If you’re learning about DevOps, you must’ve heard of Continuous Delivery too. It can be a little confusing, also as there are many similar terms, such as Continuous Deployment. Learn more about difference between continuous delivery and continuous deployment. But don’t worry because, in this article, we’ll be discussing Continuous Delivery, its different software testing methods, and its benefits.
Let’s get started.
What is Continuous Delivery?
In DevOps, when you make changes to your product, such as modifying configuration or adding new features quickly and safely by keeping the code in a deployable state all the time, we call it Continuous Delivery.
Continuous Delivery makes deployments routine affairs. The deployments could be of an embedded system or an extensively distributed system. In this process, the changes in your code get automatically prepared, tested, and built. You do so by removing the hardening, testing, and integration phases that are usually present in ‘dev complete.’
How does it work?
You know the concept, but without understanding how it works, it would be too challenging to comprehend this topic thoroughly. Here’s a brief explanation of its working:
- First, the automated build scripts detect changes in the SCM (Source Code Management)
- Then, the system deploys the source code to a dedicated build server. It does so to ensure that the build isn’t failing. Moreover, it provides that all the integration tests and test classes are okay.
- Then the system deploys the build application on the test server for the UAT (User Acceptance Test). The test servers at this stage are the pre-production servers.
- In the end, you deploy the application manually on the production servers for the release.
Kinds of Software Testing Methods
It’s essential to know the different software testing methods, so you understand Continuous Delivery better. Mainly there are two kinds of software testing:
Whitebox Testing focuses on the internal mechanisms of the system. Other names for this testing method are glass box testing and structural testing. We use it to verify the software. Two types of software testing fall under this category
When you test an individual unit or a group of related units, it’s called unit testing. Programmers perform unit testing to see whether their implemented unit is generating the expected output or not.
Integration testing is when you combine a group of parts to produce the required output. You also test the interaction between hardware and software to see if those components are related in any manner. Integration testing can fall in both categories, i.e., it could be under white box testing as well as black-box testing.
This brings us to the other prominent kind of software testing, which is black-box testing.
Blackbox testing is when you ignore the internal mechanisms of a system and only focus on the execution of the system and the generated output. Another name for black-box testing is functional testing. We use it to validate the software. Following are the kinds of testing that fall under black-box testing:
The end-users, those who are outside the development team, perform beta testing. You can release a full pre-version of your product and term it as a beta version for this purpose. It helps in finding any unexpected errors. You must’ve seen many app and game development companies release beta versions of their products before the official release.
Stress testing helps you in evaluating how your product acts (or behaves) under stressful conditions.
System testing is when you put your product in various environments and see how it performs in those conditions.
Also read: Full-stack Developer Salary in India
Functional Testing (or Acceptance Testing)
Functional testing helps you in making sure that the required functionality in the system requirements of your product works. It also helps you in analyzing whether your product meets the needs of your customers or not. If your product wouldn’t match the expectations of your customers, it would surely be a disappointment. Functional testing helps you in avoiding the same.
Benefits of Continuous Delivery
Many people think that the fast and frequent deployment software in Continuous Delivery leads to low levels of reliability and stability. However, research says otherwise. High-performance teams can deliver products and services faster than their little performing competition without compromising with security or safety.
Continuous Delivery helps you in availing the following benefits:
- Fast Delivery
The testing and integration phases of conventional software delivery can take up months. With this method, you don’t need to worry in this regard. Your teams would work together to provide the environment and automate deployment. You have the choice to add integration and testing into the daily operations of software deployment.
This way, you wouldn’t have to wait until the last moment to perform integration and tests. And as a result, you’d get to save a lot of time you might’ve wasted on redoing stuff.
- Low Risk
Continuous Delivery ensures that you get zero-downtime in your deployments. The deployments remain painless, and you can work on them at any time according to the users’ demand. Due to these reasons, the risk remains low.
- Low Cost
When you invest in the automation of build, deployment, environment, and test, you reduce the costs of the operation considerably. You also reduce the cost of making incremental changes to the product by removing the fixed costs of a release process.
- High Quality
Automated tools help you in finding regressions within minutes. This gives your team a substantial amount of time to focus on other more critical aspects of product development, such as high-level testing or user research. A deployment pipeline makes sure that your product remains of top-notch quality all the way through.
Continuous Delivery is undoubtedly one of the essential topics of DevOps. We hope you found this article useful. If you want to learn more about DevOps and Continuous Delivery, you can go to our blog and find multiple resources related to the same.
If you’re interested to learn more about full stack, check out upGrad & IIIT-B’s PG Diploma in Full-stack Software Development which is designed for working professionals and offers 500+ hours of rigorous training, 9+ projects and assignments, IIIT-B Alumni status, practical hands-on capstone projects & job assistance with top firms.