Jeff Hurd | Aug 11, 2022

This allows developers to always have a deployment-ready build artifact that has already passed through testing. Continuous development is key to safely and quickly incorporating new features, bug fixes, experiments, and more.

What is the purpose of continuous delivery?

  • Continuous delivery ensures new features can be incorporated into production environments efficiently.

Software is more in-demand than ever and continues to be produced at expanding rates. In order to keep up with technological changes and competitors in the market, development teams are working to produce software in the most efficient ways possible. By constantly adding new features and fixes to tested software, developers are able to quickly bring products to the market, produce overall higher quality software, reduce costs, and lower the risk of downtime in deployment. This makes continuous delivery a valuable practice for software teams. 

The key to continuous delivery is ensuring that code is always in a deployable state, regardless of how many developers are working on a project at a given time. These developers work in separate branches off the main development to ensure deployable code is untouched until the separate branch has been properly tested and can be deployed. This workflow ensures that a fully functional version of the product will be available while still allowing for regular updates and growth planning.

What is the difference between continuous delivery and continuous deployment?

  • Continuous deployment automatically deploys every code change into production for further testing and release.

While the purpose of continuous delivery is to ensure that there is always a deployable version of a product’s code base available, continuous deployment automatically ships all code changes into the production environment, enabling a quicker release and allowing the user to act as the actual tester. 

Continuous deployment works well in many enterprise environments and allows the seamless adaptation of code into the production stage, helping decrease the time needed to put software in the hands of users and increase return on investment. Once these updates are shipped to the production stage, developers will merge it into the master branch where continuous integration teams test and deploy the code into production — allowing thorough testing, consistent production and less time to market.

What are three components of the continuous delivery pipeline?

  • The three components of the continuous delivery pipeline include continuous exploration, continuous integration and continuous deployment.

A continuous delivery pipeline represents all workflows, activities and automation initiatives utilized to add new functionality to a product. The continuous delivery pipeline consists of continuous exploration, continuous integration and continuous deployment before culminating in release-on-demand. 

Continuous exploration is a process utilized to examine market problems or customer needs in order to provide a solution. Ideas are offered and analyzed until there is enough to create a minimum viable product (MVP). Continuous integration implements features from a project backlog in order to refine features and receive additional feedback from users. 

Continuous deployment focuses on the release of the changes within the staging environment to production. These changes have gone through thorough testing and the development team has determined a proper release strategy at this point, allowing users to gain value and provide usable feedback for the next round of iterations.

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