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What is continuous delivery pipeline

A continuous delivery pipeline is an automated process that enables organizations to deliver code changes to production rapidly and reliably.

Continuous Delivery Pipeline, Continuous Delivery

Continuous delivery is a software development practice in which code changes are automatically built, tested, and deployed to production. A continuous delivery pipeline is the set of automation tools, processes, and practices that enable an organization to implement continuous delivery.

 

The goal of a continuous delivery pipeline is to enable rapid and reliable delivery of software changes. This requires a highly automated and well-defined process that can be followed consistently. A continuous delivery pipeline consists of several stages, each of which represents a step in the software delivery process.

The continuous delivery pipeline stages

  1. Code Commit: This is the first stage in the continuous delivery pipeline, where developers commit their code changes to the version control system.
  2. Build: In this stage, the continuous delivery pipeline compiles the code, runs unit tests, and creates a deployable artifact (such as a Docker image or a JAR file).
  3. Test: In this stage, the continuous delivery pipeline runs a suite of automated tests to ensure that the code changes do not break any existing functionality. This may include unit tests, integration tests, and acceptance tests.
  4. Deploy: If the tests pass, the continuous delivery pipeline deploys the code changes to a staging environment. This allows developers and testers to validate the changes in a production-like environment.
  5. Release: If the staging environment tests pass, the continuous delivery pipeline can automatically release the code changes to production. Alternatively, the release stage may require manual approval from a release manager.

Each stage of the continuous delivery pipeline is important, as it helps to ensure that the code changes are delivered to production in a fast and reliable manner. By automating each stage of the process, organizations can reduce the time it takes to deliver code changes and reduce the risk of errors.

The continuous delivery pipeline components

A continuous delivery pipeline consists of several components that work together to enable the rapid and reliable delivery of code changes to production. These components may include:

  1. Version control system: This is a software tool that allows developers to track changes to the codebase and collaborate with other team members. Common version control systems include Git and Subversion.
  2. Build tool: This is a software tool that compiles the code, runs unit tests, and creates a deployable artifact (such as a Docker image or a JAR file). Common build tools include Maven and Gradle.
  3. Test automation framework: This is a software tool that allows developers to automate the testing of their code. Common test automation frameworks include JUnit and Selenium.
  4. Deployment tool: This is a software tool that automates the process of deploying code changes to production. Common deployment tools include Jenkins and GoCD.
  5. Monitoring and alerting system: This is a software tool that monitors the performance and availability of the application in production. It can alert the team if there are any issues or failures. Common monitoring and alerting systems include New Relic and Datadog.

By using these components, organizations can implement a continuous delivery pipeline that enables them to deliver code changes to production rapidly and reliably. This helps to reduce the time it takes to deliver code changes and reduce the risk of errors.

Benefits of using a continuous delivery pipeline

Using a continuous delivery pipeline has several advantages, including:

  1. Faster delivery of code changes: By automating the software delivery process, organizations can reduce the time it takes to deliver code changes to production. This can help to increase the speed of innovation and improve the competitiveness of the organization.
  2. Improved quality: A continuous delivery pipeline includes a series of automated tests that ensure that code changes do not break any existing functionality. This helps to identify and fix issues early on in the development process, resulting in higher-quality software.
  3. Reduced risk: By automating the delivery process, organizations can reduce the risk of errors and issues during deployment. This can help to minimize the impact of code changes on the production environment and reduce the need for emergency releases.
  4. Increased collaboration: A continuous delivery pipeline can facilitate collaboration between developers, testers, and other stakeholders in the software delivery process. This can help to improve communication and increase the efficiency of the team.
  5. Enhanced security: A continuous delivery pipeline can help to improve the security of the software delivery process by automatically applying security patches and updates to the codebase.

Using a continuous delivery pipeline has several benefits. It helps to reduce the time it takes to deliver code changes to production, as it automates many of the manual steps that are involved in the software delivery process. It also helps to reduce the risk of errors, as the pipeline runs a series of automated tests before releasing code changes to production.

 

To implement a continuous delivery pipeline, organizations typically use a combination of tools and processes. These may include a version control system, a build tool (such as Maven or Gradle), a test automation framework, and a deployment tool (such as Jenkins or GoCD).

Continuous delivery vs Continuous deployment

Continuous delivery and continuous deployment are closely related to software development practices that involve the automatic delivery of code changes to production. However, there are some key differences between the two practices.

 

Continuous delivery is a software development practice in which code changes are automatically built, tested, and deployed to a staging environment. From there, the code changes can be manually released to production by a release manager or other authorized individual. The goal of continuous delivery is to enable rapid and reliable delivery of code changes, while still maintaining control over when the changes are released to production.

 

Continuous deployment, on the other hand, is a software development practice in which code changes are automatically built, tested, and deployed to production as soon as they are committed to the version control system. There is no manual intervention or approval required. The goal of continuous deployment is to enable the fastest possible delivery of code changes to production.

 

One key difference between continuous delivery and continuous deployment is the level of automation. Continuous delivery requires some level of manual intervention, while continuous deployment is fully automated. Another difference is the level of control over the release process. With continuous delivery, the release manager has the ability to hold code changes in the staging environment until they are ready to be released to production. With continuous deployment, code changes are automatically released to production as soon as they are ready.

 

The main difference between continuous delivery and continuous deployment is the level of automation and control in the software delivery process. Continuous delivery involves some level of manual intervention, while continuous deployment is fully automated. Both practices aim to enable the rapid and reliable delivery of code changes to production, but they differ in the level of control and automation involved.

 

In summary, a continuous delivery pipeline is an automated process that enables organizations to deliver code changes to production rapidly and reliably. It consists of several stages, including code commit, build, test, deploy, and release, and it helps to reduce the time it takes to deliver code changes and reduce the risk of errors.

Luis Gonçalves

About Luis Gonçalves

https://www.linkedin.com/in/luismsg/

Luis Gonçalves is an Entrepreneur, Best Seller Author & International Keynote Speaker that works exclusively with Senior Executives of 7 to 8 figure businesses on the deployment of his game-changing ‘The ADAPT Methodology™’.

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