What is CI/CD? Its Importance, Benefits and CI/CD Pipeline

by avinash v

What is CI/CD?

Development teams are encouraged to make incremental improvements to their codebase regularly by adhering to the principles and practices of the CICD Process. For most modern systems, having a standardized method for integrating and validating code developed on different platforms and using different tools is essential.

Continuous integration creates an automated mechanism to develop, bundle, and test their applications. More frequent code commits from developers directly result from a reliable integration process, which improves teamwork and the overall quality of the code.

what is ci/cd

Why is CI/CD Important?

According to GitLab's DevSecOps survey, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of automation, the frequency of releases, the use of continuous deployments, the vigilance with which security is approached, and the reliance on cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and so on.

Multiple developers often work on separate parts of the product at once over the course of the development cycle. Now, if the separated code were to be combined one day, it may be extremely draining, time-consuming, and untidy, causing the system to veer off course.

Furthermore, if the developers are split up into several teams, there is a greater risk that their codes will not be mutually compatible. It's the same as putting off your meetings every day so that they all fall on the same day, which increases your workload while decreasing your motivation and output.

The code is merged to the mainline (shared repository) regularly (sometimes several times a day) with CI. The modifications are checked for completeness and consistency using automated software testing (unit and integration tests).

When the modifications have been tested and found to be functional, the new system is automatically integrated into the production pipeline through continuous delivery. The final phase is continuous deployment, during which users always have access to the most recent build of the app.

Instead of addressing problems "all at once," CI/CD allows you to address them in small batches at regularly scheduled sessions.

Statista found that continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) is on the list of technologies that OpenStack users are interested in using.


What is the Difference Between CI and CD?

Using a process known as continuous integration (CI), programmers routinely make tweaks and tests to their code. This procedure is automated so that teams may construct, test, and package their applications inconsistently and repeatedly, which is essential, given the scope of the requirements and the number of processes involved. By making it easier to make changes and contribute to better software, CI/CD Process frees up more time for developers.

The term "continuous delivery" (CD) refers to the practice of automatically sending finished software to places like test and development servers. Continuous Delivery (CD) automates and standardizes the code delivery process to these environments.

The next stage after continuous delivery is continuous deployment. The number of deployments to production increases since every successful modification is immediately sent to the live environment.

Most businesses that aren't limited by regulations or other restrictions should aim for continuous deployment.

Continuous integration (CI) is a collection of procedures carried out by developers during the coding process. In contrast, continuous delivery (CD) is a set of actions carried out once the code has been done.

How Does CI/CD Relate to DevOps?

DevOps is an approach to software development that emphasizes collaboration between programmers and system administrators to improve application and service delivery times. A company may better serve its clients and stay competitive in the market with the enhanced speed made possible by DevOps. DevSecOps is the approach through which successful businesses in a DevOps setting bake security into each step of the software development process.

DevSecOps' central principle is to embed security checks into each step of the DevOps process. The earliest possible detection of vulnerabilities and the ability to make informed judgments regarding risk and mitigation are enhanced by an organization's early and consistent implementation of security operations across the software development life cycle (SDLC). The slower and less agile security procedures of the past are incompatible with the newer, more rapid DevOps method. To stay up to date with DevOps and not stifle development velocity, security technologies nowadays must integrate smoothly into the developer workflow and the CI/CD pipeline.

DevOps and DevSecOps are larger frameworks of which the CI/CD pipeline is a subset. Tools that eliminate bottlenecks in the integration and delivery process are essential to the smooth operation of any CI/CD pipeline. Teams need a unified set of tools to work effectively and efficiently on projects.


What are the Benefits of CI/CD?

  • Continuous delivery is made possible by automated testing, which in turn guarantees high-quality and secure software and boosts the ROI of deployed code.
  • As a result of the increased efficiency afforded by CICD process pipelines, new product features may be released to the market much quicker, making for happier consumers and less stressful development.
  • To remain competitive, businesses need to be able to offer their products and services quickly.
  • Automation allows workers to concentrate on their core competencies, resulting in superior output.
  • Successful CI/CD pipelines are a magnet for top-tier employees. Engineers and developers are freed from mundane, repetitive chores that used to be vital to accomplishing other tasks, thanks to the shift from the old waterfall approach.

What are the Stages in the CI/CD Pipeline?

The term "continuous delivery" refers to the process of automatically releasing software to one or more distribution environments. Application modifications are often staged across many environments by development teams before being tested and reviewed.

Various factors, including environment variables, options, secret keys, and certificates, are specified in the file and referenced in step-by-step stages. All alerts and error circumstances are handled in the post section.

The phases of building, testing, and releasing software are the standard steps in a continuous delivery pipeline. Any or all of the following could be incorporated at various times:


ci/cd pipeline

  • Getting code out of version control and running a build.
  • Facilitating checkpoints at which security, quality, and compliance may be verified automatically, with accompanying approval processes.
  • Cloud infrastructure provisioning and de-provisioning are both code-driven processes.
  • Transferring program instructions to the desired computer system.
  • Taking care of the environment's environment variables and setting them up correctly.
  • Distributing software parts to various destinations like web servers, application programming interfaces, and databases.
  • Taking necessary actions, such as restarting services or calling service endpoints, to accommodate code pushes.
  • Continuous testing, with environment rollbacks in case of failure.
  • Keeping you apprised of the delivery's progress through log data and notifications.
  • When a deployment is complete, the corresponding configuration management database is updated, and an alert is sent to the IT service management process.
  • Steps like data synchronization, resource archiving, and application/library patching are examples of activities that may be included in a more complex continuous delivery pipeline.

    Teams that utilize CICD Pipeline to push changes into production may employ a variety of cutover procedures to limit service interruptions and mitigate deployment risks.