Gartner Research

Create a Build Pipeline as a First Step to Continuous Delivery

Published: 18 March 2013

ID: G00247958

Analyst(s): Sean Kenefick


Manual build processes lead to production defects and difficult-to-manage application releases. This document guides development organizations to optimize and automate their build processes into a powerful pipeline that creates, vets and packages software as soon as developers commit code.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings

Guidance Context

  • Problem Statement
  • Guidance Applicability
  • Related Guidance

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • Step 1: Document Your Current Build Process
    • Determine Your Maturity Level
    • Brainstorm Your Desired Outcomes and Artifacts
    • Benchmark Your Current Build Process
    • Understand the Definition of a Build Pipeline
    • Document Your Current Process, Then Make It Repeatable and Optimized
    • Conduct an Inventory of Your Existing Build Infrastructure
  • Step 2: Design and Use Build Atoms
    • Create a Process That Is the Easiest Path to Follow
    • Create Atomic Builds Based on Configuration and Convention
    • Ensure That Developers Create Unit Tests for Their Code
    • Dashboard the Build Results
  • Step 3: Create a Continuous Integration Environment
    • Understand the Purpose of Continuous Integration
    • Encourage Transparency Through the Use of a Continuous Integration Process
    • Keep Builds Fast
  • Step 4: Add Advanced Test Processes
    • Static Code Analysis and Code Inspection Tools
    • Functional and System Testing
  • Step 5: Add an Ability to Stage Testing Environments
  • Follow-Up: Continuously Monitor and Improve the Build Process

Risks and Pitfalls

  • Brittle Scripts and Slow, Broken Builds
  • Continuous Integration 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

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