What is continuous integration?
Continuous integration (CI) is a software development practice in which developers regularly integrate code updates into a central repository, where the introduced changes are automatically tested and deployed.
Some common tools used in the continuous integration process are:
- Automated build tools used to compile and package code into a deployable form and to run static analysis tools that check for issues such as syntax errors or code style violations.
- Automated testing tools that can be used to run unit tests, integration tests, and other types of tests to ensure that the code works as intended.
- Code review tools that automatically check code updates for issues such as security vulnerabilities or code style violations.
The idea behind continuous integration is to identify and fix bugs on the early stage of the development process and to continuously deliver new features and updates to users. Therefore, the continuous integration is an important part of the continuous deployment approach.
The key benefits of continuous integration:
- Reduced risk of errors and better code quality: regular code integrations and tests allow developers to identify and fix errors early, before they become more difficult to remove,
- Faster feedback: continuous integration allows developers to get quick feedback on the code updates, which helps them to identify and fix problems faster,
- Improved collaboration between developers and other employees of the organization.