Continuous Delivery v/s Continuous Deployment
Continuous Delivery is the methodology or a software strategy where code changes are automatically built, tested, and prepared for a release to production. Continuous Delivery makes the code deployment possible at any time by a single click. Continuous Delivery takes care of the testing process before each deployment in any environment. It first runs the possible test suites which can be regression tests, integration tests; load tests etc. to test the code and if only the tests are passed then only the code are deployed in the respective environment. We can even automate the whole process to ensure a no-outage deployment, so there’s no downtime involved and therefore no impact on the business.
Basically, the goal of the continuous delivery is to enable the continuous flow of changes on the different environments via automated software production line. Continuous Delivery enables the roll out of new functionalities and features that are better than previous iterations, therefore gradually incorporating and refining the continuous delivery principle throughout the organization. This methodology provides the rapid feedback to agile software teams to respond to market demands and eliminate problems quickly.
How continuous delivery helps organizations
- Product quality is improved: Since the deployment is automated it occurs more frequently which let the development teams obtains necessary user suggestions and feedback very often and quickly. These feedbacks give the idea to work on the important features without wasting time on other unimportant features. This helps to bring the code and product quality improved and makes the right product.
- React and respond quickly to changes: Companies are always facing challenges when we talk about the change in the technology market. It is very difficult to keep up with technology changes. If we spend too long on anything, by the time we deliver the product, maybe there is a chance that the technology requirement is changed or new opportunities have emerged. Continuous Delivery makes it possible to react to these changes very quickly without investing a large amount of time and money. This also makes company to react to opportunities and search for new ideas and potential new revenue streams.
- Stability and Reliability: Since the deployment is frequent and making changes in very small increments reduces the risk of the problems being caused. Also by keeping the changes the smaller it is easier to find and fix the problem if it occurs, therefore minimizing the money and time that they have the impact on. By doing this Continuous Delivery teams can maintain code and product with great stability and reliability than before.
- Save time: If the organizations do not apply the continuous delivery approach, then provisioning the environments, finding bugs and resolving them is a very tedious task. Going with Continuous Delivery approach above steps can be automated so there is a need to automate this process. This saves a lot of time and enables the organizations to deliver more business value.
- Strategic Impact: All the above points gives the strategic impact on the organization culture of making better and efficient products due to frequent user feedback, benefits of an earlier release, business innovation, reliability, and stability. That what’s the organization wants. That’s why we must go with Continuous Delivery.
Continuous Deployment is the next step of continuous delivery: Every change that passes the automated tests is deployed to production automatically. Continuous deployment should be the goal of most companies that are not constrained by regulatory or other requirements.
Continuous deployment can be thought of as an extension of continuous integration, aiming at minimizing lead time, the time elapsed between development writing one new line of code and this new code being used by live users, in production.
To achieve continuous deployment, the team relies on infrastructure that automates and instruments the various steps leading up to deployment, so that after each integration successfully meeting these release criteria, the live application is updated with new code.
The main benefits claimed for continuous deployment arise as a result of reducing lead time, with two main effects:
- earlier return on investment for each feature after it is developed, which reduces the need for large capital investments
- earlier feedback from users on each new feature as it is released to production, which affords techniques such as parallel testing to determine which of two possible implementation is preferred by users
While continuous deployment may not be right for every company, continuous delivery is an absolute requirement of DevOps practices. Only when you continuously deliver your code can you have true confidence that your changes will be serving value to your customers within minutes of pushing the “go” button, and that you can actually push that button any time the business is ready for it.