For developers considering adopting continuous integration or continuous delivery and are using a wide range of tools for development purposes, you have a golden opportunity to take the step that all growing developers eventually take, to leapfrog competitors to the adoption of an integrated development environment. Developers should take the time to review their existing portfolio (considering the costs) and integrated environment options for all of their development requirements needs placing the integrity of development data at the heart of any decision.
Golden Opportunity: Integrated Development Environment
We previously looked at the bigger picture, why continuous delivery should be a part of an integrated development environment, and not be a separate tool with yet another database to manage. It just does not work for industry standards in terms of transparency or traceability. In addition the tools used for development defines work culture; since it dictates how teams collaborate, manage files and record data, so using separate development tools for different tasks does little to improve the development working environment or make things more Agile (collaboration between teams), but rather the opposite is true.
The reasons for adopting Continuous Delivery (CD) are straightforward, it improves workflow and thereby productivity by the means of improving development process. By adopting a CD tool you improve some of the development processes, whereas if you adopt a development environment (Agile ALM Software) you can improve all application lifecycle management processes.
For Agile Teams using Scrum for example, the first step to CD is to ensure your continuous integration (CI) (continuous testing) processes are working efficiently, detecting errors quickly before deployment into the production environment. Continuous Integration speeds up the implementation of new features, deploying new versions daily. Again ALM Software shows its worth recording all testing meta data automatically imported from testing tools such as Jenkins or Selenium, saved into a centralized database for easy access for backup and audit purposes.
The next step, actually beginning continuous deployment into a test or live environment, a step that is greatly simplied through the use of ALM Software, there are many benefits, but this is perhaps one of the greatest benefits, – the tracking of external dependencies across the entire application development lifecycle (something that can’t be done effectively with a collection of adhoc tools).
Biggest Problems of Growing Development Projects
One of the biggest problems of growing development projects is the steady increase in complexity as they grow. Some large projects have millions of artifacts and dependencies which change over time. With codeBeamer ALM these are easy to navigate and track, and if necessary (if something breaks) it can be used to go back in time to see what those dependencies were at a specific point in the project history in read only mode (at any stage of the project). If the Sprints are small such as in Test Driven Development (TDD) it can save so much time to activate the previous version rather than try to fix the bugs.
Another important choice to make is to choose a hosted continuous delivery solution, hosted either on a private cloud or on a public one as a SaaS model. With codeBeamer ALM, either is possible and is a browser based solution.