The culture of modern software development is geared at creating, testing, and deploying programs quickly. Modern automation tools are essential for this. These methodological and technical components are embraced by DevOps, which then applies them to actual software projects.
This article provides helpful advice for incorporating the DevOps technique into the software development life cycle by outlining important DevOps ideas and DevOps pipeline components (SDLC).
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What is DevOps pipeline?
Through the use of a number of tools and techniques, DevOps pipeline assists teams in developing, testing, and deploying software fast and effectively. Additionally, it makes software maintenance and updates easier.
DevOps pipeline also makes it easier to continuously integrate code changes into an upstream repository, offers automated tests and builds, and makes it possible to find defects and vulnerabilities as well as resolve code conflicts quickly. Thus, DevOps techniques shorten time to market (TTM) and support agile software development methodologies.
or you can say
DevOps pipeline is a collection of automated procedures and tools that enables operations specialists and developers to collaborate on the development and deployment of code in a production environment.
A DevOps pipeline is typically consists of build automation/continuous integration, automation testing, validation, and reporting, though it can vary depending on the enterprise. It might also have one or more manual gates that need to be opened by a person before code can pass through.
A distinct feature of a DevOps pipeline is continuous. This covers continuous operations, continuous feedback, and continuous delivery/deployment (CI/CD). Each function runs continuously as opposed to being subjected to one-off tests or planned deployments.
Key Components of a DevOps pipeline
Continuous Integration (CI)
Continuous integration (CI) involves applying automatic unit tests, builds, and code verification tools to developer code that is frequently merged into a shared code repository. Enabling an effective code verification process and preventing code conflicts at release time are the primary objectives of CI.
Continuous integration(CI) is the practice of making frequent commits to a common source code repository. It’s continuously integrating code changes into existing code base so that any conflicts between different developer’s code changes are quickly identified and relatively easy to remediate. This practice is critically important to increasing deployment efficiency.
In order to accomplish this, the code that is pushed to the shared repository is automatically tested and compiled into an artefact. If any errors occur during this process, known as a build, the developers are informed about the failed tests and assertions that are the root of the problem so the code may be addressed. Pull requests and other well-known code curation techniques, such as the CI pipeline, are frequently used together.
CI avoids “integration hell” and “merge day” problems when merging various code base branches.
Continuous Delivery (CD)
Code is packaged into deployable pieces that can be used in production as part of continuous delivery (CD). Continuous Deployment (CD), the automatic deployment of code updates to production, should not be confused with CD.
The “main” or “trunk” branch of an application’s source code is always in a release-ready state thanks to continuous delivery. In other words, the most recent version could be deployed with the touch of a button and without concern for failure if management came to your desk at 4:30 PM on a Friday and demanded that it be released immediately.
In the CD environment, incremental code updates are tested and made available in a sandbox that mimics the real world. Developers can deploy changes to production after code review and testing. Small code updates that are released into the production code environment make it easier to troubleshoot your code and assist avoid merge conflicts and software bottlenecks. Applications that have undergone sandbox testing before being released via CD to production are typically more reliable and bug-free.
Continuous Deployment (CD)
Continuous deployment (CD) is the automated distribution to the user of code updates without the usage of manual triggers or checks. Code changes are immediately pushed to production, unlike CD, where automated builds and tests are applied to the code.
Consequently, CD produces the quickest product release. It does have restrictions, though. For instance, CD may bring flaws and vulnerabilities into production that were missed by automated inspections.
Therefore, it should only be used sparingly and for minor code modifications. Additionally, efficient rolling update policies (such blue/green deployments and canary releases) should be used in conjunction with it.
Having continuous testing and operations at such a high degree that new software versions may be validated and deployed into a production environment without the need for human intervention is what continuous deployment entails.
Every DevOps pipeline must include continuous testing, which is also one of the key mechanisms for enabling constant feedback. Changes are continuously moved from development to testing to deployment in a DevOps process, which results in faster product releases and better quality overall.
This necessitates the use of automated tests across your pipeline, such as unit tests that are run after each build modification, as well as end-to-end, functional, and smoke tests.
Building a DevOps Pipeline
The following fundamental elements should be part of any effective DevOps pipeline:
- CI/CD methodology
- source control administration
- Create tools for automation
- Framework for code testing
Additionally, pipeline security and IaC security solutions may be included. A productive DevOps pipeline can be created with the aid of a number of open-source DevOps tools.
The CI/CD component of the DevOps pipeline is implemented with the use of CI/CD frameworks like Jenkins or Travis CI. These frameworks frequently come with a server that can deploy, test, and create software automatically in response to incoming modifications to the code. Therefore, the source code repository should be connected to your CI/CD tool.
SOURCE CONTROL MANAGEMENT
Tools for source control (also known as version control) management make it possible to trace and manage code changes. They offer a running record of changes made to the code, including commits and pull requests from specific developers. They also assist in resolving disagreements between various contributions and committing code modifications to remote repositories. Git is the most widely used and has the most developed ecosystem of all the source-control management technologies.
BUILD AUTOMATION TOOLS
The application code is packaged by build automation tools into a deployable object. Depending on whether a compiled or interpretable programming language is used, the capability of these tools varies.
CODE TESTING FRAMEWORK
Frameworks for code testing assist developers in identifying any application flaws during the development process. These tools frequently have unit testing capabilities that may be added to application code and used at runtime. Code testing frameworks can be connected into current CI/CD technologies to automate the process, which is an extra benefit. For the various programming languages, there exist a variety of testing frameworks (e.g., Pytest for Python and JUnit for Java).
By including an automatic Synk Code test to your CI/CD, it is also possible to incorporate code quality and vulnerability assessments into the build process.
Integrating Security into the DevOps Pipeline
Many firms still employ traditional security methods for application security, however these methods are incompatible with DevOps. These methods typically have drawbacks:
- Security is typically added to software after it is created rather than being a built-in feature.
- Traditional security procedures’ long feedback cycles make them incompatible with the fast-moving DevOps pipeline.
- Modern applications occur in dynamic situations, which traditional security technique ignores (e.g., cloud services, containers, and container management systems like Kubernetes).
The traditional method places security teams outside of the DevOps teams, usually reporting to a distinct team leader and working in isolation. As a result of the experts’ exclusion from the information flow and lack of access to necessary knowledge, insecure apps are shipped.
Additionally, when security teams intervene in such situations to audit, they delay delivery, defeating the initial business objective. The significant talent shortage the cybersecurity industry is experiencing makes the situation even worse because security teams are frequently grossly understaffed.
Security teams cannot resolve problems on their own, even if and when they identify risks and vulnerabilities. The development team is responsible for finding a solution, yet the risk persists until those problems are given priority and addressed. Another bottleneck for security fixes results from this.
It is challenging to integrate security into a contemporary DevOps system centred on automation and CI/CD instrumentation because of the constraints of traditional security methodologies. Security is still an afterthought in the creation of software and is applied as a remedial measure once the software is finished. Thankfully, there is a fix for this issue.
The main elements of the DevOps pipeline and how to incorporate them into the software development process were covered in this article. When beginning your DevOps journey, it’s important to choose the appropriate tools as well as implement strong organisational practises and a DevOps culture centred on shared accountability, automation, and collaboration amongst developers, administrators, and OPs specialists.
But keep in mind that the DevOps pipeline also involves safeguarding the security of your apps, in addition to quick development and release cycles. This demands that security be integrated into your DevOps pipeline and that different teams be brought together with the goal of developing secure-by-design applications. This is why the current DevOps movement is gaining greater popularity with the growing DevSecOps methods mentioned in this article.