Continuous delivery: always in production

Maarten Draijer

The times have passed when you could not change code after it went into production together with the long days of testing the code before and after it going live. That is when you're using continuous delivery (CD) at least. This development method for software has a lot to do with continuous integration, but it isn't quite the same. In this article we will shed some light on this intriguing development process.

What is continuous delivery?

The general idea of continuous delivery is that you can take all changes and adjustments in your software into production continuously. Or at least you could. Think of new functionalities, bug fixes or just a little experiment. With continuous delivery you get a procedure which will grant you all these things safely and quickly into the hands of the users. CD makes sure that all your code will be ready all the time to be put to use.

The value of continuous delivery for your company

In a standardized development method all new releases put heavy strain on the company. Many different parts have to be finished but testing and taking the parts into production can take up a lot of time and effort. Continuous delivery takes of a lot of pressure and has quite a few extra advantages.

More flexibility

When your development teams make small adjustments it is far easier to prioritize. Instead of waiting for weeks or months till a new release you can decide day by day what is the is the most important at that time.

Room for experimentation

With CD you bring small pieces of code into production. This makes it far easier to experiment with the code. You can do a simple A/B test and add it to continuous delivery-process and immediately test under your users.

Innovation on the rise

Finally your End User has the best idea of what works and what doesn't. However if your development team knows quickly what users like and what they don't your team will automatically become more innovative.

An improvement for users and developers

Various research shows that developers like continuous delivery. It shows that the quality of the work increases. This is due to the fact that developers are aware quickly if any mistakes were made. In turn these mistakes are easier to fix.

Continuous development has more advantages beside the reasons stated above though those of course also benefit the users. Above all users can ease into changes when more small adjustments are added over time then when hundred new functionalities are added at the same time. With CD you're making a product better without noticeably changing it. Evolution instead of revolution.

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