What is Continuous Delivery? Everything You Need to Know

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. 

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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.’ 

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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. 

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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:

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Whitebox 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

Unit Testing

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. 

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Integration Testing

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. 

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Blackbox 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:

Beta 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

Stress testing helps you in evaluating how your product acts (or behaves) under stressful conditions. 

System Testing

System testing is when you put your product in various environments and see how it performs in those conditions. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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What exactly is DevOps?

The words development and operations are combined to form the term DevOps. DevOps aids in the faster delivery of apps and services. It enables businesses to provide better service to their clients and increase their market competitiveness. To put it simply, DevOps is better communication and cooperation between development and IT operations. It implies a culture in which association between the action, processes, and business teams is valued as an essential journey component. DevOps in a business produces continual value for consumers, so it's not just about the technologies. Along with people and procedures, one of its foundations is tools. DevOps improves an organization's capacity to offer high-quality solutions quickly. It automates an application's whole lifecycle, from development to deployment.

What are the benefits of DevOps?

DevOps can help create a collaborative atmosphere in which developers and operators come together to achieve targets. The establishment of continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) is an important achievement in this approach. DevOps has a decreased failure percentage in new versions. It allows for a quick recovery if a new version crashes or disables the program. In DevOps, versioning the builds or code allows prior versions to be recovered if needed. It aids in the resolution of infrastructure issues and increases the quality of application development. DevOps is built on agile programming, which allows big codebases to be broken down into smaller, more manageable portions.

What would you be asked to do as a DevOps professional?

DevOps professionals have a lot of responsibilities. As a DevOps specialist, you should be able to execute system troubleshooting and problem-solving across platform and application domains. It would be best if you also understood how to efficiently manage projects using open, standards-based systems and how to improve project visibility through traceability. With cooperation, you'll be able to enhance quality while lowering development costs. You'll also be expected to analyze, create, and test automation scripts and systems. Finally, you should choose the best cloud security solutions services to assure quick resolution of system difficulties.

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