What is continuous integration?
Continuous Integration (CI) is a DevOps software development practice where the developers automate code integration to a shared repository very frequently. It is the process of automating the integration of code changes from various sources.
CI also refers to the software release process’s building or integration phase. It entails both the automation component, such as build service or CI and the cultural component, such as learning to integrate code collaboratively. The main objective of CI is to rapidly locate and correct code bugs, improve the software’s quality, and minimize the amount of time spent on the validation of new software updates. Every integration is verified using automated tests.
CI is one of the best practices in software development with several critical principles. Among the principles of continuous integration are automated testing, revision control, and build automation. Although the process does not resolve the bugs, it makes it easy to find and fix them. Each integration and update to the codebase is small; therefore, pinpointing the exact cause of an error is quick.
All these phases take the software from an idea up to the end-user. Continuous integration involves the process of many developers merging their code with the central code repository in a project.
The continuous delivery phase involves packaging the artifact and delivering it to the end-user. Continuous deployment is the last phase that automatically launches and distributes the software to the end-user.
How Continuous Integration Operates
CI has gained traction over the years as the best practice in software development whose objective is to detect the errors early into the project.
Continuous Integration is used alongside agile software. The organization compiles a list of tasks consisting of a product roadmap. The software engineering team handles the delivery tasks. When the jobs are done, the developer introduces them to the CI system, integrated with the rest of the project.
The following are simple ways of executing continuous integration:
● Automation testing
● Automating builds
● Visibility of the entire process
● One source of the code repository
● Real-time code access to every team player.
The software development teams that have not started using CI should introduce it slowly rather than immediately. They should iterate on the code and process in ways that help the organization grow.
Benefits of Continuous Integration
Identification and Quick Fix of the Bugs
Thanks to frequent testing, the development team can identify the bugs quickly and early enough and fix them before they escalate and damage the project.
Improved Developer Productivity
Continuous Integration enables the development team to become more productive and accurate. Developers do not have to do tasks manually, and it encourages behaviors that minimize the occurrence of bugs and errors to the final product.
Deliver Updates Fast
Continuous Integration enables the team to deliver updates to the users frequently and faster.