The organizations’ software development focus on delivering durable product to their customers keeping in mind the needs and requirements. Developing a Quality Software is a “tough row to hoe” because there are several issues and consequences in terms of changing business, deployment of software etc. To put all things at place, organizations founded methods to develop and modify software with ease without issues. These methods are termed as Continuous Integration and Continous Delivery.
Continuous Delivery – Accurate Enhancement of Agile
Use automation and produce a software that is all set to release with less of iterations, which in turn allows the team members to deliver a software on frequent basis. This is what continuous delivery is all about. Continuous Delivery is built on agile methodologies. The use of different continuous delivery tools in the software industry, has increased the software’s reactiveness. More the organizations founded the importance of automating the software processes, the more they realized the benefits of using continuous delivery, commonly known as CD.
As the names says it all “Continuous Delivery” is about delivering the software on continuous intervals but it’s not limited to just delivery but it also indicates that your code is always in a ready to release state. By regularly testing your piece of code you get a confidence of releasing your software at any point of time.
Continuous delivery takes automation from source control through live environment. There are various tools that are part of this process. The types of tools that execute different stages of continuous delivery are:
- Continuous Integration
- Application Release Automation
- Build Automation
- Application Lifecycle Management
Benefits of Continuous Delivery
- The risk of deployment is minimized: As the deployment is of minor changes, the chances of bugs are lesser and also it becomes easier to fix the bug if at all it occurs.
- Believable Progress: many folks track progress by tracking work done. If “done” means “developers declare it to be done” that’s much less believable than if it’s deployed into a production (or production-like) environment.
- User Feedback results in faster alteration: since the software is made live at early stages, faster inputs from users are received which is beneficial in knowing how worthwhile the software actually is.
- New Features Delivered Faster: By adopting automation, Continuous Delivery helps in delivering new features faster.
- Better Team Work
The modern venture requires the software development process to function most efficiently. The prior techniques involved in the development process like Waterfall Methodology and even Agile Methodology is quite a bit old now. For a process to run with utmost speed, participation and communication play an essential role.
Henceforth Agile development gave rise to Continuous Integration (CI) to include automated compilation, unit test execution, and source control integration. Continuous Integration basically involves checking the code more often.
Advantages of Continuous Integration
- No more manual tests – Goodbye to local testing. With Continuous Integration test your code in the production-like environment, which gives you an advantage of identifying all the integration challenges right away.
- The scope of your code is increased – Continuous Integration brings to you coverage percentage of your score. That is CI checks your code for test coverage. It’s just like having your report card. Commit new codes without any tests, and see your coverage percentage go down because of your changes. On the other hand, by watching your code coverage increasing over time, it motivates you to write tests.
- Build your code instantly – Now that your code is clean and with high coverage, just hand it over to CI servers. They execute the build and compilation processes in no time. That old trend of waiting for the build to finish is a big no. CI builds allows you to run even the lengthy processes. If there occurs any error, CI system will notify you right away.
- Build your code faster – The tests and the build processes can be distributed over several VM’s with parallel build support. In this way, the total build process will take a shorter time, which in turn will result in fewer local resources being consumed.
- Increase Visibility Across the Team – Continuous Integration results into clarity and responsibility across your team. With CI, the tests results are displayed on your build pipeline. So every time a build succeeds, that increases the confidence of the team and if it fails, you can get help from team members to identify what may have gone wrong.
Tools to Organize Your Development Process, Escalate Quality, and Increase Accuracy – CI tools
It is rightly said, “If you want to do good work, you should use the proper tool”. This same concept is applicable in software development process. Below is the list of few of the top continuous integration tools.
Jenkins is a CI tool written in Java. Jenkins is an open source and cross-platform tool in which the configuration is possible through both GUI interface and console commands. Jenkins allows feature extension through plugins which makes this tool very adaptable. Additionally, Jenkins divides builds and test loads on multiple machines. The best part is it is free to use and distribute since its issued under MIT license.
TeamCity is a CI tool developed by JetBrains. TeamCity in its free version offers 20 configurations and 3 build agents. For additional build agents and build configurations additional is applicable. TeamCity is a Java-based solution, but regardless of that, it offers the best features and framework that supports .NET. There are multiple plugins available, developed both by JetBrains and third parties.
Travis CI is an open source service free for all open source projects hosted on the GitHub. It does not depend on any platform. It supports multiple languages. Travis uses the virtual machines to build applications. For running multiple jobs simultaneously using Travis, one has to opt for various monthly subscriptions plans.
Codeship supports GitHub and Bitbucket. With its effective feature ParallelCI it provides test parallelization. It supports Java, PHP, Ruby (Rails), Node.js, Python, and Go, and you can deploy your projects on the services like AWS or Heroku. It comes with a trial version which includes one concurrent build and one parallel test pipeline, and is limited to 100 builds per month and 5 projects. The pricing varies depending on the packages, if you add docker platform, an additional cost of $75 per month is applicable. The other one is a custom plan with an option to get fully customized parameters.
Bamboo CI tool is the production of famous company Atlassian. Bamboo has been released in two versions. The cloud and the server. If you decide to go for the cloud version of Bamboo, Atlassian will host the Bamboo for you, provided that you have Amazon EC2 account and if you prefer to go with server you have to host your own instance of the Bamboo server. Both versions have free trials and the pricing plans depend on the build agent count and not on the number of users. The well-known Atlassian tools JIRA and BitBucket are compatible with Bamboo, plus Jenkins configurations can also be loaded into Bamboo easily.
GitLab CI is a free hosted service. It was developed by GitLab Inc. GitLab is hosted on GitLab.com. GitLab CI is fully integrated with GitLab and provides git repository management with features like access control, issue tracking, code reviews, etc. its process builds are written in the Go language and can run on Windows, Linux, OSX, FreeBSD, and Docker. GitLab CI comes with both the open source GitLab Community Edition, and with the GitLab Enterprise Edition which comes with a 45-day money back guarantee.
CircleCI is also a product of GitLab Inc. CircleCI currently only supports GitHub and the list of supported languages includes Java, Ruby/Rails, Python, Node.js, PHP, Haskell, and Skala.