Continuous Integration (CI) is the continuous process of integrating code from multiple coders into a shared version code repository. This can happen several times in a day depending on the number of code commits.
This practice enables developers working as a team to be able to monitor code quality and meet with software requirements.
Continuous Integration encourages software development team members to share their unit test and code by including their changes into a CI system. Each integration is verified by an automated build system that grabs any update from the shared repository, and run a test to check for any errors from the changes.
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The Benefits of Continuous Integration
Continuous Integration comes with many benefits. But, let’s look at the most important three benefits:
- There is a Reduction of Risk
As far as all codes are tested and deployed more frequently, bugs can easily be detected and removed at the early phase. This helps to reduce the risk of being afraid of breaking anything or if the product is heading in the right direction. And developers get to work smoothly with the assurance of meeting product quality.
- Communication is Enhanced
With Continuous Integration, developers can view and comment on code commits as they progress through the Continuous Integration pipeline.
- Faster Feedback
Feedback is how you measure your success. The earlier you get feedback, the better you know if you are making progress or not. This is not only of benefit to team members, but it is of great benefit to managers as well.
With an optimized CI system, team members and managers can gather valuable feedback to measure success.
The Application of Continuous Integration in the Workplace
An organization that wants to use this for software production will need to assemble all the tasks that will be needed for the production of whatever software to be produced.
When this is done, the software development team will be alerted with the tasks and the goal.
With Continuous Integration, team members can work remotely towards the end goal. Once a developer is done with a task, he or she submits it to the shared repository to be integrated with other tasks completed by other members.
Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and Continuous Deployment
Continuous Integration, Delivery, and Deployment are different integral parts of an automated software release pipeline that are mostly mistaken by many. Each has its own functions in software development.
Continuous Delivery picks up from where Continuous Integration stops. Continuous Delivery is all about making sure code commits are delivered into the selected environments. It is known as an extension of Continuous Integration.
Continuous Deployment makes sure that software artifact is automatically launched and deployed to end-users. It is the final phase of the production cycle.
Challenges of Continuous Integration
You might experience some challenges while implementing Continuous Integration. Some of which are:
- Building the CI Platform
If an organization is new to Continuous Integration, then they will need to pick a team to build one before they can get started. This alone takes a lot of time.
- Technical Knowhow
CI comes with a lot of functionalities. If you don’t have a team with proper knowledge about it, then the organization will have to spend money educating team members or hiring outsiders with adequate knowledge about it.
Building software is a complex process. You need to work with the right tools to get it right. Continuous Integration has come to help your team have greater confidence in their operation. It would be hard to find anyone arguing against implementing CI.
This article was written in collaboration with experts from the Buddy