The switchover to Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) may seem like a big hill to climb. But any climb up any hill is just a series of steps. So in that spirit, here are the steps you need to take to complete your journey to CI and CD.
1. The Review Phase
You can’t jump headlong into a CI/CD project without knowing exactly where your starting point is. In the review phase, you need to kick off by understanding the requirements of the different stakeholders involved. And in doing so, it’s better to get this down on paper and document the varied and inter-relating goals that different people may have of the CI/CD project.
And just as importantly, you need to understand the branching strategy and the dependency management of your builds. Understanding the current playing field may seem basic to the people directly involved day-to-day, but it’s important nonetheless. Again, this should ideally be written down to clarify exactly what you’re dealing with, so you can see what can change or should change in the future.
And finally, you need to audit all the moving parts of your development ecosystem to fully understand your own processes, tools and technology.
2. The Define Phase
In the Define phase, this is, fairly obviously, where you define what your CI/CD implementation will look like. If you do not have CI/CD expertise within your organization, you will need outside help from an expert third-party like Apexon.
Whether you have internal or external expertise, you will need to develop a new design flow for your releases and Continuous Integration. That will include the branching and merging strategy and the execution of test automation. When that is understood, and not before, it is time to make recommendations on the CI tools and technologies to implement.
When the Define process is complete, you will have a documented CI workflow, with your chosen tools, which should be circulated among and approved by all stakeholders.
3. The Deploy Phase
Now it’s time to put it all into action. In the Deploy phase, this means putting into place your trunk, branching and merging strategy in a way that supports your product development.
The overall flow for CI needs to be broken out step by step and scripts written to support it. With your chosen CI tool, you need to automate the software builds using your CI tool and develop the packaging deployment scripts. And when that’s all done, you’ll need to validate the starting, executing and reporting of your basic builds.
This may still sound like a big hill to climb. However, the results will be worth it. You’ll gain competitive advantage through a faster time-to-market, have higher reliability by identifying problems sooner and save time and money through greater automation.
To learn more about Apexon’s CI JumpStart program which can take you through all the phases above in as little as 7-8 weeks.
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