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Requirements of Continuous Delivery
The world is demanding flexible, rapid development and operations requiring a single, continuously evolving solution. This is known as continuous delivery.
Continuous delivery is the ability to enable changes of all types, including new features, bug fixes, experiments and configuration changes, into production systems. For continuous delivery to be truly effective these changes must be made quickly, safely and in a sustainable manner.
To be able to make changes as quickly as possible any solution should be highly scalable and technology agnostic with regards to the environment.
In operation, any solution should provide the ability to:
- Allow full user data forensics of not only when, who and what was done, but why, and identify data errors from actual changes in the real world
- Allow the building of an integrated data mine for drilling down into data, making decisions and recording those decisions concerning any node in that data mine.
- Allow the rollback of the data to any point in the past to view the total data as it was on that date.
- Allow meta and user data to be entered, stored and viewed in as many languages as deemed applicable.
How Ndevr Delivers Continuous Delivery
The goal of Ndevr is to make deployments predictable, routine and straightforward affairs that can be performed on demand in a controlled manner. The size and functionality is immaterial, whether a large-scale distributed system, a complex production environment, an embedded system, or an app, Ndevr aim to make deployments within our continuous delivery model as simple and pain free as possible.
This is achieved by ensuring our code is always in a deployable state. Even with multiple developers making daily changes we ensure the system is deployable. We have thus completely eliminated the integration, testing and hardening phases that traditionally followed ‘dev completed’, as well as any code freezes.
GERM delivers the majority of new functions by utilising proven routines, thus assuring accurate and appropriate solutions for the demand of rapid development. Within any build mistakes can be made, but by using GERM routines and its build rules mistakes are reduced to a minimum without compromising on either flexibility or speed and ease of development.
GERM is always deployed on the latest cutting edge platform, resulting in the system being highly scalable. As the system is so adaptable it can be deployed on any platform that is deemed applicable.
It is often assumed that if you want to deploy software more frequently, you must accept lower levels of stability and reliability in your systems. In fact, this is not the case. High performance teams consistently deliver services faster and more reliably than their low performing competitors.
This capability provides an incredibly competitive advantage for organisations that are willing to invest the effort to pursue it. The practices at the heart of continuous delivery, and utilising GERM as the development technology, creates a number of tangible benefits:
The primary goal of continuous delivery is to make software deployments painless, low-risk events that can be performed at any time and on demand.
Faster time to market
It’s not uncommon for the integration and test/fix phase of the traditional phased software delivery lifecycle to consume weeks or even months of work. When teams work together to automate the build and deployment along with environment provisioning, and regression testing processes, developers can incorporate integration and regression testing into their daily work and completely remove these phases. This also avoids the large amounts of re-work that plague the phased approach.
When developers have automated tools that discover regressions within minutes, teams are freed to focus their effort on user research and higher level testing activities such as exploratory testing, usability testing, performance and security testing. By building a deployment pipeline activities can be performed continuously throughout the delivery process, ensuring quality is built into products and services from the very beginning.
Any successful software product or service will evolve significantly over the course of its lifetime. By investing in build, test, deployment and environment automation, we substantially reduce the cost of creating and delivering incremental changes to software by eliminating many of the fixed costs associated with the release process.
Continuous delivery makes it economic to work in small batches. This means we can get feedback from users throughout the delivery lifecycle based on working software. We can test ideas with users before building out whole features.
Continuous delivery makes software releases less painful and reduces team burnout. Furthermore, when we release more frequently, software delivery teams can engage more actively with users, learn which ideas work and which don’t, and see first-hand the outcomes of the work they have done. By removing the low-value painful activities associated with software delivery, we can focus on what we care about most, continuously delighting our users.