Continuous Delivery consists of automating the building, testing and deployment of changes to software code or a UI. Find out everything you need to know about it.
The Continuous Delivery is a practical DevOps practice. The process of developing, testing and delivering improvements to software code or user environments using automated tools. Development teams produce and test code in short cycles.
This way, the code is always in a deployable state. Thus, even if the current development version of a software product has to be deployed suddenly, this is not a problem with this approach.
The objective is also to shorten the feedback loop to improve software quality. The code is regularly delivered to the test environment (UAT), making cause and effect observable. All code features can be tested, which helps reduce unexpected performance issues once in production.
How does Continuous Delivery work?
Continuous Delivery follows a process called the Continuous Delivrery Pipeline. . This pipeline starts when the developer adds his code to the source directory. A series of automated tests is then launched to ensure the quality of the code.
Once the code has been checked, executables are automatically deployed within a intermediate environment such as the staging environment or UAT. The code is then ready for production and can be issued on request.
What are the main elements of Continuous Delivery?
The proper functioning of Continuous Delivery is based on three basic principles The main areas of expertise are: Continuous Integration, configuration management, and test-driven development.
L’Continuous Integration ensures that code worked on by several developers in different locations is always integrated into a common directory. This avoids conflicts between code commits.
The configuration management allows the abstraction of the complexities of a product in simple configurations. This makes the software flexible, scalable and lightweight.
I mean, come on, test-driven development is the essence of Continuous Delivery. It ensures that code is tested and deployed in just a few minutes. Previously, deployments were spread over weeks or even months in multiple releases.
What are the advantages of Continuous Delivery?
Even if she requires an initial investment to set up the infrastructure and testing, the advantages of Continuous Delivery are multiple.
First of all, this approach allows better product quality. Automated testing tools improve security, performance and code integration.
Besides.., releases are faster and less risky. Manual pre-production deployment processes are eliminated by automating build and deployment. As a result, production releases no longer have unpleasant surprises and are no longer moments of panic.
As new features are delivered faster and more reliably, the CL also allows for increased customer satisfaction. Downtime during release can also be minimized, and development teams can receive constant feedback from customers to better understand and respond to their needs.
Continuous Delivery vs. Continuous Integration vs. Continuous Deployment: What’s the difference?
Continuous Delivery should not be confused with Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment.. These are different concepts, representing the three stages of maturity evolution in development practices.
Continuous Integration is the first step, and refers to integration of individual code into the overall development environment after the building and the test. Tools such as Jenkins ensure that code is compiled, executed and tested before being integrated.
Continuous Delivery is the second step, and can only work if continuous integration is already in place. It involves regression, UI and performance testing to ensure that the code is ready for production.
Finally, the Continuous Deployment goes even further by automating deployment of the code in production after each code commit and build. Thus, deployment is no longer on-demand, as is the case with continuous delivery, but fully automated.