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CONTINUOUS INTEGRATION

Continuous Integration, the practice of automating the build and testing of the code when developers integrate the code and they are shared across the repository. If there are any changes in the code then it’s sent to the repository and is tracked through the version control after the completion of each task. The changes in the code are then pulled out from the shared repository, then tested and validated from the main branch or what you call the master branch. Continuous Integration takes the advantage of the centralized server that monitors and points out the changes in the source code making the lives of the development team easier by letting the error, bugs get rectified at the initial stages. The finding of errors with continuous integration is made simpler.

Continuous Integration is one of the widely accepted practices of software development. The most impressive ones are revision control, build automation and automated testing. CI can’t guarantee you that the application is free of bugs but it can make sure that the process of identifying errors easier at the development phase. Identifying the bugs in the code at the early stages is easy, less expensive and helps maintain high standard quality.  

Talking about CI/CD, it is the automation and continuous monitoring of every single step throughout the lifecycle of an app, right from the integration and testing phase to the delivery and deployment phase. When taken together these are referred to as CI/CD pipeline.

Continuous Delivery (CD) builds upon the practice of CI, by automating the release process and providing the functionality of deployments at the click of a button. In continuous delivery the release can be done daily, weekly or even fortnightly depending on which suits your business requirements. In order to get benefits of continuous delivery you can make sure that you release small batches which would be easy to troubleshoot in case there’s a problem.

While on the other hand a well designed and smoothly running solution for Continuous Deployment will act as a glue between the tools that you use, especially between provider/server and your hosting environment. This also lets you get onboard new people and help your team grow as they can reply on a fully automated process right from day one.

Now, after the automation of builds or the Continuous Integration process comes the process of continuous delivery which the release of the validated code to a repository. So for effective continuous delivery, its important CI is built in your development pipeline.

With the help of continuous integration, developers frequently commit to a shared repository using a version control system. Even before to each commit, developers may choose to run a local test such that their code is extra verified even before integrating. This service of continuous integration helps in building and running of unit tests on the new code in order to rectify the errors that surface at an initial level. 

BENEFITS OF CONTINUOUS INTEGRATION

Continuous Integration makes it advantageous as it ensures to get quicker feedback which lets you rectify the errors and helps you in fixing them at the earliest thus enhancing the performance. CloudifyOps helps you opt for the right several CI tools based on your requirements. But what are the benefits of having these tools? Mentioning below are a few benefits of CI:

Reduces Risk

The more you test and deploy code it reduces the chances of risk creeping in thus minimizing the threat of breaking. Early identification of bugs helps fix it at a cheaper rate and allows uninterrupted communication.

Better Communication

Opting for the CI tools as per your needs lets you achieve a goal of continuous delivery and it’s easier to share the base code with the team on a regular basis. The changed code when shared with the team results in improved visibility and keeps the communication clear and transparency of information across the team members.

Faster Iterations

If you release a code on a regular basis then there are lesser dots connecting between the application development and production level. Every small change done with the code is tested and the entire changes are reflected amongst the whole team. The teams can access this while making any future enhancements or even while developing new features for an application. This ensures that there’s less guesswork and get assured feedback at the earliest such that you can develop and deploy the code at a faster rate.

Improve Developer Productivity

A software development process is the most important step a business needs to take. Continuous Integration helps you and your team to be productive by lowering the manual tasks of the developers and also helps them reduce the number of errors and bugs released to customers. Having an effective workflow in a business helps good developers become great and great ones to be exceptional.

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