Creating build to release a code safely at

Creating software and pushing it further into publishing can
be a tiresome task. This becomes more difficult as deployment infrastructure,
applications as well as team tend to grow complex. Many a times, challenges
take a bigger role as the project starts expanding. In order to develop, test
and publish software in a consistent manner, the developers have created
related yet distinguished strategies to manage these processes namely,
Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment.

The main function of Continuous Integration is to focus
integrating the work from each developer into the main repository multiple numbers
of times in a day so as to gauge any kind of integration bugs and speed up
collaborative development.

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Continuous Delivery reduces friction in the release process
and automates the steps that are required to deploy a build to release a code
safely at any point of time. Continuous Deployment on the other hand, is used
to automate the delivery whenever a code is changed.

To simply put, Continuous Integration is a development
practice in which the shared repository receives integrated codes by the developers
several times in a day. Each of the integration is verified by automated build
as well as by the automated tests. This helps the developers or the clients to
assess any error at an initial stage and locate it quite easily. No wonder, in
recent years, CI has become one of the best practices for software development
as it enables the on-point deployment of the application whilst allowing the main
codebase to automatically enter the production whenever there are any changes.

ENCOURAGE SMALL CHANGES:

With CI practice, the developers are able to integrate their
changed codes often into the shared repository as and when required instead of
building out the features and integrating them at the end of a development
cycle. This helps in minimizing the cost used in integration by quickly
enhancing the process devoid of delays. Developers are able to assess the
conflicts at an early stage which are easy to rectify, thus saving time and
money.

TRUNK BASED DEVELOPMENT:

Trunk based development (TBD) is where all the developers
commit to one shared branch or commonly called trunk under source-control. Under
this, the developers are on different work stations working on varied
multi-branch development but when the bug is fixed, it needs to go back to the main
trunk. The trunk is in use since many years and CI has been accepted by the developers
as a daemon process that ensures quality maintenance and that everything is
going back to the trunk several times a day. The CI works similarly to the
trunk based development forming a safety net around a bunch of techniques and is
greatly valued by the developers.

KEEPING THE BUILDING & TESTING PHASES FAST

The cornerstone of CI is to ensure faster feedback and
having a build that takes so much time is frightening for the developers. Even more
daunting task is to get to a faster build and keep up with the project. Under this,
setting up of the deployment pipeline, also known as build pipeline or staged
build, is done where the commit to the mainline triggers the first build or the
commit build in such a way that there is a balance of fixing the bug and maintaining
the speed for the developers to work on the commit build. Once you have the
commit build, faster running tests can be added along with additional machines
that can run further testing routines on the build that usually take longer to
do so.

MAINTAINING CONSISTENCY

On a factual note, most often integrating code does not
guarantee high quality or new code functionality. If compared with manual
process, integration is costly as in former; emphasis is made on standardized codes,
no introduction of bugs and continuous existing functionality. Also, friction
may be created if the level of automation fails to match the assurance quality
maintained by the organization. In order to address the problem of friction, CI
along with robust test suites and automated system run the desired tests and if
a bug is detected during the build or test phase, the team moves ahead in
fixing it. CI ensures that the process of integration is kept simple as well as
repetitive to ensure that the integration cost is reduced, there is no hurdle
in the development workflow and the defects are responded to at the earliest.

DECOUPLE DEPLOYMENT & RELEASE

One of the most important factors required for successful CI
is the availability of multiple environments to run commit tests and secondary
tests. Since executables are being moved in these environments several times a
day, automation is needed wherein effective scripts will help you to deploy the
application into any environment. Because of automated deployment, the process
is speed up and errors are drastically reduced. Also, it is a cheaper option as
it uses the capabilities that were used to deploy into the test environments. Also,
being able to automatically revert to a glitch reduces a lot of friction of
deployment that enables new features to be introduced to users on a faster
pace. Automated deployment along with able CI discipline essentially makes
better use of testing of new features and user interfaces before deployment of
the final choice.

Many of the clients may negate the working of CI
highlighting the price tag that is not easy on the pockets but one of the most
distinguished benefits of CI is the reduced risk. During the integration
process, it is tricky to predict the time duration and the length of the process
with a complete blank picture in your head. CI helps finesse this problem as
there is no long integration and you exactly know what is working, what is not
working, where exactly you are and any bug that is found in the system. Even though
CI does not eliminate the bug, it helps you to find it at the right place and
remove it acting as a self-testing code. Also, with Continuous Integration, you
are able to introduce new features to the users who can give a feedback and you
break down the barrier between the users and the development.

The mainstream technique for software development, CI is all
over the world effectively helping create successful software since last few
years.

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