This article covers:
- What Is Continuous Integration?
- What Is Continuous Delivery?
- What Is Continuous Deployment?
- Relationship Between Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment
- Difference Between Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment
- Pros of Continuous Integration
- Cons of Continuous Integration
- Pros of Continuous Deployment
- Cons of Continuous Deployment
The world of software engineering is almost automated today. Some of the best DevOps practices include CI-CD.
These stand for continuous integration and continuous deployment, respectively.
However, very often, developers use these terms interchangeably.
Continuous integration and continuous deployment differ from each other, and these differences are crucial to understanding.
The earlier one understands the process of CI and CD, the more efficient their software development will be.
In this article, let’s understand what continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD) mean. We will explore their relationship and differences. In the end, you will have a thorough knowledge of its utility.
On that cheerful note, let’s get started!
What Is Continuous Integration?
Continuous integration is a software development practice where team members integrate their work. This can happen at least once each day.
Every integration goes through a test by an automated build to look for errors and compatibility. If these tests fail, the modifications don’t merge, and developers avoid any potential integration issues.
After a code commit, continuous integration builds and tests the program right away.
When new commits enter the main branch, continuous integration emphasizes testing automation to ensure that the application fits.
Commits are made often throughout the day in a large project with numerous developers. Each commit builds and tests code, and the build is then tested for deployment if the test passes.
The code gets rolled to production if the deployment is successful. We call this continuous process of committing, building, and testing continuous integration.
To simplify, suppose you have two DevOps teams working on the same project. Perhaps they are working on two parts of the same program,
With continuous integration, you ensure the integration and testing of each team’s code at least once a day. If you don’t merge these codes until later, you may find your program broken or not running.
Thus, continuous integration is a best practice of software development to avoid last-minute integration issues.
Assume you’re sewing a gown, and you assign the sleeves and needlework to one team while the gown’s body to another.
You won’t know if the gown will fit someone adequately if you wait until the day of the event to deliver it.
Continuous integration helps you save money in the long run. This is because fixing problems in your high-level architecture later in the process is more expensive.
Who Benefits From Continuous Integration?
Developers benefit the most from CI since it allows them to automatically test and “integrate” the code with other developers’ code and the current codebase.
The developer benefits from constant and immediate feedback on code and integration problems. Automated testing devices in this phase will indicate if you successfully rectified the errors.
The code is accepted when they repair these issues. This constant feedback loop boosts a developer’s productivity significantly.
Now, we understand what continuous integration means.
When you take continuous integration one level higher, you get continuous delivery. Let’s quickly understand that bridge before we cross over to continuous deployment.
What Is Continuous Delivery?
A software engineering process in which a team builds software products in a short cycle is known as continuous delivery. It makes it possible to release software at any moment.
Continuous delivery’s core goal is to build, test quickly, and distribute software. Allowing for frequent updates in production reduces the cost, time, and risk of delivering changes.
Continuous integration is comparable to continuous delivery. You’re working on a product that could go into production.
Continuous delivery necessitates faster and more systematic development, testing, and release. Continuous integration is used to test code before it is built.
You can release something to the staging or pre-production environments when you provide it.
Continuous delivery means that your code is always ready for release. Still, it isn’t deployed to production until you decide to. It is a manual process.
Who Benefits From Continuous Delivery?
Business customers benefit from continuous delivery since code is distributed to users as soon as it passes the CI stage and tests a logical function.
They check that the features fit their expectations and provide feedback to the developers, who respond to the input at this point.
This constant and seamless feedback loop between users and developers exists. Customers may have to wait weeks or months for new features with the usual waterfall method. This strategy can drastically cut the period to just hours or days.
When the approved program is automatically pushed into production, we call it continuous deployment.
Let’s look at that.
What Is Continuous Deployment?
Continuous deployment is a software engineering practice that uses automatic deployment to deliver product functionality.
It assists testers in determining whether codebase changes are suitable and stable.
Depending on the infrastructure that automates several testing procedures, the team may accomplish continuous deployment. The software is replaced with the latest code once each integration fulfills the release criteria.
Continuous deployment takes continuous delivery a step further.
Every change that passes through all levels of your production pipeline releases to your customers using this method. There is no human intervention.
Only a failing test prevents a new change from going into production.
Continuous deployment is a great approach to shorten the feedback loop with your clients and relieve strain on your team.
This is because there is no longer a “launch day.” Developers may concentrate on creating software, and publishing takes care of itself.
Automation delivers any updated working version of the app to production with continuous deployment. This method works well in enterprise contexts since the user will be the actual tester. It is also quicker to implement.
Who Benefits From Continuous Deployment?
Continuous deployment seamlessly integrates code that has passed the CI/CD cycle into the production environment.
Thus, this stage benefits all significant stakeholders, from investors to external customers and internal users. This is because new features and programs become accessible immediately for commercial or internal use.
