CI/CD Automation

CI/CD Automation

The ActiveState Platform is a universal package management solution for Python, Perl and Tcl that can help DevOps optimize their CI/CD automation efforts. The key is a standard, pre-built runtime environment that DevOps can automatically pull in to help create environments in their CI/CD pipelines.

A standard, pre-built runtime enables:

  • Reproducibility – reduces CI/CD pipeline maintenance/troubleshooting
  • Speed – more deliveries of your codebase compared to building runtimes from scratch every time they’re needed
  • Consistency – greater confidence in your software deliveries/deployments

The ActiveState Platform fits into your existing workflow/orchestration by providing runtimes that can either be pulled directly into your CI/CD environments, or else pulled into your container build system:

ActiveState Platform in CI:CD Process

The ActiveState Platform supports implementing CI/CD solutions like Jenkins, Travis, Azure Pipelines, GitHub Actions, Google Cloud Build and more.

Automating Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery

Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) or Continuous Deployment is a software development best practice that allows agile software development teams to automate the build, test and delivery of code updates, while enabling a continuous quality feedback loop.

But for most organizations, full CI/CD automation remains aspirational. ActiveState’s State of CI/CD survey shows that less than 40% of the more than one thousand respondents surveyed have implemented a majority of CI/CD best practices (such as continuous testing) to date. 

The primary reasons for this gap include:

  • Runtime Inconsistencies – despite the use of containers, inconsistencies occur between dev and CI/CD systems due to unpinned dependencies, differing OS-level dependencies, poorly named vendored dependencies, and so on
  • Synchronizing Dev & CI/CD Systems – local dev and CI/CD systems tend to diverge over time because developers rarely rebuild/reinstall their development environment from scratch if they need to update a single package or OS-level dependency.
  • Toolchain Maintenance – maintaining multiple toolchains, one for each OS and/or language supported, increases overhead, meaning teams are spending more time on tool maintenance and less time coding 

While the ActiveState Platform is not a silver bullet for solving all CI/CD automation challenges, it can help you optimize your existing implementation by providing:

  • Reproducibility – eliminate “works on my machine” issues and simplify the troubleshooting of bugs. ActiveState’s single, central source of truth for your runtime ensures development environments and CI/CD environments are always in sync.
  • Speed – pre-built runtime environments decrease the time to build containers. Caching can help cut down on runtime creation times for repeated runs, but not when you’re doing rapid development and changing your dependencies. 
  • Consistency – using non-standard runtimes with cloud-native CI/CD solutions can be complex. But by pre-building your custom runtime environment on the ActiveState Platform, you can simply pull it into your cloud-native CI/CD chain. 

And finally, the ActiveState Platform provides a universal, cloud-based build tool for Python, Perl and Tcl, so you can automate the building of runtime environments from source code, enabling DevSecOps to improve both the security and compliance of your production workloads.

Ready to see for yourself? You can try the ActiveState Platform by signing up for a free account using your email or GitHub credentials. Or sign up for a free demo and let us show you how can help optimize your existing CI/CD implementation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of CI/CD?
Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery or Deployment (CI/CD) automates the testing and verification of software updates. It delivers a number of benefits, including:

  • Ability to deliver or deploy code changes more frequently 
  • Ability to deliver/deploy with greater confidence that code changes won’t negatively affect the production application
  • Better synchronization between development teams and operations teams 

But most organizations have yet to fully realize all these benefits due to issues with reproducibility, complexity and inconsistencies between dev and CI/CD systems. Read how the ActiveState Platform can help by Optimizing CI/CD implementations in your organization.

What is continuous integration and continuous delivery CI/CD?
When it comes to continuous integration versus continuous delivery, you can think of it this way:

  • Continuous Delivery – updates are delivered to staging environments for further testing or assessment
  • Continuous Deployment – updates are delivered directly to the production environment, improving timeliness

The preference for a continuous deployment process over continuous delivery is really one of risk tolerance since not every organization is willing to automate production deployments of any code that successfully passes the CI/CD pipeline.

ActiveState’s State of CI/CD survey offers insights into the benefits and drawbacks of  continuous integration versus continuous delivery, as well as identifying some of the key issues with CI/CD implementations.

What is a CI CD pipeline?
A Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery or Deployment (CI/CD) pipeline is a programmatic way to build, test and deploy software. A typical pipeline will implement:

  • Code build and validation
  • Unit tests
  • Integration tests
  • Penetration tests
  • etc

A CI/CD pipeline effectively bridges the gaps between development and operation by enforcing automation across the application build, test and deployment processes.

Want to optimize your CI/CD pipeline? Read Optimizing CI/CD implementations in your organization

What is a CI CD workflow?
Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery or Deployment (CI/CD) workflow defines the outcome of CI/CD pipeline steps. Typical workflow will include:

  • Triggering a build from a code check in
  • Storing or retrieving artifacts from an artifact repository
  • Moving the workload between stages of the pipeline
  • Reporting the outcome of a test
  • etc

And finally delivering the codebase to a non-production server for further testing, or else deploying it directly to production. Want to optimize your CI/CD workflow? Read Optimizing CI/CD implementations in your organization

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