Continuous delivery is a software development process that aims to get changes to the end users quickly, with higher quality and at lower cost. It uses tools to automate the build, test, and release process. This approach allows for changes to be made incrementally with both lower costs and risk.
Benefits Of Continuous Delivery
Speed to Market - Markets and products are constantly changing. Consumer behavior shifts and new products and technologies appear. Users are more and more impatient, so you need to release changes more quickly to your users. To respond to unpredictable market conditions, software developers can more quickly release new software by using continuous delivery.
Minimized Risk - When minor updates are released more frequently, it’s easier to catch errors and make changes earlier in the development process. It also helps prevent unwanted changes from going into production over a long period of time.
Coordination Between Teams - Continuous delivery is a methodology that encourages teams to share responsibility for software delivery. By removing the silos between different groups or departments, it removes both the unpredictability and stress associated with software releases.
Faster Learning Cycle - A faster release cycle means more time to interact with customers, incorporate their input and fix issues. A faster release cycle also gives you more opportunities to make adjustments based on customer feedback.
Continuous Delivery & DevOps
The terms ‘DevOps’ is a combination of ‘development’ and ‘operations,’ denoting the collaboration between the two. DevOps shares common goals and traits with continuous delivery. Each delivers small changes, relies on collaboration and coordination between teams and shares a common goal of faster time to market.
DevOps is an approach that emphasizes collaboration and coordination between developers and other departments in the company. DevOps creates an environment where software can be developed, tested and released quickly and reliably.
Continuous Delivery vs Continuous Integration
Traditional software development was considered to be the definition of "waterfall", where each person completes their work before handing it off to the next person. During this time, this process can take a long time and can be very stressful for all involved.
Continuous integration is the practice of merging code frequently to guarantee that all changes are tested and deployed to production as quickly as possible. With frequent integration, code can be released into production multiple times a day.
Continuous Delivery vs Continuous Deployment
When implementing continuous deployment, it's important to set up a continuous delivery pipeline. A continuous delivery pipeline is a pipeline that can be automatically deployed to another environment, such as production, and tested before going live.
Continuous deployment can be considered an extension of continuous integration, with a goal to minimize the time lapse between writing new code and the new code being used in the production code base.
To ensure that the application is automatically deployed upon completion of each integration, a rigorous process must be followed to ensure that each integration meets release criteria. After each integration, the application is updated with new code and a production deployment can take place.
Continuous Delivery & A/B Testing
Experiments are important for your company to test new ideas before rolling them out to all users. The great thing about using feature flags is that you can control the rollout of a new experience to only some users, minimizing the risk of launching something unproven to the entire customer base at once.
To help keep A/B testing as a key part of your organization’s deployment process, Taplytics integrates feature flags, rollouts, and variables with experimentation, allowing you to control the entire product development lifecycle in one place. By first running an A/B test to a portion of traffic, your team can test and gradually optimize a new feature. Once you have the best user experience, it can be rolled out in a controlled way across your entire customer base to reduce the risk of any engineering issues with the release process.
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