What Is Continuous Delivery?

Continuous Delivery

Continuous delivery (CD) is a practice in software development where changes in the code are automatically prepared for deployment to the production environment. It transforms deployments, regardless of scale or complexity, into predictable, routine tasks that can be executed on demand. This is achieved by maintaining code in a deployable state, even with numerous developers making daily changes, thus eliminating traditional post-development phases and code freezes.

Why Continuous Delivery?

Contrary to the belief that frequent deployments reduce system stability, research indicates that high-performing teams deliver faster and more reliably than their counterparts. The CD offers significant competitive advantages, especially in regulated fields like finance and government.

Benefits of Continuous Delivery

  • Low-risk releases: CD aims for painless, on-demand software deployments, often achieving zero downtime and user-unnoticeable releases through methods like blue-green deployments.
  • Faster market entry: By automating integration, testing, and deployment processes, CD eliminates lengthy traditional phases, speeding up delivery and reducing re-work.
  • Higher quality: Automation tools allow for immediate regression detection, letting teams focus on higher-level testing and user research, thereby integrating quality from the start.
  • Reduced costs: Automation in building, testing, and deploying cuts down the costs associated with changes, enabling frequent and incremental updates.
  • Better products: CD supports small-batch work, facilitating ongoing user feedback and hypothesis-driven development, thus avoiding the creation of non-value-adding features.
  • Happier teams: CD has been shown to reduce release pain and team burnout. It enables teams to engage more with users, learn from direct feedback, and focus on delivering user value.

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