CI/CD Pipelines with a real-life example: Implementation and best practices

CI/CD Pipelines with a real-life example: Implementation and best practices

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Updated on Feb 22, 2023 13:43 IST

This article with explain CI/CD Pipelines with real life example and implementation in an interesting way. It also explains its benefits. You will come to learn why you need CI/CD pipelines.

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Modern cloud infrastructure requires fast, agile, and efficient development processes. Businesses can improve product quality and delivery speed by implementing fast and accurate methods. The demand for continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) is high. But why? We will know the reason in this article. You will also come to know the Implementation of CI/CD pipelines in DevOps

Secondly, did you ever imagine that developing software would be automated? If not, then this article will help you add some knowledge.

Table of contents

What are CI/CD pipelines?

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The acronym is Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery/Deployment (CD).

CI/CD pipelines in DevOps are automated processes and tools that help developers build, test, and deploy software changes quickly and efficiently. In simple terms, the automation of CI/CD is known as CI/CD pipeline.

1. Continuous integration

In continuous integration CI/CD, different developers working from different locations are working on the same project. Your Code is stored in the repository, and you can commit it. Commit means your Code is saved. 

In typical CI workflow, developers regularly check for code changes in a shared repository. Every time a code change is detected, it triggers an automated build process that compiles the new Code, runs automated tests to check for errors, and reports the results. When an issue is found, developers are immediately notified to quickly fix the issue and push code changes to the main branch.

2. Continuous Delivery (CD) and Continuous Deployment (CD)

These phases refer to automating Deployment to the target environment. This target environment can be testing or production, or any other environment. In Continuous Deployment, there is no human intervention. The code changes are automatically deployed to production.

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Why are CI/CD pipelines important?

Automatic tests are done to check errors and conflicts while saving the Code in the common repository. So this helps identify and fix issues early in the development process, reducing the risk of bugs and other problems being introduced into the codebase.

CI/CD pipelines help automate integration and Deployment, making them faster and more reliable. Collaboration between developers, testers, and other stakeholders, Is improved as it allows everyone to see the status of the software at each stage of development.

Overall, CI/CD pipelines help improve the quality of software and the efficiency of the development process, which can lead to better user experiences, faster time-to-market, and increased business value.

Benefits of CI/CD pipelines

  1. Faster Time-to-Market: Your productivity and speed increase if you have an automated system. In the same way, CI/CD pipelines enable organizations to deliver software updates and feature more quickly, allowing them to respond to customer needs and market demands faster.
  2. Higher Quality: By catching and fixing issues early in the development process, organizations can ensure that the software they deliver is of high quality and meets the needs of their customers.
  3. Greater Efficiency: By automating the building, testing, and Deployment of software, organizations can reduce the time and resources needed to deliver software updates and features.
  4. Lower Costs: By catching and fixing issues early in the development process, organizations can reduce the costs associated with fixing issues later in the development cycle.

CI/CD pipelines real-life example

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There are many big giant companies nowadays implementing DevOps.Netflix and Facebook are the prime examples that have successfully implemented CI/CD pipelines to deliver software updates and features quickly and with high quality. Netflix uses a custom-built platform called Spinnaker to manage its CI/CD pipelines. Spinnaker allows Netflix to deploy code changes to production environments in minutes rather than hours or days.

The websites of Netflix and Facebook you are seeing now will be different in 2040. which means they will keep on adding different features to their website. So if they want to add any new feature, the website stays on track. Do you know why? It is because these websites are using CI CD pipelines that deploy the changes automatically. So CICD helps in making the user experience of the website good. Otherwise, before using CICD pipelines, the website becomes unavailable; why push the updates on it?

CI/CD best practices

1. Commit daily and reduce branching.

The goal of reducing (or eliminating) branching is to spend more time on development and less time on version control. Therefore, a developer should commit directly to the main repository at least once a day or merge changes from a local branch. This leaves developers having to deal with smaller, smaller integration issues rather than the massive integration issues (and associated rework) that occur when merging many branches into a single repository before a release. 

2. Adopt microservice architecture for updating changes.

Microservice architecture is the best way to implement DevOps effectively. However, redesigning existing applications can be daunting, so adopt an incremental approach for maintaining business-critical systems and upgrade new architectures later. This allows the gradual replacement of older systems with newer architectures.

3. Know what to automate.

Organizations transitioning from manual to automated processes often need help deciding which processes to automate first. For example, it helps to automate the code compilation process in the first place. Since developers have to write Code daily, it makes sense to run automated smoke tests. Unit tests are usually automated first to reduce developer workload.

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Implementing CI/CD pipeline

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1. CI pipeline

Source merging and building code

Source code (such as Java or C) is built, packaged, or containerized into deployable instances. Team testing phase

Merging Code from different branches of the repository happens. Code changes trigger notifications to CI/CD orchestration tools (such as Jenkins) by repositories (Git or SVN) that run the appropriate pipelines. 

During this phase, automated code review (static code analysis using, e.g., SonarQube), automated unit testing (e.g., using JUnit, JMockit, Microsoft Unit Testing Framework), and integration testing (e.g., using Arquillian) It will be executed. All tests in the team test phase are the responsibility of the DevOps team but require input from various business stakeholders outside of the DevOps team.

2. CD pipeline

Once the executable instance of the Code has passed all code validations and defined unit and integration tests, the package is deployed to the staging environment (test server) or, if it passed the staging phase, then to the production server. 

1. Automated testing

During this phase, test variants such as user acceptance, performance, regression, and production acceptance testing (depending on operations) are run manually or automatically (also known as dynamic application validation). (For example, automated tests are run using UFT, Xray, Selenium, or Robot Framework.) 

The developer is responsible for writing the tests. Test scripts are written automatically.

Many large projects have multiple testing phases, from smoke testing to perform a quick sanity check to end-to-end integration testing to test the entire system from the user’s perspective. The main benefit of automatic testing is that different test strips can be written in parallel. And the testers are notified about the errors as soon as possible, so now the errors can be fixed in the early stage of project building

2. Automated Deployment for the production stage

Once the application has been validated and approved (that is, approved), the software can be deployed into production. With cloud-native software, the cloud infrastructure is deployed alongside your application.

3. Automated monitoring and maintenance

After use, continuously monitor system behavior during operation (such as heartbeat and health checks), use the information obtained to predict future system behavior, and adapt if necessary. A fully automated release automatically configures monitoring tools and associated policies during Deployment.

Developers have to modify their applications according to the user’s changing needs. and sometimes, they have to upgrade their application; for instance if

  • Client wants to add some new features.
  • Client want to upgrade the software version.
  •  Production servers have different environments, And your software is not compatible with it.(Solution-You can use dockers for that)

Now what will you do in this situation?

Will you manually upgrade all the servers? 

No doubt,You can do that manually but that will take most of your development time, specially if you have to do this task on a large number of servers.So the best option is to automate the system and here CI/CD pipeline comes for your rescue. Using which you can upgrade the servers automatically, sitting at one location.

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Conclusion

The right CI/CD tools leverage automation and best practices to create a streamlined integration and deployment pipeline. With simplified processes, fewer errors, and more reliable delivery, CI/CD tools revolutionize your organization’s software development. With the right tools and processes, businesses can leverage workflows to achieve better results. So help your business succeed by learning about Working of CI/CD pipelines and different types required.

With real-life examples like Netflix, it is clear that implementing CI/CD pipelines can help organizations deliver software faster and better. There are many more examples like this as companies are adopting this methodology at a very fast pace.

If this article helped you in adding some knowledge for you a bit even then please don’t forget to like and share it with your friends and share some knowledge to them as well.

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