In the world of DevOps, the terms ‘continuous delivery’ and ‘continuous deployment’ are mistakenly used synonymously. While both have similarities, such as their effects on efficiency and productivity of product lifecycles, there is a strong distinction to be made that is significant to business operations.
CDel vs CDep
Continuous Delivery is the process of continuously releasing low-risk software, that allows for incessant software adaptation, in-line with market changes and user feedback. Despite the goal of assisting organisations in becoming more lean and agile, continuous delivery has the potential to build pressure if met with unrealistic release schedules.
I previously wrote about undue pressure that falls on IT and the business, owing to release schedules that are too ambitious or lack planning. The downside of Continuous Delivery is the pressure it puts on the business to test and troubleshoot each release, as ‘Release Day’ comes about faster and more frequently.
Continuous Deployment, on the other hand, allows the release of every change that passes all stages of your production pipeline. The need to pause development for releases goes away, as automated testing is integrated at an earlier stage and continues through all phases. Continuous Deployment allows customers to see new features more frequently, which in turn provides a better feedback loop for the development team.
Is Continuous Deployment practical for your organisation?
Having the correct organisational infrastructure is crucial in successful Continuous Deployment. It is essential that organisations address their existing delivery chain, such as addressing existing processes and employees, to ensure that they cultivate a proper workflow, and adhere to the required deployment practices.
Continuous Deployment also requires specialised tools. Tools that allow for IT automation, and configuration management and monitoring are vital for real-time response cycles that ensures smooth delivery and shorten recovery times when there are problems with code.
If you want to practice Continuous Deployment, check your testing culture and your documentation standards. Both must be robust – and every business unit affected by a change or new feature must be accustomed to giving instant feedback.
Are you ready for Continuous Deployment? What needs to change for you to achieve it?