A CI/CD pipeline is often known as the “backbone” of modern DevOps cycles. What is the function of this pipeline? What are the essential components within? Here is an overview.
What is CI/CD pipeline?
First, let us start by expanding CI and CD. CI stands for the process of Continuous Integration, and CD stands for both Continuous Delivery or Continuous Deployment processes. CI is a practice where developers merge code alterations in a central repository. CD takes care of the application release process, including provisioning and deployment.
Essentially, CI/CD pipeline is a tool that helps in automating software delivery processes. The pipeline is capable of building code, running tests (CI), and safely deploys a new version of the application (CD). In an efficient CI/CD pipeline, these processes are automated, the manual errors are fixed, there are feedback loops, and the steps are fully logged and accessible to the necessary personnel.
Typical Components in CI/CD
There are many steps or tasks that form CI/CD pipelines - here is a look at some of the most common steps. Please note that this is not a complete list of the stages. They can differ according to the nature of the project and organization.
- Build - Compiling the application
- Test - Testing the code where automation can make a big difference
- Release - Delivery of application to the concerned repository
- Deploy - Deploying code to the production platforms
- Validation - Validating elements and compliance to specific regulations.
Since the process is automated, any sort of errors detected will be notified to the concerned personnel instantly to take necessary actions.
Benefits of the Pipeline
A good CI/CD pipeline that is fast, reliable, and precise can have a significant impact on the application production and usage timeline. Here are some of the many benefits of the pipeline:
- Automated processes
- Developers can focus on coding and monitoring
- Easy product upgrades
- Improved access to QA and stakeholders
- Easy rollbacks of versions
- Anytime inspection of processes
- Faster feedback
Overall, the more automated steps in a pipeline, the faster, efficient, and quality releases can be accomplished by the DevOps team.
OpenSource CI/CD tools - Examples
There are many tools that can enable a smooth CI/CD pipeline. As technologies evolve, tooling does too. Hence, it is important to consider using tools that can increase the efficiency of your processes. Below are a few excellent open source tools that work great for integration.
- GitLab CI
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