Gartner Research

Continuous Integration: The Project Heartbeat

Published: 11 December 2008

ID: G00203619

Analyst(s): Kirk Knoernschild


Continuous integration is the practice of integrating, building, testing, and delivering functional software on a scheduled, repeatable basis. The prime directive of continuous integration--software that works--offers a compelling value proposition. By leveraging a software delivery paradigm that promises functional software at regular and frequent intervals, teams can reduce the development risk and cost, improve the quality, and speed the delivery of software. Continuous integration is the cornerstone of that delivery paradigm. In this Application Platform Strategies overview, Analyst Kirk Knoernschild examines the benefits of continuous integration and discusses many common challenges encountered on the path toward adoption.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • A Perilous Journey
  • The Value Proposition
    • Reduce Software Development Risk
    • Improve Software Quality
    • Speed Software Delivery
    • Reduced Cost
  • Leveraging Continuous Integration
    • Business Alignment
    • Project Transparency
    • Code Analysis and Inspection
    • Trend Analysis
    • Increasing Automation
  • Words of Caution
    • Getting the Build to Work
    • Impact on the SDLC
    • Ownership
    • Cost
  • Recommendations
    • Launch an Initiative to Adopt Continuous Integration
    • Create an Automated and Repeatable Build Script
    • Build Frequently
    • Start Early, Start Small, Start Now
    • Treat Build Failures as a Top Priority
    • Keep Builds Fast
    • Leverage the Value Proposition
    • Champion the Effort

The Details

  • Introducing Continuous Integration
  • A Continuous Integration Strategy
    • SDLC Infrastructure
    • Scheduling the Build
  • Build Types
    • Private Build
    • Integration Build
    • Release Build
  • Important Practices
    • The Golden Rule
    • The Micro Process
  • Build Management Tools
    • Open Source Build Tools
    • Open Source Continuous Integration Servers
    • Commercial Build Management Systems
  • Continuous Integration by Example
    • The Project Source Code
    • Setting Up the Build Script
    • Downloading, Installing, and Configuring Hudson
    • Set Up the Project
    • Post-Build Actions
    • Installing Plug-Ins and Custom Post-Build Actions
    • The Project Dashboard



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