Creating high-quality apps that users love is not easy at the best of times. But doing so rapidly, and constantly improving them? This is where Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) need to come in.
What is Continuous Integration?
So, what exactly is Continuous Integration (CI)? It is the process by which software engineers continuously update working copies of code to a shared location several times a day. All of the development work is integrated at a predetermined time or event, and then the resulting work is automatically tested and built. With CI, errors are identified very early in the development process, accelerating the whole cycle and making it more efficient.
What are the benefits of Continuous Integration?
The benefits of CI cannot be understated. When CI is used during the software development process, you can expect to realize increased speed, stability and reliability since teams of people are all working on the same product in real-time. By using CI, developers can spot and resolve any coding problems early on in the development process and correct them before they become major issues downstream. This results in reduced long-term development (and business) costs associated with bad code.
Continuous Integration also has a considerable impact on the amount of time spent on QA testing. With CI, developers are constantly reviewing and editing previous code and are able to catch many of the smaller bugs that QA would normally find later down the line. This allows testers to dive deeper and concentrate on more pressing issues, while also testing more scenarios.
An additional benefit for development teams using CI is the added level of creativity in coding that can be realized. Because continuous development is naturally flexible, developers are able to quickly and easily make changes to the code without running the risk of regressions.
What is Continuous Delivery?
The second piece of the puzzle on the path to making better apps, faster, is Continuous Delivery (CD). CD is a software development discipline that utilizes techniques and tools to rapidly deliver production-ready code. These changes are able to be delivered so quickly because the majority of the delivery cycle is automated.
What are the Benefits of Continuous Delivery?
The primary benefit of implementing Continuous Delivery is accelerated time-to-market. Companies that use CD dramatically increase their release frequency. Before CD, application releases typically occurred once every few months. Now with CD, you can expect releases to occur once a week, and some even happen multiple times a day. This improvement in speed is a major advantage in whatever ultra-competitive industry you may be in.
Constant software releases also allows for development teams to fine-tune an app based on user feedback. This user feedback gives developers the insight needed to prioritize feature requests that users actually want. Just as importantly, it allows them to de-prioritize features of an app that users don’t actually find useful.
Another benefit is that CD ensures less risk with each release. Development teams are far more confident when releasing using a CD approach because everything has been tested multiple times throughout the development life cycle.
Any firm that isn’t considering a switch to CI/CD is going to be left scrambling to try to catch up with any competition that uses a CI/CD approach. These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg for what CI/CD can do for your company. Click here to find out how InfoStretch can help you make the switch to CI/CD.