Top 7 Benefits of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery
A popular part of the tech-world jargon, Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery, commonly referred to by their shortened & conjoined form CI-CD or CI/CD, are two major components of DevOps. CI/CD basically refers to a set of practices that software developers employ to develop and deploy high-quality software at a fast pace. CI/CD evolved to help developers build and ship out quality software faster and more efficiently than ever before. And today, these two terms, along with a third term continuous deployment, which is sometimes thought to be synonymous with continuous delivery but is not, are a major part of the software development industry.
What is Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery? – Although these two terms are always used in tandem, to understand them better, we need to take them apart and define each of them separately. So let’s get to it.
- Continuous Integration – When writing code for a piece of software, developers use code storage or repositories to store that code. As each developer is working on different facets of the software at hand, these repositories are shared among all the developers working on the project. Any new changes or additions made to the source code are integrated into these shared repositories.
Continuous Integration refers to the process of developers integrating code into these shared repositories, usually multiple times a day. Once the changes have been integrated into the repository, each integration is built and various tests are conducted on it for the purpose of code verification. The build and testing of all integrations are automated which makes it possible for developers to detect any anomalies within the code at the same time and rectify them.
- Continuous Delivery – The next step after continuous integration, continuous delivery denotes the software development practice of automatically deploying the confirmed code changes, referred to as the integrations, to the testing or/and production environment post the build stage. The rationale behind this is to implement an automated release process that keeps the software code ready for deployment at any moment, all with the click of a button.
Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery both incorporate the power of automation to create builds, run tests and ensure the code is ready to ship, all in a short span of time.
Top 7 Benefits of Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)
Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery have drastically changed the software development landscape, allowing developers to develop exceptional software applications in a shockingly short span of time. The benefits of CI/CD are innumerable but it is well worth your time to have a glance at some of its major benefits.
1. Changing Smaller Packets of Code is Easier
Since continuous code integration allows developers to make several integrations to the code repositories at any given moment, developers can focus on smaller patches of code instead of working with code in bulk. Now, since the amount of code in a developer’s hands is small, it becomes easier to make changes to the code and ensure that it has fewer or almost zilch issues.
2. Isolating Faults Becomes Less Cumbersome
Fault isolation, as is clear from the name, is the process of detecting and isolating any defects in the code that are generating outcomes different from what’s expected. Fault isolation works by restraining the negative outcomes of a faulty piece of code and pinpointing its location. CI/CD allows developers to design a system that makes the process of fault isolation much quicker and trustworthy than before.
3. MTTR Becomes Quicker
MTTR is an abbreviation of the term Mean Time to Resolve, Mean Time to Recovery, or Mean time to Restore. MTTR is fundamentally a measure of the amount of time it takes for a software application to recover from a failure or an outage. MTTR is the evaluation of the maintainability of the repairable features of a product. Since the CI/CD pipeline makes it easier for developers to make smaller code changes and detect any faults in the code, the MTTR time is significantly reduced.
4. Higher-Quality Code
A major benefit of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery is that the code that the developers write is significantly better and much more robust when compared to the codes written before the employment of CI/CD. As the concept of CI/CD centers around writing, testing, and deploying small patches of code, ensuring that each patch of code is of the highest standards improves the overall quality of the code. And better code directly translates to better and more stable software applications.
5. Testing Reliability is Improved By a Huge Margin
When developers make repeated integrations to the repositories, the automated testing of the code, enforced as a part of CI/CD practices, allows for rigorous testing of the integrations. This kind of testing allows for the code to have minimal defects and greater reliability. Also, since the code changes made are already rendered ready for deployment, the automated testing phase garners more reliability from developers.
6. Less Number of Non-Critical Defects in the Backlog
A backlog in software development refers to the checklist of tasks that follow a larger plan, in this case, the software development project. A backlog typically consists of tasks such as bug fixes, altering certain functionalities of the product, etc. These backlogs also consist of certain non-critical defects that need to be resolved to finalize product deployment. CI/CD ensures that most of these non-critical defects are dealt with, giving more time to developers to focus on the critical areas of the project.
7. Delivering Stellar Software Products Rapidly
The final benefit in this list is also the one that sums up all the six benefits mentioned above. One of the most prominent advantages of incorporating continuous integration and continuous delivery is that it speeds up software development. It has been reiterated time and again in this blog that CI/CD practices leverage the perks of automation. And automation of tasks means less work for the developers. This automation also ensures that the entire development process, from writing to testing to deployment, moves at a much faster pace thus allowing developers to churn out excellent software products rapidly.