The surprising benefits of CI: How this Software Development Practice can drive Digital Transformation
Continuous integration is a software development practice in which developers regularly merge their code changes into a central repository. This process allows teams to detect and resolve conflicts early on and ensures that the codebase remains stable and easy to work with.
Implementing continuous integration involves setting up an authoritative repository where all code changes are pushed, and then using a tool, such as Jenkins or Travis CI, to automatically build and test the code. This process is typically automated, and each code change is verified by the build and test processes before it is merged into the main codebase.
The AB Platform and the products in the AB Suite are built using continous integration. We use Jenkins as our CI server and ANT to automate the build. The infrastructure essentially does the following :
1. Poll the Git repository for any code commits
2. Run unit and E2E tests on the committed code
3. Detect violations in coding style
4. Generate code metrics
5. Generate the API documentation
In addition to the broad functions above we have configured Jenkins and its plugins to:
- Sniff the code for style violations
- Publish code metrics
- Detect mess in PHP code like cyclomatic complexity
- Detect copy and paste in code
- Generate documentation
One of the key benefits of continuous integration is that it allows teams to catch and fix errors early on in the development process. By regularly merging code changes and running automated tests, teams can detect and resolve conflicts and bugs before they become major issues. This not only saves time and effort, but it also helps to ensure the quality and stability of the codebase.
Another advantage of continuous integration is that it promotes collaboration and communication among team members. By using an authoritative repository and a standardized process for integrating code changes, teams can easily share their work and coordinate their efforts. This can help to reduce the risk of duplication of effort and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals.
In addition, continuous integration can help to speed up the development process. By automating the build and test processes, teams can save time and effort that would otherwise be spent on manual testing and debugging. This can help teams to deliver new features and updates more quickly and efficiently.
Overall, continuous integration is a valuable software development practice in driving Digital Transformation projects, it can help teams to detect and resolve conflicts, promote collaboration and communication, and speed up digital transformation. By regularly merging code changes and running automated tests, teams can ensure the stability and quality of their codebase and work more efficiently. We complete our build in about 7 minutes, deploy about 45 times a week.