Overview Of CI/CD For Beginners
CI/CD stands for Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery or Continuous Deployment, and it is a set of practices and tools used in software development to automate and streamline the process of building, testing, and deploying software.
Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment play a vital role in modern software development by introducing automation, efficiency, and reliability into the software development and delivery process. Here’s an overview of both concepts.
What is a CI/CD Pipeline?
A CI/CD pipeline is an series of steps that aims to automate and streamline the process of building, testing, and deploying applications. It is a crucial part of a CI/CD system and plays a central role in automating the software development and delivery process.
The CI/CD pipeline typically consists of several stages or phases through which code changes progress as they move from development to production. These stages are defined, configured, and automated, and they ensure that code changes are thoroughly tested and validated before being deployed to production.
Continuous Integration (CI):
- Continuous Integration is the practice of regularly integrating code changes from multiple contributors into a shared repository. This integration typically happens multiple times a day.
- Automated build and testing processes are triggered whenever code changes are committed to the repository.
- The key idea is to detect and fix integration issues early in the development process, ensuring that the codebase is always in a working state.
Continuous Delivery (CD):
- Continuous Delivery is a software development practice in which code changes are automatically built, tested, and prepared for release to a production-like environment.
- The key feature of Continuous Delivery is that, after code passes automated tests and quality checks, it is ready for deployment to a production environment but is not automatically deployed there.
- This allows for additional manual testing, approvals, and other checks before a release goes live.
Continuous Deployment (CD):
Continuous Deployment (CD) is a software development practice that’s all about automating the release of new code changes to a production environment. In simple terms, it means that whenever a developer makes a change to the code and it passes automated tests, that change is automatically deployed and made live for users to access. There is no need for manual approval or intervention in the release process.
Stages of CI/CD Pipeline:
Tools & Stages in CI/CD Pipeline:
1. Version Control(Git): The process begins when a developer commit their code changes to a version control system, such as Git.
Git is a widely used software for tracking changes and collaborative development. Developers use Git to manage and track changes to the source code of a project. This includes committing changes, branching, and merging code.
2. CI/CD Tools: CI/CD tools integrate with Git repositories to monitor changes and automate the build, test, and deployment process. Here are some CI/CD tools that work well with Git.
i. Jenkins: Jenkins is a widely used open-source automation server that can be configured to monitor Git repositories, trigger builds, and execute deployment tasks as part of CI/CD pipelines.
ii. GitLab CI/CD: GitLab offers built-in CI/CD capabilities that are tightly integrated with Git repositories. You can define CI/CD pipelines in .gitlab-ci.yml files within your project’s repository.
iii. GitHub Actions: If you’re using GitHub, GitHub Actions allows you to create custom CI/CD workflows using YAML files directly within your GitHub repository.
iv. Bitbucket Pipelines: If you’re using Bitbucket, Bitbucket Pipelines offers built-in CI/CD capabilities. You define pipelines in a bitbucket-pipelines.yml file in your repository.
These CI/CD tools can be configured to monitor Git repositories for changes, automatically trigger builds and tests when code is committed, and deploy applications to various environments based on your pipeline configuration. They help streamline the software development and delivery process by automating many of the manual steps involved in building and releasing software.
3. Build: In this stage, the pipeline automatically triggers the building of the application. The build stage is the first step in a CI/CD pipeline. It involves compiling and packaging the source code to create executable artifacts, libraries, or any other deliverable form of the application.
i. Build Tool(Maven): A widely used build automation and project management tool, primarily for Java projects.
4. Test: The test stage is where you verify that the software works correctly and doesn’t introduce new issues after code changes. Scanning the code for issues such as code quality, security vulnerabilities, and adherence to coding standards.
i. Testing Tool(Selenium): An open-source tool for automating web browsers, used for functional and regression testing of web applications.
5. Deployment: The deploy stage involves the distribution of the built and tested application to various environments, which can include development, staging, and production. If all tests pass and UAT is successful, the application is deployed to the production environment.
The CI/CD pipeline is highly customizable and can be adapted to the specific needs and requirements of a project. It enables a consistent and repeatable process for delivering software, which leads to faster and more reliable software releases. There are various CI/CD tools and services, such as Jenkins, GitLab CI/CD, and CircleCI, help configure and manage these pipelines, making it easier to automate the development and deployment process.