A Guidance Framework for Continuous Integration: The Continuous Delivery 'Heartbeat'

Archived Published: 19 January 2016 ID: G00293211


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Continuous integration is the practice of integrating, building, testing and delivering functional software on a scheduled, repeatable and automated basis. This document provides guidance to create a CI pipeline required for software development teams to implement continuous delivery and DevOps.

Table of Contents

  • Problem Statement
  • The Gartner Approach
  • The Guidance Framework
    • Prework
      • Determining Your Maturity Level
      • Understanding the Definition of a CI Pipeline
      • Using CI to Launch Your CD Implementation
      • Brainstorming Your Desired Outcomes and Artifacts
      • Conducting an Inventory of Your Existing Build Infrastructure
    • Step 1: Document and Benchmark Your Current Build Processes
      • Documenting Your Current Build, Test and Deployment Process
      • Benchmarking the Current Process
    • Step 2: Create an Automated, Repeatable Build Process
      • Designing an Optimized and Repeatable Process
      • Creating Builds Based on Configuration and Convention
      • Managing Traceability and Fidelity
    • Step 3: Align Development Processes and Practices
      • Adhering to the Golden Rule
      • Ensuring That Developers Write Unit Tests
      • Releasing to the Main Branch Frequently
    • Step 4: Create a CI Environment
      • Increasing Transparency With the CI Process
      • Keeping Builds Fast
      • Understanding Build Types
      • Designing in the Capability to Recover From Failure
    • Step 5: Add Analysis, Inspection and Advanced Test Processes
      • Including Static Code Analysis and Code Inspection Tools
      • Adding Automated Functional and System Test Capabilities
    • Step 6: Deploy to Test Environments
      • Provisioning and Configuring Test Environments
    • Follow-Up
      • Regularly Review Metrics Data to Identify Opportunities for Improvement
      • Continuously Monitor and Improve the Process
      • Regularly Review Infrastructure Requirements
  • Risks and Pitfalls
    • Brittle Scripts and Slow, Broken Builds
    • CI Makes Things Worse Before They Get Better
    • Team Members Who Work Around Governance
    • Stakeholders Who Lose Confidence in Test Automation
    • New Platforms That Don't Support Robust Automated Testing
    • Related Guidance
  • Gartner Recommended Reading
© 2016 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartners research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.

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