What does your engineering team require to deliver bug-free code at a high velocity? It’s a fast and reliable CI/CD pipeline. CI CD Pipeline acts as oxygen in Software Development Lifecycle.
It’s a series of steps that must be performed to deliver a new version of the software. A CICD process introduces monitoring and automation to improve the SDLC, specifically the integration and testing phases, along with delivery and deployment. Although it is feasible to manually execute every step of a CI/CD pipeline, however, the true value of CI CD pipelines is acknowledged through automation.
Before understanding the CI/CD pipeline, click on the link to have a short glimpse of DevOps Best Practices. It will definitely help you comprehend concepts in a better way.
Table of Content
What is the CI/CD pipeline?
The CI/CD pipeline is an agile DevOps workflow used to streamline the software delivery process. This process is a collection of continuous integration (CI), continuous testing, continuous delivery (CD), and continuous deployment methods. Together, they are coordinated into a pipeline to deliver excellent programming and application development.
The continuous integration/continuous delivery pipeline uses test automation to detect issues quickly, push code improvement to different environments and deliver applications to production environments. The test automation evaluates anything from execution to API and security, and it is a fundamental component for quality control of the pipeline.
Eventually, the capacity to automate different phases of the CICD process makes more dependable, quicker, and better-quality programming and application releases all in all.
What is continuous integration?
The CICD process starts with continuous integration. It is a group of practices used by development teams to prepare an automated way to build, package and test apps. By executing little changes in code or adding new code, groups check for blunders, monitor version control continuously, and automate functionality and unit tests. Code cycles and the early recognizable proof of issues happen naturally, and incorporation tests guarantee new code or updates don’t break an application. CI is viewed as essential for the ceaseless framework methodology.
What is continuous delivery?
It supplies approved code changes made in continuous integration to choose environment or code storehouses (e.g., GitHub or a container registry). Code changes could be anything – from updates to new features to bug fixes in apps or software. In CD, development teams use automation to lessen deployment time, minimize costs, scale software, and deploy code.
What is continuous deployment?
The CD in the CI/CD cycle stands for continuous deployment. It automatically releases code improvements to end-users subsequent to passing a series of predefined assessments, for example, integration tests that assess code in a copycat environment to guarantee code integrity
Continuous Delivery vs. Continuous Deployment
The difference between continuous delivery and continuous deployment is in their way to deal with software release and level of pipeline automation. In the continuous delivery process, code automatically moves to production-like environments for further testing and quality assurance, and human intercession is expected to move into production following effective tests. In continuous deployment, automation goes further. Once the code passes testing, the deployment to production happens automatically — no human intervention is required.
Components of a CI/CD pipeline
The steps involved in a CI/CD pipeline are distinct subsets of tasks grouped into what is known as a pipeline. A typical pipeline includes:
- Build – A phase where the application is compiled.
- Test – A phase where code is tested. Here, automation can save both time and effort.
- Release – Here the application is delivered to the repository.
- Deploy – In this phase code is deployed to production.
- Validation and compliance – The steps to validate a build are determined by the needs of the organization. Image security scanning tools, such as Clair, ensure the quality of images by comparing them to known vulnerabilities (CVEs).
Advantages of the CI/CD pipeline
The main advantage of a continuous integration / continuous delivery pipeline is the automation of the software release process.
Some of the additional benefits of the CI/CD cycle includes –
- Lesser time in Deployment – Development groups can use automation in continuous integration and continuous delivery, accelerating the product development lifecycle overall.
- Decreased the costs associated with traditional software development – It helps in faster development, testing, and production due to automation. As a result, less time is spent in development leading to less cost.
- Consistent Feedback for development – The CI/CD pipeline is a continuous cycle of code build, test, and deployment. Each time code is developed and tested, engineers can rapidly take action on the feedback and work on the code improvement.
- Improved Ability to Fix the Detected Error – In continuous integration, testing is automated for every version of code built to search for issues integration. These issues can be easily fixed earlier in the pipeline that they happen.
- Better team collaboration and system integration – Everyone in the group can change code, answer to feedback and right away answer to any issues that happen.
CI/CD Pipeline Tools and Configuration
A powerful CI/CD pipeline involves open-source tools for integration, testing, and deployment. The right configuration of your CI/CD interaction additionally impacts the achievement of the product development pipeline.
The most widely recognized open-source CI/CD tool is Jenkins, an automated server utilized for automated CI/CD reporting.
While working in a cloud environment, teams frequently use containers like Docker for delivering applications, and they use Kubernetes for orchestration. While Kubernetes isn’t stringently for the CI/CD pipeline, it is utilized in numerous CI/CD work processes.
Regardless of the CI/CD tools and modules or configurations utilized for your pipeline, the focus should be to upgrade and automate the product/software development process.
Pipeline Concept with Jenkins
Jenkins Pipeline is a set (package) of plugins that helps in implementing and integrating constant delivery pipelines. It provides tools set for modeling simple and complex delivery pipelines “as code” via the Pipeline DSL.
Prerequisites for Jenkins Pipeline
- Jenkins Version 2.x.x
- Pipeline plugin
Defining a Pipeline
Pipeline (declarative and scripted) are DSLs (Domain Specific Language). To write the pipeline process, DSL Groovy syntax is used. With the help of Groovy-based commands, we write the process flow of your pipeline process.
Also Read – DevOps In-House or Outsource: Pros and Cons
Illustrative Example of How to Set a Pipeline Job in Jenkins
Add a new job in Jenkins
Login to the Jenkins Dashboard > (Click on) New Job > Enter an item name > (Select) Pipeline Option.
After adding a new job, click on the Job title and view the Job edit page.
Step 2 –
Then Go to the “Configure > Pipeline tab”.
In the Pipeline tab, you get to specify the pipeline script to be used to drive this job. To do this, you will get two options –
- Use pipeline script hosted in your GIT repository.
- Directly add the pipeline script within the text area provided.
This was one of the ci/cd pipeline examples, we are adding a pipeline script in the text area. After adding, click on the Save button. This will save the job.
Step 3 –
To test this job, click on the “Build Now” link. It will trigger the job execution and would execute each stage indicated in the pipeline script. When the job execution is done, check the latest build executed in build history and click “Console Output”.
In the console output, we can take a note of the execution of each stage alongside their output.
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