Streamlining the Pipeline: How Continuous Delivery Can Enhance DevOps

Posted by on June 30, 2020

It’s become a given in the industry that DevOps simplifies coordination between developers and IT departments and enhances the overall workflow of any tech-centric organization, but there’s another complementary methodology that can make those efforts even more effective: continuous delivery.

What exactly is continuous delivery, though, and how does it work in conjunction with DevOps? We’ll dive into the basics and the benefits so you can see how continuous delivery might benefit your operations, and better understand why this practice is such a popular one.

What Is Continuous Delivery?

In the simplest of terms, continuous delivery is a software development practice in which any changes to code made in the DevOps pipeline are automatically prepared for release. Once code changes have been made, they can automatically be filtered to a testing or production environment for expedited implementation. Once in those environments, code will undergo a set of standardized testing automatically, so it is fully prepared for release to customers.

There are a few tangentially related processes that you might confuse with continuous delivery, such as continuous integration and continuous deployment. Continuous integration is the practice of merging code changes into one central location; continuous deployment is similar to continuous delivery aside from the fact that continuous delivery requires manual confirmation before a change is sent to production, and continuous deployment does not.

How Does Continuous Delivery Relate to DevOps?

The easiest way to envision the relationship between continuous delivery and DevOps is to think of the two as parts of one cohesive factory, working together on an assembly line to produce a single perfect product. DevOps is essentially a machine that builds systems, and continuous delivery is a conveyor belt that ensures that those systems arrive at production expediently, safely, and precisely as intended.

For example, if a team of developers creates a system update that fixes a specific bug, continuous delivery can send that patch to testing or production immediately when it’s completed rather than waiting for manual approval. Without continuous delivery, the code might simply wait after being completed for an unknown amount of time before finally being sent to the next phase of the process.

Continuous delivery does not influence the DevOps process itself materially, but it ensures that the hard work which has been completed as part of DevOps is not tied up waiting for manual processes to send it on to testing or production. This way, pressing issues can receive attention more immediately, but developers’ attention does not have to be div

The ways that continuous delivery can improve your processes are relatively self-explanatory, but they’re worth noting if you’re still unclear on why this methodology has gained so much traction:

●  Automate releases — When your team can test and prepare code for delivery automatically, it takes a great deal of manual work out of the process, allowing for a more streamlined workflow.

●  Boost productivity — With less time spent on manual tasks, developers can focus on work items that will enhance the quality of the software released to customers, resulting in a more productive work environment overall.

●  Locate bugs faster — Automated testing environments will be able to search for a more comprehensive list of potential errors incredibly quickly without adding extra time to developers’ workflow.

●  Deliver speedier updates — Continuous delivery allows your team to deliver updates quickly with the assurance that they have already passed through a standardized process of testing so there’s no question as to whether to code is up to par.

In the world of DevOps, continuous delivery is an invaluable tool. There’s no reason to waste valuable manual effort on processes that can easily be automated with continuous delivery, thus freeing up your talented development team to focus on what they do best. For more insight into how continuous delivery could boost your DevOps processes, contact Rivet Logic.

 

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