Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment

A good development workflow will bring out the best in a good developer and the exceptional among the great. On the other hand a bad workflow will rob them of their productivity. Hence it is extremely critical for every team to put together a good development workflow. The two best practices that have received a lot of attention over the last few years are continuous integration and continuous deployment.

Continuous Integration is the method in which testing is performed for each alteration done to your codebase automatically and as quickly as possible.

Continuous Deployment ensues the testing that is done during Continuous Integration and stimulates changes to a staging or production system. This ensures a version of your code is accessible at any given time.

Continuous Integration

Automation is the keystone to a good development workflow because it provides the time to focus. For example, testing. With testing, you can ensure that the essential steps your customers will pursue within the system are working, irrespective of the changes you make. This provides room for experimenting, introducing new features and deliver updates swiftly.

Top-Down Approach

The best way to get started with testing is to view the app from a user perspective. Also, begin testing armed with answers to the following questions.

  • What are the standard workflows?
  • What features and steps does a user go through often?

Tools like Selenium or PhantomJS can be used to ensure that important workflows work smoothly. An excellent way to determine the most critical workflows is by getting all of your teammates to put down a list of them and then consolidate those lists.   

Also Read: Top 6 Linux Distro for Developers

Selenium (Frontend Testing), CasperJS (Frontend Testing), Cucumber or Lettuce (Behaviour Driven Testing for Ruby and Python) are some of the tools you can use to start testing UI.Once it is ensured that the workflows are working smoothly, you can delve deeper and begin unit testing different parts of your website. But be careful, your users want your UI to work, so ensure its working after each and every change. With these assortment of tools in hand, the most important step you can take for testing is to start. It is totally worth it, not only from a technical perspective but also from a business perspective.

Testing is a Continuous Process

To error is human. Often people consider change to be insignificant that it can’t possibly break the app. So they choose not to run the test and the final product breaks down and nobody knows why.

Automated tests can show their true potential only when it is run continuously and for each and every modification. These has to be run on a separate automated system to avoid the “it worked perfectly on my system” sort of lamentations. The test passes only if it passes the continuous integration infrastructure tests. The blessing of running all tests immediately after every alteration is that you would know immediately if something broke.

Also Read: An Introduction to Configuration Management Tools

For instance, if your team is on a two-week sprint and one of your developers brings in certain modifications on day two that might break a test. Had you not continuously run all of your tests, there is a possibility that nobody detects the issue. Your team continues to work, and at the end of the sprint, when you run the whole test suit again the tests fails. Now it would be extremely hard, to find what went wrong, because there are now lot of commits since then.

Many teams work on way longer cycles than two weeks. Hence a lot of wasteful and inefficient use of time can be avoided by continuously running all your tests every time one of your developers whenever any one of your developers pushes code to the repository. Thus any issues could be resolved immediately. 

Continuous Integration is the first and critical step in Continuous Deployment.

Continuous Deployment

Infrastructure is dynamic. External dependencies are upgraded, server packages installed, API’s alter or operating systems replaced. Often we depend on other products and external entities to maintain parts of our stack. All these changes can wreak havoc to your code if it is not run frequently. This is the reason why Continuous Deployment gains importance.

Also Read: How to Learn Top AI Technologies for Free

Whenever a major development section in your repository passes all the test set, you should make sure to push your code into a staging environment or in the best case into production. This enables your QA team to review your latest version of your application and provide feedback.

Also, you can run the test in the staging environment to make sure that it runs smoothly in a production like environment. It helps you find issues early and resolve them while it is manageable.

A key concept to understand when starting with continuous deployment are deployment pipelines.

Deployment Pipelines

Deployment pipeline specifies all the steps starting from your codebase to the final production website. Automating these steps is important to have faster deployments. But time and again it also includes manual steps, such as the product manager signing off on a new release. 

Deployment pipelines should consist of simple easy to do steps and duplicate. This gives you an elbow room to push changes regularly. Such predefined steps can save you a lot of effort especially when you need an update.

Once you define a deployment pipeline and automate the steps, you can deliver small changes quickly, receive feedback from your customers, and replicate on your product. This is a major advantage while comparing to other companies who take much longer to react to a customer feedback.

Even in terms of cost continuous deployment offers a level playing field between you and your competition.

Where Do We Start?

Compiling the feed of numerous developers and companies we have identified the following steps for you to get started with continuous deployment.

Test Smartly

Testing regularly after each and every change makes liberates you from the worries of how each change has impacted the final product. This gives you opportunity to experiment and iterate the features that your customers wanted. Moreover, it builds a stable and high quality end product without ruining the user experience.

Automate Deployment

The advantage of automating each and every step in your deployment is that you need not worry about which steps need to be taken. By choosing not to do so leads to many possible mistakes. With each and every part of your deployment you can push new features, but more importantly, deliver updates very quickly. Also, continuous deployment works because of automation, hence this step should be taken seriously.

Automate Feature Reversal

When pushing for newer features you also want to revert to an earlier state. Or else, you won’t feel safe enough to do as regularly as you ought to be.

Also Read: Demystifying MongoDB

Automated reversal includes your code in addition to your database. Also, ensure that you periodically backup your database and use those backups to replicate your system on test machines. If you don’t periodically restore your backups you can never rely on them when you desperately need them.

Deploy to Staging

Create a staging environment and thrust your main line of code in to the application each time the changes are made. This staging application is your defensive perimeter and helps you go through all changes before going into production. You may as well run automated tests against staging to ensure its smooth working.

Utilize your Staging Environment

If you employ your product in your daily operations, use your staging server instead of your production server. As you move changes continuously to staging, you will see and experience when something is broken and how it impacts your team.

Using your own product allows the developers to see the impact when the quality of the product they have created have dropped.

Automatically send off to Production

As a closing step, continuously push to your production environment. This will bring in significant change in the way your organization works. You can bring in new features and if you deliver a bug, you can revert on to the older version or at best fix it. You are not tied down by irrational cycles that will impede your team’s progress.


Shifting to continuous deployment will alter the way you develop drastically. There will be a significant improvement in productivity and lead to a more stable and high-quality product. There are actions like automated testing that you need to begin with. It should be viewed as a process and not as a tool. Once put together, you can reap the benefits of deploying new versions frequently. Contact us, so that we can help you to uplift your business to the next level with high-quality products.

it companies in dubai | Software Development Companies in Dubai | SEO Companies in Dubai | mobile app development company uae | Web Hosting Dubai