Continuous Integration and it's importance
To understand the importance and working of continuous integration first we have to understand how the process is going before Continuous Integration (CI) is coming on the market. Before Continuous Integration there is a process of Traditional Integration. In this we will have to make a team of three to five developers which will work on different modules of a single project and execute unit tests of those modules, one after another.
After successful testing of each module they will integrate code or modules and perform integration testing so it’s difficult to have a complete view of the project and the process becomes very complex whenever you want to make new changes in any module they need to change all that related modules of software. Thus developers and organizations have created some strategies to manage and automate these processes that is Continuous Integration (CI)
What is Continuous Integration?
Continuous Integration is a practice of integrating changes needed in a single project that encourages developers to consolidate their code into a main branch of a shared repository often. Instead of integrating code and bugs at the end of a development cycle, code will integrate with the shared repository by each developer at multiple times throughout the day.
The idea of continuous integration is to find issues quickly when a developer integrates code into the main repository an automated build verifies the code each time furthermore checks test suites are running against the new build and developers examine their changes into the version control repository whether any integration problems were introduced. If either the build or the test phases fails or error occurred, the team is alerted so that they can work to fix the build so Continuous Integration is useful giving each developer feedback on their smaller groups of work, sprints and TDD evaluates that work quickly
The goals of Continuous Integration
Continuous Integration software tools are used to automate the testing and build a document feedback. As we discussed above in most of the cases some possibilities occur when the main code branch fails to build or pass tests in the project, an alert generally goes out to the entire development team of that project who should take immediate action to get it back to a “green” state from “red” state.
- It will prevent integration problems.
- Find bugs earlier and fix them faster (Measure test coverage).
- Provide continuous feedback mechanisms.
- Allow to make your build self-testing.
- It improves developer productivity.
- Allowing frequent code check-in pushes developers to create modular, less complex code.
Process of Continuous Integration
Most of the companies apply continuous integration in most software projects, like cloud-native micro services, web applications, mobile apps, system software, IoT / embedded systems and more.
Here are some steps to practice on a daily basis:
- A developer has to create a new branch of code in GitHub, will have to make changes in that code, and commits them on GitHub.
- After that developer will push his work to GitHub, Semaphore builds the code and then runs the automated test suite.
- If Semaphore detects any errors in the CI pipeline like (status: red), the team gets a Slack notification or is able to see a message on his personal dashboard on Semaphore.
- Once the developer is able to open a pull request, Semaphore will report the Continuous Integration (CI) status on the pull request page on GitHub.
- Otherwise, the user gets a notification that CI has passed (status green).
From a Product perspective, you can see many benefits of Continuous Integration and it offers better results of projects, using CI you can bring faster products to market by finding integration issues soon. For the software development teams it’s useful and worthy to work in long feedback loops as well as decrease the amount of work to integrate changes with fixing and discovering bugs quickly before reaching the user. This creates a better product for the user, which will be the real promise of testing.