Now that we’ve understood CI and CD in-depth, let us look at their relationship.
Relationship Between Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment
Both CI and CD are practices of software development.
Simply put, both continuous delivery and continuous deployment include continuous integration. Continuous deployment is similar to continuous delivery, except it involves automatic releases.
Continuous integration is the first step in creating and testing builds.
Continuous delivery refers to the process that begins with continuous integration and culminates with the “release” of certified artifacts — packages, virtual machines, or container images – to a download server.
Continuous deployment guarantees that approved releases automatically deploy to production.
The system retrieves them from download servers and makes the currently running version in one or more environments/locations.
This generally uses rolling upgrades to keep programs available to users during the process.
Together, these “continuous” procedures reflect end-to-end software development process automation, with teams “always ready” to release new modifications.
Reduced risk, faster time to market, more outstanding quality, low price, and happier teams are all advantages of these methods.
We have now understood that continuous integration and deployment are part of an automation continuum.
Let’s look at how CI and CD are different.
Difference Between Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment
Continuous integration and continuous deployment are software development practices that help organizations release software updates more frequently and with fewer errors.
However, there are some critical differences between the two processes.
Continuous integration is a process that regularly integrates code changes from multiple developers into a single code base. This helps to identify errors and potential problems early in the development process.
Continuous deployment is the next step after continuous integration. It refers to automatically deploying code changes to a production environment when verified to be safe.
The main difference between continuous integration and continuous deployment is that continuous
integration is integrating new code into a shared repository, while continuous deployment is deploying those changes to a live environment.
Here Are the Critical Differences Between Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment-
Continuous integration is automating the build and test of each new change to the codebase or repository.
On the other hand, continuous deployment is the approach one uses to develop and release software in short cycles.
Continuous integration emphasizes automation testing to ensure no bugs or fails to appear in the merged codes.
Continuous deployment emphasizes the changes made in every phase of your production pipeline.
CI usage begins soon after the developer checks in. Whereas in CD, the developer directly releases the developed code into production.
CI helps identify bugs and errors in the early stage of coding and integration. On the other hand, CD lets you quickly test and deploy new features and concepts to the users.
Continuous integration uses unit tests, while continuous deployment may use any test strategy.
After looking at the fundamental differences between continuous integration and continuous deployment, let’s look at the pros and cons of each.
Pros of Continuous Integration
Here are some of the many advantages of continuous integration or CI-
- Continuous integration enables you to create a deliverable product for a completely automated build.
- It reduces the risk of deployment by making it speedier and more predictable.
- When an issue arises, it provides instant feedback.
- It has the potential to improve visibility and communication.
- It can help avoid last-minute problems regarding release dates.
- It is relatively simple to locate a software build history.
- CI ensures code stability.
- You can see the integration process in real-time.
- It aids in the development of higher-quality software
- It allows you to do consistent testing.
- Software developers can work on features independently and in parallel with CI.
Now, let’s look at the cons of continuous integration.
Cons of Continuous Integration
Here are some of the major cons of CI-
- To become acquainted with the Cl server, you need initial setup time and training.
- Cl server needs a lot of resources to run a well-developed test suite.
- It necessitates the use of different servers and settings.
- You require the conversion of known processes into a single project.
- It goes into queuing when several developers merge their code simultaneously.
- For each new feature or bug fix, your team should create automated tests.
- You will need a CI server to monitor the central repository and run the tests for recent code changes.
- Developers must merge updates as frequently as practicable.
- For the deployment, the unit testing process should pass.
Once you have grasped the pros and cons of continuous integration, it’s time to look at CD.
Pros of Continuous Deployment
The pros of continuous deployment are as follows-
- It assists you in automating monotonous operations.
- CD ensures that your deployment runs smoothly and securely.
- Scale from a single software application to an enterprise IT portfolio with ease.
- You can deliver both cloud-based and traditional applications.
- It provides a unified picture of all environments and apps.
- You can develop a robust workflow by connecting your existing DevOps tools and scripts.
- CD allows you to boost overall productivity.
- A unified pipeline enables you to combine procedures and teams.
- Developers can focus on software improvements and worry less about the release and publication.
It’s not all so glamorous. Let’s take a look at the cons of CD.
Cons of Continuous Deployment
Following are the cons or disadvantages of continuous deployment-
- It can be challenging to roll back changes if something goes wrong.
- If you have a large codebase and make many changes, it can be hard to track down the issue and fix it.
- It can be hard to maintain quality control when making so many changes.
- You need to have a sound testing process to ensure that your code is still working correctly.
- Documentation methods must keep pace with deployment.
- Significant changes require assurance from product marketing, assistance & support, and other areas.
We’ve covered everything about CI and CD in extreme detail. Knowledge of these practices will help your DevOps team function more efficiently.
You mustn’t use only product management tools like kanban boards as a product manager. But it would help if you aimed to understand and integrate tools of other departments as well.