What is CI and CD?

Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery: CI/CD

The CI/CD pipeline is one of the best practices for DevOps teams to implement, for delivering code changes more frequently and reliably.

This is our third article on Software Deployment we advise you to check the first 2 articles in this series and learn about:

What is Continuous Integration (CI)?

Is the software development practice of regularly integrating code changes into a shared code repository. This practice encourages committing small changes more often over committing large changes infrequently.

What is Continuous Delivery (CD) and Continuous Deployment?

The ability to continuously deliver integrated code to production.

Once the project successfully passes all the CI stages, it is ready for the deployment to the production environment. Delivering a project to the production environment can be done automatically. But due to the business concerns, it might be more suitable to do it manually. In the first case, we are talking about Continuous Delivery, and in the second Continuous Deployment.

Basics to Get Started With CI/CD

  • Implement version control (Git, Bitbucket, SVN, etc).
  • Write tests for the critical components in your code base.
  • Get a suitable continuous integration and delivery service that will enable you to run those precious tests on every push to the repository and also deploy your builds where you need them.

Best Practices in CI/CD

  • Maintain a single source repository.
  • Automate the build.
  • Make your build self-testing.
  • Every commit should build on an integration machine.
  • Keep the build fast.
  • Test in a clone of the production environment.
  • Make it easy for anyone to get the latest executable version.
  • Everyone can see what’s happening.
  • Automate deployment.

CI/CD Process Steps

  • Developers check out code into their private workspaces.
  • When done, commit the changes to the repository.
  • The CI server monitors the repository and checks out changes when they occur.
  • The CI server builds the system and runs unit and integration tests.
  • The CI server releases deployable artifacts for testing.
  • The CI server assigns a build label to the version of the code it just built.
  • The CI server informs the team of the successful build.
  • If the build or tests fail, the CI server alerts the team.
  • The team fixes the issue at the earliest opportunity.
  • Continue to continually integrate and test throughout the project.

Team Responsibilities in CI/CD

  • Commit code frequently.
  • Don’t commit broken code.
  • Write unit tests.
  • Fix broken builds immediately.
  • All tests must pass.

Benefits of CI/CD

  • Fast feedback loop.
  • Increase transparency and visibility: The entire team will know what’s going on with the builds as well as get the latest results of tests, which means they can raise issues and plan their work in context.
  • Avoid “integration hell”.
  • Detect and fix issues early.
  • Improve quality and testability.

Conclusion

In this post, we presented CI/CD concept, the benefits of implementing such a pipeline for delivering code changes more frequently and reliably, and the best practices for implementing this pipeline.

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