What is continuous deployment?

Continuous deployment is an automated system that facilitates the process of software release from the coding stage till it becomes ready for use. It’s an enhanced method of testing the correctness of a codebase and software stability.

Continuous deployment is a modern approach to the software release process. The traditional cycle of software development and deployment that involves the manual movement of codes from machine to machine is now being replaced with a more accurate and faster system. Continuous deployment tools and systems automate and execute software using minimal resources.

Continuous Deployment Vs. Continuous Delivery

The abbreviation “CD” is often used for both terms. However, continuous deployment and continuous delivery are different. The latter( continuous delivery) occurs before the former ( continuous deployment). Software is first delivered, then manually reviewed by developers, and subsequently transferred to the production environment for deployment. In the deployment stage, no manual effort is required — this end-end automatic process reviews the software — then deploys or rejects it (if the checks fail).

Advantages of Continuous Deployment

As an automated system, the continuous development process requires little human intervention, and due to this, it’s faster and more accurate.

Additionally, productivity is enhanced, allowing businesses to adapt to market shifts swiftly. New features based on customers’ feedback or requests are likewise easy to implement.

Continuous deployment speeds up production such that new software products with additional or fresh features can be released swiftly for use.

Drawbacks of Continuous Deployment

Continuous deployment has certain drawbacks that require evaluation before incorporating the system into any software project. A major one is the cost of utilizing this system. The cost of executing projects using the continuous deployment process is costly. Extra charges also come from maintaining the system — to keep it running and efficient.

Continuous Deployment Tools

Different tools make continuous deployment possible. Some include:

Automated Testing

Automated testing is an essential continuous deployment tool. From integration, delivery, then to deployment, automated testing ensures the smooth running of the system such that regressions are avoided, and new codes get seamlessly integrated.

Monitoring Tools

A deployment pipeline must have monitoring tools to give real-time feedback. It helps to maintain the overall system better and convey the required alerts before a new code is integrated. A monitoring tool will alert and prompt a reversal in a failed code delivery.

Getting the Best From Continuous Deployment

Maintenance, among other things, is crucial to the smooth running of a continuous deployment pipeline to get the best out of it. Test-driven development alongside containerization are methods of getting the best of the system. Test-driven development defines the specification of software before the development process commences. When the specification is specified, developers can design an automated system to match it. Then developers will write software code to conform with the existing specification. With containerization, software applications will function on a developer’s machine like they would during automated testing and when deployed.

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