Why So Many Businesses Are Implementing Continuous Integration

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Today, software developers leverage continuous integration to deliver exceptional consumer-centric applications. Continuous integration is rooted in the Agile methodology. Since the emergence of Agile, enterprises have worked relentlessly toward improving development strategy and optimizing the software development.

This quest eventually resulted in the emergence of the Lean methodology. Now, continuous integration (CI) is the methodology that’s emerging as a champion among DevOps teams. The method encompasses developers working on a small piece of code and pushing them to market as deliverable as soon as they’re complete.

What Is Continuous Integration?

Historically, programmers toiled away in seclusion, working on large chunks of code and adding their work to the central repository once they’ve completed their task. The method made it much more challenging to merge substantial changes into the main program. Even worse, the code typically contained many bugs that weren’t apparent until the programmer merged the new work with the main project.

In the broadest definition, CI is the routine integration of small changes in code into a primary repository. Using the method, developers test code early, frequently and often.

Continuous integration does not eliminate bugs. However, it does help programmers find them remarkably faster. Also, with a CI pipeline in place, developers can produce deliverables quickly.

Making the Case for Continuous Integration

Using continuous integration methodology, software developers endlessly process, test and upload changes and code additions. Programmers save their work in a central repository that’s accessible to all team members. This way, all personnel have access to the latest version of code. By centralizing the storing and sharing of code, software development firms reduce the common errors that occur when many team members work on different versions of the same product.

Continuous integration is the first half of the continuous delivery cycle. By combining continuous integration with continuous delivery (CD) programmers streamline overall workflow, enabling them to deliver high-quality updates and programs faster. Enterprises that deploy both continuous integration and continuous delivery enjoy notable improvements in performance.

The CI/CD pipeline enables developers to quickly create business solutions that empower employees to meet corporate goals. The methodology ensures the release of reliable, top-notch software. Furthermore, the CI/CD pipeline reduces costs, labor, errors, outages and downtime.

Companies that deploy continuous integration and delivery can leverage the increased functionality of the method to deliver enhanced products and services. Resultantly, these firms gain an advantage in a highly competitive market.

Continuous Integration in Action

On a typical day at a software development firm that leverages the CI/CD pipeline, a developer might write a new feature or fix a bug, then push the updated code to the centralized repository. The repository would then run an automated integration test and notify stakeholders if there are any bugs or other quality concerns. As Jeremiah Small, Director of Engineering at Soliant Consulting, points out, “This empowers the development team to identify and fix bugs more quickly, because the changes tend to be more incremental and less complex than they would be with less frequent integration.”

After the review, and a final sign off by programmers, the code would move to the central repository. Meanwhile, feature development and bug fixes will continue. This process will repeat several times a day.

The CI/CD pipeline is especially beneficial for large teams. The method makes the most of many programmers working on small tasks. The difference is that all changes remain in sync. CI/CD methodology delivers on the concept of large teams working together to achieve a common goal.

Continuous integration/continuous delivery is an effective method for creating both internal and external resources. Companies of all sizes can benefit by embracing the philosophy.

A CI/CD pipeline can give any firm the ability to move nimbly and quickly while delivering high-quality goods and services. Today, continuous integration and continuous delivery are the latest tools that forward-thinking leaders use to outdo the competition.

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Matt Shealy is the President of ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. As a seasoned entrepreneur and business leader, Matt’s focused on helping businesses leverage technology and the internet to grow.