Tools and practices are evolving rapidly in today’s dynamic software development environment. One of the most critical aspects of this process is CI/CD (Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery). This transformative DevOps methodology has become a key component in enabling development teams to deliver software efficiently and reliably. In an environment where time is of the essence and quality can’t be compromised, CI/CD is a linchpin for sustainable, agile, and high-quality software development.
What is CI/CD?
In short, CI/CD is a software development support approach that combines automation of building, testing, and deploying software.
By using CI/CD, development teams can work more efficiently and focus on solving current technical problems instead of focusing on the delivery aspects of the software, and streamline the entire process so that it does not consume a lot of time.
Continuous integration in your mobile project (CI)
Continuous integration in your project fully automates the way you build a version every time you upload new code to the repository. In short, whenever there is a new version on the developer’s designated branch, the whole process of building the APK or IPA file will happen automatically, including:
- Automatically run unit tests,
- Signing the Android version with a key,
- Installing iOS certificates and provisioning profiles,
- Building a version of the app and making sure it is stable and has no critical bugs that would prevent the app from installing.
With such a solution, the developer does not have to manually sign the application or build a version on his device, which often generates problems such as a lack of memory on the computer or with the XCode environment. iOS developers will know exactly what I mean 😉
Automation of the process of delivering the product to the target group (CD)
Continuous delivery is a service that makes it easier for us to deliver versions to customers, target users, or testers to test the application for bugs. Such a service can be, for example, Firebase App Distribution from Google. We can use this service with simple integration to send apps to the customer or integrate the whole process with Google Play and App Store and put the app on the stores immediately to make the new version available to app users.
Such an approach saves us a great deal of time, which the developer can spend on more critical issues of the whole project, and things like building a version or delivering it to the target group are fully automated, which gives us peace of mind in this area of software delivery 🙂
Why should you use CI/CD in your project?
Introducing CI/CD into your project can benefit software development’s efficiency, quality, and effectiveness.
CI/CD enables more frequent delivery of changes to users. Using a continuous integration and continuous deployment process, new features are ready for use quickly after completing their coding and testing. This lets you respond to changing market needs and deliver value to users or customers faster.
Thanks to the use of CI/CD, we have greater confidence that the new code released to production or the customer is free of critical errors that could cause the application to crash or have problems with its inclusion
The issues are immediately identified if problems occur in the source code during the CI/CD process. This allows the project team to react quickly and fix errors before they reach the production environment or the customer.
How can you implement continuous integration/continuous deployment in the project?
When implementing the CI/CD approach, we can use two ways: to set up the infrastructure ourselves or to use cloud service providers. The choice between our infrastructure and a cloud solution is not so obvious, and we should consider the budget of the whole project, requirements, and security issues and adapt the tool we will use to our current needs. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of both solutions.
Setting up the infrastructure ourselves
The first possible implementation of the CI/CD approach is to set up the infrastructure ourselves, e.g., a physical machine such as a Mac Mini, and use it as the machine to build our versions of the application.
|The pros of a CI/CD infrastructure solution||The cons of a CI/CD infrastructure solution|
|Complete control over configuration and management allows you to tailor the infrastructure to the specific needs of your project.||High upfront costs include the potential need to purchase physical devices or the ongoing expenses for maintaining the entire infrastructure.|
|Independence from cloud solution providers minimizes the risk of losing resources or data through circumstances beyond your control.||A more complicated system requires specialized expertise, often necessitating a dedicated specialist to manage and troubleshoot the infrastructure.|
|Capability to customize the infrastructure according to your requirements.||Higher susceptibility to failure across the entire infrastructure.|
Using cloud service providers
The second option is to use cloud service providers such as Code Magic. A great plus for such a solution is the ease of integration so that even a programmer who is not well acquainted with building infrastructure under CI/CD can cobble together the entire solution using a graphical interface
|The pros of a CI/CD cloud solution||The cons of a CI/CD cloud solution|
|Easy integration with many providers offering tools with a visual interface simplifies the entire process.||Dependence on the cloud solution provider means you don’t have complete control over your infrastructure. This dependence extends to issues like price increases or potential failures from the service provider.|
|No need to manage the entire system as a third-party cloud solution provider handles it.||While cloud services offer many functionalities, they may lack the flexibility needed to meet the specific requirements of your project.|
|Reduced upfront costs eliminate the need for investing in your own servers or hardware.||Costs may escalate as the project grows. Although initial fees may be low, they can significantly increase over time, requiring careful consideration before opting for a cloud solution.|
|Seamless integration with popular repository-hosting services like GitHub and GitLab.|
Would you like to implement DevOps methodology in your development?
CI/CD as support for efficient software development
CI/CD is a DevOps approach to software development that enables companies to deliver new features and fixes faster, more reliably, and efficiently. While introducing CI/CD can be challenging at first, the benefits of this continuous deployment approach far outweigh the cost and effort required to maintain all the infrastructure.
Developers on the project can address ongoing design issues instead of worrying about the delivery aspects of the product. As technology evolves and market requirements change, CI/CD is becoming a critical and necessary component of producing software efficiently and reliably. It is becoming a standard in many software development companies.