The software development industry is a buzz with the term- Continuous Integration, widely known as CI. However, you will be surprised to know that Grady Booch proposed the concept of continuous integration or CI three decades back, realizing the need to merge code changes into a central repository.
In this article, we'll cover these:
Now that with Low Code/No Code (LC/NC), even the coding process is largely automated, Continuous Integration is defined as a software practice in which code changes are regularly merged into a central repository. What is more, after they are combined, tests are run automatically. CI is slowly becoming a crucial part of integration services. The process contains both-
1. Automation component
2. Traditional component
Organizations are using continuous integration to have a competitive advantage over other industry players.
Any software development process begins with a concept or an idea. Then it goes through three phases: Integration, deployment and delivery.
Every software development has a central code repository. In the integration process, multiple developers associated with the project attempt to merge their code changes with the central code repository.
In continuous delivery, code changes are automatically built, tested and prepared for release. It is an extension of the integration process. It propels the packaging of the artifacts, which are generated using automated building tools. Once the artifacts are signalled as 'green', they are ready for deployment.
The last phase of the development process is known as continuous deployment. During this phase, software artifact is automatically launched or distributed among the end-users. The artifacts then are made available on public servers through different scripts and tools like a play store or an app store.
Continuous integration break silos between developers working on the same project individually. Earlier coders used to merge changes to the master branch after their work. Due to this system, merging code changes became a daunting and time-consuming task.
Another flipside of the system was that bugs accumulated for an extended period and went uncorrected. Therefore, software companies found it difficult to deliver quick updates to the users.
In continuous integration, developers keep contributing to the shared repository. A version control system like Git controls the entire process.
Developers integrate the code only after running local tests. They also add an extra verification layer to the code. After going through this strenuous examination process, code is integrated into the repository. In addition, the CI service builds and runs automatic tests on the new code. Therefore, if there is any mistake in the code, it immediately triggers changes, enhancing overall software quality and providing with bug-free user experience.
CI delivers the below-mentioned benefits:
No bug accumulation: Changing the code is difficult if bugs accumulate in large numbers. Since CI facilitates continuous code improvement, it becomes easier for the developers providing integration solutions to make small changes to the code.
Problems addressed quickly and effectively: In CI, codes are managed and tested in small batches. Therefore, it becomes easier for the developers to find issues and test the codes.
Transparent processes: Frequent testing allows developers to get feedback on the code and fix the problems then and there. It makes the coding process transparent at multiple levels.
Hassle-free maintenance: CI automates multiple processes like code building and testing, which were done manually by developers. As a result, it improves software quality, eliminates human intervention and ensures continuous and hassle-free software maintenance.
Continuous integration and delivery ensure superior software quality and quicker software updates. Therefore, software supported by continuous integration performs better, elevating user experience and reducing downtime. Due to its plethora of benefits, software companies providing integration services make CI and continuous delivery an integral part of their software development process.