We often hear the phrase “continuous delivery” when referring to the development process. But what does it mean? Continuous delivery, or short CD, is an approach to creating software and applications. It is based on producing software in shorter cycles.
Developing in shorter cycles, organizations can release their software at any time. Meaning they can build, test, and release software faster. This process reduces the cost and time needed to develop software.
Moreover, there is a lower risk of problems occurring during a release. Continuous delivery is the second part of a CI/CD maturity model. This model allows developers to introduce code changes to production more easily and frequently.
What Is Continuous Delivery?
Continuous delivery is the ability of a team to quickly and safely deliver any changes to production or directly to consumers. CD may also stand for continuous deployment, but these two concepts are different.
The difference is that continuous delivery is all about the ability to deliver changes to production, but it doesn’t mean that these changes have to be deployed to production.
For example, in some cases, when launching a new product, it’s not necessary to deploy all the changes to production. Releases can go one by one, but the changes have to be continuously delivered.
Both continuous delivery and deployment depend on continuous delivery pipelines. They regularly deliver and integrate created software and applications, build artifacts, run automated tests on these builds to detect and solve any problems.
One of the best practices to organize pipelines requires to push these artifacts to environments similar to production, to detect any issues before release into the real production environment.
Why Is CD Important in DevOps?
There are quite a few reasons why CD is important to DevOps implementation:
- It provides developers with visibility for software during each development stage.
- Improved and faster lead times.
- More frequent releases that give access to consumer feedback in the early stages.
- Smaller releases give more control over problem-shooting.
- Software quality is better since the development stages have strict protocols.
- The cost of developing software and applications is reduced.
- Improved team and customer satisfaction because of faster and more positive results.
With CD integration, all processes and routines are more automated rather than manual. As a result, the performance of the company shows improvements in creating user-friendly applications and software.
The Best Methods for Implementing Continuous Delivery Pipelines
To implement continuous delivery pipelines into the infrastructure of the company, you can consider the following methods:
- Create an automated approach to building, deploying, testing, and releasing the process. It will enable the team to create products with fewer bugs or detect errors before release. As a result, the performance of the team is better, and the software is more functional.
- Small releases. Smaller releases, in general, contain fewer bugs and errors, and they are much easier to detect. Instead of going through logs of an enormous source code database to detect problems, the team can simply roll back the application and its associated configuration.
- Frequent releases lead to faster feedback. The faster the team gets consumer feedback, the better the product becomes.
Implement these changes to the development process, and you will soon notice significant improvements.
A CD Framework to Self-Assess and Plan a Roadmap to Improve the Maturity Level
Many companies in the Informational technology industry already benefit a lot from implementing a CI/CD maturity model. It requires revising several vital components of the company that are also pillars of the Maturity levels model to implement positive changes. Here is what you should reconsider.
It’s great when developers have the best tools and mechanisms to develop decent software and applications. Having tools is just the first step to success and delivering a positive experience to consumers.
All processes within the company have to complement each other. Moreover, all employees should work according to adopted protocols. For example, the organization team has to gather the requirements of the product.
Then deliver information to developers, and developers have to pass software to production, where it gets released. Then someone should gather feedback from developers that can improve the product.
The team is extremely important to deliver valuable products to consumers. They have to be skilled and follow adopted processes while using the best tools and mechanisms to develop software.
It’s critical to have a positive culture in a company. When employees work together to prevent or fix issues rather than find who to blame for problems, the product will be of greater quality.