Published: 20 Dec 2022
What is CI CD in DevOps? A Quick Overview
Content 1. An Overview of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery 2. Continuous Integration in DevOps 3. Continuous Delivery in DevOps 4. What is a CI/CD Pipeline? 5. Importance of DevOps CI/CD Implementation for Digital Businesses 6. Five Major Software Testing Types for Successful DevOps CI/CD Implementation 7. Conclusion 8. How TestingXperts Helps Businesses with DevOps CI/CD Transformation
Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) is a strategic approach to automate the application development process with the aim of speeding up the turnaround time. CI, or continuous integration, involves frequently merging of the application code changes into a shared branch. CD refers to continuous deployment or delivery that involves automating the application release process and rolling out the app post-merging.
CI is a set of application coding practices that enables the Dev teams to continuously implement minor code updates and simultaneously validate it in a version control repository. Today’s digitally advanced and complex applications are coded over diverse frameworks and tools. CI ensures the teams have a consistent process to integrate and validate the updates.
CI enables the adoption of an automated approach to create, package, and test the apps. When digital businesses have a uniform and reliable integration process in place, the Dev team is encouraged to do code modifications more frequently, leading to optimized code quality and team collaboration.
CI facilitates the continuous merging of code updates in a shared or trunk branch. The CI approach reduces the incidents of merger conflicts and ensures the bugs reported are less severe and take less time to resolve.
CD comes into play where CI ends and automates the application delivery to the desired production, Dev, and QA environments. In other words, CD is an automated approach to moving code updates to different environments.
CD is the next step in the automated SDLC. Once the code is validated for bugs and errors, it is pushed to a shared repository like Bitbucket. CD optimizes the overall visibility and communication between the Dev and Ops departments by accelerating the delivery of production-ready code.
However, it is important to note that CD is only effective after CI implementation. Code validation in the CI stage is essential to ensure that the code can be pushed to the repository and prevent any defective code from being delivered to production.
CI/CD pipelines are agile workflows that ensure continuous, error-free, and reliable software delivery. The methodology enables the DevOps teams to create, integrate, test, and deliver the code, as well as deploy application updates in real time.
A critical feature of a CI/CD pipeline is quality-driven automation. As the application updates are made through the pipeline, test automation detects and highlights the dependencies and other issues, pushes updates to various environments, and moves the application to production. Test automation performs quality assurance over critical aspects such as performance, security, and API integration. CI/CD pipelines ensure that the updates made by the Dev, Ops, and QA teams are aligned and perform as expected.
Evidently, CI/CD is an advanced and comprehensive software coding philosophy that enables software developers to implement and test code updates frequently. The primary agenda of CI is to establish a uniform and automate the process to create, package, and test applications. CD is closely linked to CI and facilitates the automation of the entire application delivery process through automation tools. CD process also commits and delivers the error and bug-free code into the production stage within the timeline.
CI and CD may be termed as the building blocks of the modern-day DevOps environment. There are significant advantages of DevOps CI/CD implementation for digital businesses, as mentioned below:
Ensures early bug detection – Automated tests enabled by implementing CI/CD pipeline help to detect bugs early in the SDLC.
Elevates the application quality – Faster bug detection ensures faster bug-fixing and ultimately helps to ensure secure and reliable software.
Enables quicker time-to-market – Enabling CI/CD pipelines helps increase software delivery speed considerably. It further allows businesses to reach the market faster and achieve a competitive edge.
Facilitates quicker feedback – Typically, tests are run simultaneously for any changes committed to the code, which helps to avoid any link breakage. Faster feedback through CI tools helps to check and ensure product quality.
Ensures greater visibility – The CI/D pipelines give greater visibility of the entire DevOps process. This helps teams analyze software build processes, test results, and issues effectively.
Saves QA efforts – Automated CI/CD pipelines free up QA members to focus on more critical tasks and innovation, ultimately saving their time and testing efforts.
However, it is important to leverage various recommended software testing methods for businesses to reap the full benefits of CI/CD implementation.
Test automation in DevOps – Test automation is the backbone of the DevOps process. Therefore, businesses must leverage automated testing using various open-source and commercial tools to ensure continuous testing and the continuous delivery of software.
Security testing – This methodology lays a strong emphasis on security. Businesses must leverage security testing to safeguard software from threats and vulnerabilities.
Performance testing – To ensure software delivers a great CX even under heavy loads, businesses must leverage performance testing. This testing method helps businesses improve the software’s performance and load-handling capacity.
Accessibility testing – Businesses must also leverage accessibility testing to ensure equal access to apps for all users, including people with specific disabilities like hearing impairment, impaired vision, cognitive limitations, etc.
Usability testing – Businesses need to ensure that the apps have an easy-to-use interface and proper navigation to enable a great CX. To achieve seamless apps, businesses must leverage usability testing.
Adopting CI/CD requires the DevOps teams to leverage the latest tools, technologies, and industry best practices for digital businesses. Teams should be able to identify and implement a strategic approach that works best for the business and end users.
CI merges and validates the application builds and alarms the stakeholders in case the updates fail any tests. CD automates the delivery of applications, services, and other associated deployments to the existing infrastructure and executes different testing processes.
Creating an effective CI/CD pipeline is a staple for digital businesses that work on DevOps principles that strives for regular application enhancements and rapid delivery. Once the CI/CD pipeline is in place, the Dev, QA, and Ops teams are able to invest their time in enhancing the application quality instead of application delivery.
CI/CD practices require continuous testing (CT) to ensure quality deployments, as the primary objective of any project is to deliver quality software. This continuous testing process is implemented using test automation tools with regression, performance, security, and other testing methods executed within the CI/CD pipeline.
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• Version control system rollout with an appropriate branching strategy.
• Continuous Integration – Compile, validate, code review, unit testing, and integration testing.
• Continuous Delivery – Deploy the build application to evaluate servers, and perform UAT.
• Continuous Deployment – Deploy the tested application on the production server for release.
Our DevOps practices include a practical methodology with an integrated approach that consists of action-based forward and backward traceability of debugging, delivery management, provisioning of resources, and automation tools integration. All these are successfully taken up by our DevOps engineers and experts and ensure the below benefits to enterprises.
• Helps to implement optimized software development processes to optimize application delivery.
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