Continuous Integration vs Continuous Delivery: Their Influence on Business Processes
When it refers to the development process improvement, there are two ordinary things that come to mind: continuous integration and continuous delivery. But how to understand what to do first, or when is it the time for dynamic actions?
Today we have prepared a great material about the comparison of continuous integration with continuous delivery: we will learn their concepts and essential business values, and also we would like to find out their mutual influence on each other during the work. It is a good idea to consider this part of project management in this context.
Definitions of continuous integration and continuous delivery
First of all, let’s imagine a typical project development process, that is, what the developers are usually doing. Of course, most of the time they write code and create certain completed parts of the future product. And then it is the time to test everything that has been written and what is expected to be confirmed as a production code.
Testing time involves a continuous integration (or CI) – it is the process when all the developers test their code, make some required changes and unite all their commits, or refreshed code, in the repositories where there is a code merging. After each merging, the system starts automated tests and code building. Such a complex but very effective approach to development work allows professionals to track all possible errors, inconsistencies and project code conflicts on time.
Continuous delivery (or CD, exactly as a compact disc but it’s not) usually follows the process of continuous integration. It is a more high-level procedure that implies the transformation of the entire project development into the automated mode, including CI, testing, release planning and other related steps. The only manual action is to confirm the deployment of the code to the production – and then all the work processes start being executed without any interfering.
Well, we have learned the concepts of these occurrences, and now we can see the following certain similarities between them:
- Both CI and CD help specialists save their time and sensibly minimize their efforts during the work.
- Both CI and CD processes are a logical continuation of each other: each of them is interested in its successful implementation in order to give life to another. As a rule, CI gives its rise to CD, and then they collaborate together.
- Constant integration is a great development practice and a good tone for the programmers to execute their work, and at the same time, constant delivery is a great tradition that was born for making the development process faster and more efficient.
Constant integration & constant delivery features in practice
As you know, all the techniques, that are meant to be helpful and performance-improving, should be considered in project management cases in practice. So now it is critical to translate these theoretical conclusions into real-life practice.
Well, here we mentioned some typical cases in which constant integration and constant delivery work properly – let’s begin with CI:
- CI Case 1: Project development goes in its personal speed and flow. Some parts of code do not work correctly. A team of developers needs to find the errors and tries to make up some automated tests in order to execute the bug fixing faster and more conveniently.
CI decision: Thanks to centralized repositories, technical patch libraries where there are captured bugs and code merging, there will be a minimal number of errors in further stages of the project development.
- CI Case 2: The project development needs to be done as soon as possible. A team of developers needs to merge their code and make commits very often, at least once a day in order to execute their part of work on time.
CI decision: The creation of CI server that is absolutely reliable and is able to execute a lot of automated tests per second. It saves time and abolishes the necessity to write manual tests.
As it can be seen, constant integration is a perfect alternative to manual QA engineering – every team member can rely on this automated solution and be focused on real current tasks.
The second process improving agent of project development is a constant delivery process – see how it works in practical cases:
- CD Case 1: Project development goes in its regular rhythm, developers are writing more and more rows of code. And there is a need of creating a more confident constant integration basis in order to have enough automated tests for the entire amount of the project code.
CD decision: Everything should start from the creation of a proper constant integration practice. Thanks to the brilliant work of CI cooperation and timely detection of the system bugs, it becomes possible to achieve the highest degree of automated tests workflow.
- CD Case 2: During the project preparation for the release, developers want that some uncompleted project functions would not affect the working functions and overall functionality of the product.
CD decision: the automated tests have appropriate settings and embrace so-called flags on uncompleted functions what would prevent any negative impact on completed parts of the project.
Indeed, today we have learned unusual but so helpful approaches to project development execution. It is noteworthy that these practices, constant integration and constant delivery, will be inevitable in the case of proper development of the project. It is all because of the desire to automate processes and save resources, what implies an excellent sign for the company and in particular for the development team.
We would appreciate your opinion about these practices – please, write it to us in the comments of this article.