CI/CD is a method of software engineering that combines the processes of continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery or deployment (CD) to deliver applications to customers quickly by introducing automation to the app development process. CI/CD can be visualized as a pipeline of automated workloads that reduce the number of manual tasks for DevOps teams.

  • Continuous integration (CI) The automatic building, testing and integration of code changes within a shared container.
  • Continuous delivery (CD) The automatic delivery of code changes to production-ready environments or approval.
  • Continuous deployment (CD) The automatic deployment of code changes to customers.

Delivery vs. Deployment

The CD of CI/CD most often stands for continuous delivery, not continuous deployment. In systems that utilize continuous delivery, automation halts as soon as developers are ready to push their application to production. Whereas, with continuous deployment, the release process is automated, with code changes implemented for customers as soon as they pass testing.

What is the benefit to CI/CD?

The 2019 State of DevOps Report from Google Cloud published data that revealed that companies that have successfully integrated CI/CD deploy 208 times more often and hold lead times 106 times faster than competitors.

The top CI/CD services

As of 2020, up to 62% of teams at an advanced point in their DevOps integration were already implementing CI/CD workflows, according to Statista. Despite the basic similarities between CI/CD services, selecting the correct provider for your enterprise could mean the difference between failure and success. According to Bluelight Consulting, the top CI/CD services include: Gitlab CI/CD, Azure DevOps, GitHub Actions, CircleCI, Jenkins, Travis CI, Bitbucket Pipeline, TeamCity, Semaphore, and Harness.

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