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7 Reasons to adopt Continuous Integration in Building Real-World Cloud Apps

by Ajay Tiwari

For successful cloud application development and deployment, Continuous Integration (CI) environment has become a necessity now-a-days. CI is a development culture where developers and coders check in code several times into a shared repository every day. Each integration triggers an automated build allowing development teams to detect problems early. As Microsoft Azure Cloud allows to create development, testing and production environment on demand, it is easy for the developers as well as the enterprises to adopt CI in their development workflow patterns.

Continuous Integration can be extended to Continuous Testing (CT) or Continuous deployment (CD). An application build that passes the continuous integration test can be easily tested or deployed.

Reasons to adopt Continuous Integration Process:

  1. Minimizes Integration Time - In a traditional setup, a team member collects the builds, and integrates all of them every day. Conversely with the CI process, the build is generated automatically thereby reducing the amount spent in integration.
  2. Increases progress visibility - Automated integration and testing process generates metrics helping the developers to check the progress of their development. Developers can thus focus on delivering quality code. This in turn develops momentum in the development teams.
  3. Reduces project risks - This allows tracking of each change set and bug detection early, thus reducing the risks of project failing at the deployment stage.
  4. Alert system - Team members receive emails or messages notifying them about the build updates. This helps the teams to respond immediately with necessary actions wherever required.
  5. Enables Automated Testing - Apart from continuous building and integration, the process also allows to perform automated unit and integration testing. These test scripts result in complete test automation solution thereby reducing the project testing time.
  6. Less time spent creating and deploying builds - CI allows to have at-least one working copy of the build where the actual application is in production phase. This makes the deployment quick as well as easy.
  7. Better communication between the teams - Increased visibility of coding and integration of build establishes better communication between the project teams and its members.

Various CI tools such as Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), Teamcity and Cruisecontrol, Octopus, Bamboo allow the development teams to adopt the CI, CT and CD processes in building real-world Azure Apps. Many development teams are following this process to build cloud and mobile applications and helping enterprises in reaching their goals.

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