With the adoption of the DevOps culture in agile development teams, the time to deliver a project has been significantly reduced as problems across different teams are now resolved as a single team. Team boundaries that existed in the waterfall development approach are removed and collaboration across Developers and Operations take off to work together towards a shared goal.
As development and operation teams start working together, it is important to integrate automation technologies to eliminate repetitive processes and deliver predictable results over and over.
How can the build, test, and deploy processes be automated? Using continuous integration, automated testing, and continuous delivery, the core of the development process is automated and the end result is consistent.
Continuous Integration (Build)
In the practice of continuous integration, developers commit code changes in the project into a shared repository every day or several times a day. Each time a change is committed into a branch an automated build is triggered to build the code binaries. This automated integration tied to every code change facilitates the detection of coding issues as soon as they are introduced and helps backtracking issues in earlier releases.
Test Automation (Test)
The next step after implementing and using a continuous integration solution is to incorporate test automation to improve the quality of the code, detect human errors, and test the user interface against multiple browsers. Test automation can be added as part of the continuous integration to run a number of tests along with each build with minimal overhead in the build process.
Continuous Delivery (Deploy)
Following the principle of “build your binaries once, but deploy and promote them many times” provide a consistent end result that has been tested during the build process and in a parallel environment. The practice of continuous delivery ensures a successful build is packaged once and promoted through multiple environments until it reaches production.
Automation tools in software delivery increase the confidence in the team to release more often and better quality software without having to sacrifice time or budget in the project. Each release consists of a repeatable process to ensure the version that was just released from development and passed thru QA is ready to be released to production.