What Are CI CD and the CI CD Pipeline?

Using a continuous and iterative process to build, test, and deploy helps avoid bugs and code failures. CI/CD is the backbone of a DevOps methodology, bringing developers and IT operations teams together to deploy software. As custom applications become key to how companies differentiate, the rate at which code can be released has become a competitive differentiator. Although Jenkins started as a continuous integration tool, the current use covers the whole software delivery pipeline, including deployment. The developer Kohsuke Kawaguchi, who worked at Sun systems, wanted to create a method to perform continuous integration.

  • If you use VS Code to edit your GitLab CI/CD configuration, the
    GitLab Workflow VS Code extension helps you
    validate your configuration
    and view your pipeline status.
  • However, CI/CD is just one process that can drive these improvements, and there are other prerequisites to improving deployment frequencies.
  • The limited nature of each iteration means that bugs are identified, located, reported and corrected with relative ease.
  • A core principle of CD is that every change to the software can be deployed to production with no special effort.
  • Here is an example of a Codefresh workflow as it is presented in the graphical user interface.

Continuous deployment enables organizations to deploy their applications automatically, eliminating the need for human intervention. With continuous deployment, DevOps teams set the criteria for code releases ahead of time and when those criteria are met and validated, the code is deployed into the production environment. This allows organizations to be more nimble and get new features into the hands of users faster. Following the automation of builds and unit and integration testing in CI, continuous delivery automates the release of that validated code to a repository.

Add manual interaction to your pipeline

While a CI/CD pipeline might sound like additional work, it’s quite the opposite. It’s simply a process you can perform to deliver new products quickly and with fewer problems. Without the automated pipeline, you’d perform the same steps manually, which is slower and less efficient. Failure at any stage triggers a notification to alert the engineer responsible. If a product passes all tests without issue, all team members get a notification following each successful deployment to production.

definition of the CI/CD pipeline

CD can cover everything from provisioning the infrastructure to deploying the application to the testing or production environment. Common code validation processes start with a static code analysis that verifies the quality of the code. Once the code passes the static tests, automated CI routines package and compile the code for further automated testing.

CD component phase

Software systems are complex, and an apparently simple, self-contained change to a single file can easily have unintended consequences which compromise the correctness of the system. As a result, some teams have developers work isolated from each other on their own branches, both to keep trunk / main stable, and to prevent them treading on each other’s toes. Recall I mentioned that many of the CI and CD steps are highly repetitive. By automating the process and delegating that to a CI/CD pipeline, you not only free up precious developer resources for actual product development tasks but you also reduce the chances of error. A CI/CD pipeline can be easily understood as the process pathway through which we can deliver a single unit of production-ready software.

definition of the CI/CD pipeline

You can think of CI/CD processes as similar to a software development lifecycle. Just take a look at the February 2019 trends report by InfoQ on DevOps topics. In it, I count no less than four topics on CI/CD in the early and late majority. There’s even a fifth topic regarding the use of code vs. config in the CD pipeline.

Building your CI/CD toolkit

Agents in Jenkins help provide better performance by load balancing builds and creating a secure environment, separate from the controller. Configuring even the simplest pipeline with one job that runs on every code change will save a team many headaches in the future. Failure during the test stage exposes problems in code that developers didn’t foresee when writing the code. It’s essential for this stage to produce feedback to developers quickly, while the problem space is still fresh in their minds and they can maintain the state of flow. Failure to pass the build stage is an indicator of a fundamental problem in a project’s configuration, and it’s best to address it immediately. Full Scale is an offshore software development company that specializes in helping businesses scale their growth through tech.

definition of the CI/CD pipeline

Automation streamlines parts of the process, while quicker error detection leads to less time putting out fires. Customer satisfaction can increase as well when you’re providing more regular updates and a positive user experience. Pipeline runs are typically kicked off automatically by a CI/CD tool. If a failure occurs anywhere in the pipeline process, the responsible CI CD pipeline parties are typically automatically notified via email or a collaboration tool like Slack. Jenkins is an open-source Continuous Integration server that helps to achieve the Continuous Integration process (and not only) in an automated fashion. Jenkins is a widely used application around the world that has around 300k installations and growing day by day.

Business growth

After the software passes all the tests successfully, the program is ready for a production environment. Various deployment strategies exist, including assessing a few nodes or providing software versions. As a result, tracking changes, collaborating, and securing the source code becomes a breeze. CI/CD and other agile pipelines are ecosystems composed of tools tied together with processes and automation, with myriad alternate paths and steps for different products.

definition of the CI/CD pipeline

Instead of managing containers, they manage pods, an abstraction that combines several containers to perform a functional role. Upon running the pipeline, Codefresh redirects you to the Builds page, enabling you to oversee the build progress of the sample application. Create a CI pipeline to clone the Git repository and build the Docker image. You now have a new project and can create your first CI pipeline within it.


Container images can define the development environment, testing or staging environment, and production environment. The same container image with slight differences can be promoted throughout the pipeline, enabling consistency in development and testing. In a CI/CD process, containers can be used to deploy a build to every stage of the pipeline.

Developers want to put out new code quickly and have creative freedom. Operations wants the code to be released and run in a way that is safe, accurate, and controlled. When large pieces of a code base change at a time it puts an application’s quality at higher risk. This is because there is more likely a chance that something will break the larger the change – and troubleshooting is https://www.globalcloudteam.com/ harder the larger the change. Agile organizations frequently integrate their code and perform automated tests to reduce the cost of introduction, identifying root causes, and fixing bugs. The CI/CD pipeline is at the core of the software supply chain and as recent exploits have shown, the consequences of credential theft and injection of malicious code by attackers is very real.

A beginner’s guide to continuous integration

This last step can be approved by a human, but should not require any manual effort. CI dramatically increased both the quality and velocity of software development. Teams can create more features that provide value to users, and many organizations release software every week, every day, or even multiple times per day. CI build tools automatically package up files and components into release artifacts and run tests for quality, performance, and other requirements.

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