The continuous delivery suite of methodologies improves the speed, reliability, and frequency at which software applications are released into live environments, thereby allowing businesses to benefit from them much quicker. But getting complex behind-the-scenes processes to gel and bringing people together to build an effective delivery pipeline requires an understanding of what it takes to get it off the ground.
While the steps to a watertight and predictable delivery pipeline are many, there are a few guidelines every DevOps team can use to ensure their processes are optimal. We’ve created a quick checklist for you to reference:
1. Minimize the human element where possible
It’s easy to get stuck doing things the way your agency always has but investing in processes and infrastructure that facilitate automation can significantly streamline your delivery pipeline. Gone are the days of tracking, identifying and fixing bugs by way of lengthy processes of elimination––there’s simply no time for it. Minimizing human involvement in tasks such as acceptance tests, database optimization, system restores, etc. means better resource utilization while reducing exposure to human error. Remember that automation requires everyone in your team to be on board to make it successful, so make sure you’ve got buy-in from top to bottom.
2. Make everything visible
The quickest way for any continuous delivery strategy to fall flat is if teams operate in silos and are kept out of the metaphorical loop. Everyone should have complete visibility about every aspect involved in the project’s lifecycle. Greater visibility leads to improved communication and is key to better collaboration between team members. Wider systems and process visibility also enables you to monitor more carefully, collect and analyze data and provide better reporting on your projects. This includes operations, testing and development teams and also customers who ultimately use the software. One of its central pillars is continuous delivery’s ability to react to, and address, issues as they occur in near-live scenarios. Achieving this means having a delivery pipeline that is transparent and is bolstered by through-the-line communication processes.
3. Invest in a repository
Your dev agency should have a single repository that is used by every team member on an ongoing basis. Everything from client requirements to changes implemented, to all of the assets used should be stored, tracked, organized and updated within your repository. A unified repository can protect your agency from myriad complexities because a single source of information will have a complete overview of all of your development assets, updates and people involved in producing the deliverables of a project. When setting up this repository, map out how it will be used and implement best development and deployment practices around it.
4. Use a mainline model
If you’ve got different developers and Scrum teams working on similar features, you could experience a few serious challenges when trying to merge everything together. A mainline model, which is a repository stream of development that has all of the information for your software release, will help you to build and deploy as needed so that you aren’t waiting for different features or trying to merge parallel code assets together. Set up an approval process that requires different team members to review additions or changes to the project before they are added into the mainline.
5. Set up containers
Containers address a large contingent of challenges involved in getting software to run reliably when moved from one IT environment to another. Containerization can help you overcome obstacles related to everything from security policies, to application dependencies, to network topology differences. Removing these variables from your IT project further enables continuous delivery because you no longer have to focus on many of the underlying dependencies involved in software deployments––and instead focus on driving the business forward.
Containership Cloud is a hosted multi-cloud deployment and server automation platform that enables you to automate your cloud hosting infrastructure and application deployments once and then have access to any cloud provider on demand. With ContainerShip Cloud, you can stop spending your time writing configuration management code and managing the challenges involved in cloud provider and API hassles. Make every application highly available and get instant PaaS anywhere by signing up for ContainerShip Cloud today. We will be hosting a Dev Agency Webinar to give you useful advice and ideas on how you can implement and improve Continuous Delivery at your agency. Sign up for the webinar now.