous check and balance of the code and thus allows you to make changes easily. Making changes in little chunks is simpler in any case.
- It minimizes the chances of errors in code, which is especially beneficial for critical systems like emergency control applications and healthcare systems.
- The whole concept of software shipment has been changed with the evolution of CI/CD.
- CI offers easy blending of different sets of code and products done by different coders. This way, the development team can merge their code easily with minimum errors.
- It allows you to improve testing of software due to smaller changes and modifications. Thus, the final product comes out perfect with little errors.
- CI/CD minimizes the cost of maintenance as well. By resolving the errors and difference in the code during the software development cycle, the corrections are much easier and less costly.
- It makes work easier for the Quality Assurance team as well by giving them access to the modified version of code several times a day.
- It makes the process of inspection easier as the code log is available in the repository.
- It also offers the feature where the development team can switch back to the previous version of code if required.
- It inculcates a sense of responsibility among the team members and also increases their focus by continuously reminding them about the various changes in the code.
- The process of updating the product has also become easier with CI/CD.
- CI/CD is all about efficiency and effectiveness. It makes the software development cycle fast by allowing quick and frequent integration and deliveries.