For any software development and to improve its quality,
both Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery take course. These two
approaches are used together (CI/CD) to enable faster delivery of software, bug
fixing and addition of new features.
In Continuous Integration, codes are regularly tested to
catch any kind of issue that can be fixed immediately by the development team. In
this practice, the development work is merged with the mainline to test the
changes and check whether those changes are working or not. Mostly, the work is
done by automated tests technique in CI that requires a build server created
specifically to perform the required tests wherein simultaneously, the
developers merge requests for changes during the tests.
Once the code is ready to be published, the developer
delivers the ready code to the environment which falls under the process of
Continuous Delivery. The delivery of code to the user base is constant, whether
the delivery is made to the QA or to the customers for feedback, review or
inspection. In this process, business logic tests can be fed which usually do
not take place in CI. This process is an
easy task for the developers as various issues are detected before the task has
been fed to the next step.
How Does Automated Testing Fit Into DevOps?
For any business to be successful, it is imperative to focus
on the quality and speed of the product or service. With an integrated set of
principles and practices an organization can deploy software faster and better.
That can be possible by creating an efficient environment of accepted DevOps
practices that use a shared set of tools to ensure software delivery success
without having to compromise on quality. Needless to say that testing is a
critical part of software success and so, successful teams are integrating
DevOps practices and fully automated tests into their software development
cycle. Many companies are now considering Agile software development to
accelerate faster release of software but for that, the testers should test the
API services for business logic and processes to maximize the benefit of
There is an increased need to develop and deploy cloud based
applications across different platforms more quickly and so it pressurizes the
development and operations team to collaborate and provide quality results. Automated
provisioning of the integration builds; test automation and deployment of the
builds with the help of DevOps solutions greatly benefit the organization by
continuously providing high functioning environment of efficient performance and
For example: Shipping the code on a regular basis has a
great risk of being broken and as the codes are complex, even a small error can
bring about repercussions. Not only there is a risk of breaking, frequent changes
introduced by a group or a person involved also involves a higher risk of
introducing errors. Automation of CI here plays a significant role by
eliminating or reducing the introduction of errors caused by people. When the testing
and deploying is taking place multiple times a day, with the help of
automation, ultimately, cleaner codes are delivered quickly to the customers.
Understanding the CI-CD Pipeline
The constant demand for faster delivery cycles is insisting more
streamlined process i.e. CI-CD pipeline to ensure that the team releases
regular flow of software updates into the production to fasten the release,
lower the costs and reduce/eliminate the risks involved with the development. By
streamlining the process, not only is the organization able to deliver the
process in time but is able to receive user demand, gauge market shifts and any
rectify any kind of errors.
The fully automated CI-CD pipeline is the most ideal
proposition to any software developing organization. The following are the
stages of a Continuous Integration-Continuous Delivery Pipeline:
Commit: The development team takes a request and designs a
solution around it, converts it into a code and after testing it, commits the
code to the main repository. The developers commit the code after making the
changes and update the change, sometimes, several times in a day.
Build: The new piece of software of the change is built from
the extracted code and is unit tested. With the help of Continuous Integration,
each step is automated after the code is written.
Testing: To be able to meet the requirements, the software
is tested thoroughly using various methodologies to make sure that the
application is successful and without any errors. In this stage, the testing
environment should mirror the production environment so as to test the software
in the same environment that the end users are accessing it in.
Automated Deployment: The last stage is the automated continuous
deployment of the application after any configuration changes are being made by
the development and accepted by the QA team.
Benefits of an Automated Continuous Deployment Process
With the help of automated CD process, the time and cost of
tests, QA and production processes are minimized and the time taken to deliver
the production-ready code is reduced. Following are the benefits of an
automated CD process:
Low Costs: Various fixed costs are eliminated that are linked
with building and testing changes.
Fast Release Cycles: Automation logically fastens the
process of build and deploy wherein the team quickly works on the changes
therefore, releasing the product in user’s hands fast.
High Quality: With CI, the developers are able to find bugs
and fix them faster. When the automated regression and parallel tests are run,
the application is ensured to be bug-free and compatible to work in a wide
range of environments. Also, continuous updates to the software will ensure
Risk Reduction: Since the new features are added regularly
and bugs are being fixed continuously, the risk of finding bugs in the
production is visibly reduced and those that are found are resolved faster.
Better ROI: With continuous features and bug fixes, the
business will get a market advantage by meeting the rapid changes in the trends
and delivering software that meets the current demands.