What is a CI/CD tool?
CI/CD tools are critical elements of implementing an efficient and reliable continuous integration/continuous delivery pipeline. Reducing the software development lifecycle, increasing the rate of deployments, and improving efficiency through collaboration are core tenets of the DevOps and agile methodologies that are supported by the use of CI/CD tools.
Building a stable CI/CD pipeline makes it possible for development teams to work on various pieces of code simultaneously but independently, enabling them to seamlessly integrate their contributions to the source code repository on a continuous basis. CI/CD tools facilitate that process and help automate building, testing, and deployment to move projects from development to production more quickly.
Research the possibilities: Best CI/CD tools
There are a wide variety of CI/CD tools available to help streamline the development process and establish a continuous deployment pipeline. Popular options include:
As one of the earliest contributors to the CI/CD space, Jenkins is an established name in continuous delivery software. Its newest platform is Jenkins X, which includes support for Kubernetes and Docker containers and helps establish best practices in these systems to simplify deployments. With an expansive plugin ecosystem, Jenkins is a flexible option that supports third-party platforms and allows developers to automate an extensive range of tasks.
If you're interested in a cloud-based platform, CircleCI can help build your development and delivery pipeline without requiring you to manage build infrastructure. With features that include shareable packages of code (called Orbs) for easy set-up, Docker support, and language-agnostic programming, CircleCI is a powerful and adaptable CI/CD platform.
GitLab is a user-friendly code management platform that includes tools for CI/CD, code views, and troubleshooting, and comes with pre-installed packages for Linux distributions. It is a great option if you're looking for one platform that allows you to plan, build, test, deploy and monitor applications. GitLab CI/CD is a continuous integration and delivery tool that's available in open source or enterprise editions.
Spinnaker is an open-source continuous delivery platform that integrates with Jenkins and Travis and offers support for messaging via Slack, email, and more. It is an affordable, user-friendly and easily customizable tool. Spinnaker works with a variety of cloud providers and can help automate the release process and reduce the time between deployments without increasing the risk of performance issues.
Harness is a modern Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery platform that empowers busy teams to automate their build, test and release workflows. Deeper integration with AppDynamics allows teams to release software more frequently and with fewer bugs. By enabling AppDynamics within Harness, customers can add automated performance verifications to their services already monitored by AppDynamics within their pipeline workflows. Harness correlates services to the corresponding AppD Business Transactions (BT) and Tiers/Nodes that are impacted by degrading performance and automatically roll-back poor performing releases back to the previous functional release version.
How AppDynamics helps
Visibility is crucial to having confidence in your CI/CD pipeline. AppDynamics offers a streamlined, unified perspective that allows you to confirm that your applications are operating as intended in test, pre-production, and production environments. Gain code-level visibility for performance hot-spots and fix them quickly. Harness the power of machine learning to differentiate normal behavior from anomalies, use smart alerting to understand how performance issues impact business outcomes, and reduce MTTR of application release issues with improved root cause analysis.
“We’re an agile shop. We usually release code into production once or twice a week. But outages and fixes interrupt our sprints and impact productivity... [With AppDynamics] we’ve gained immediate visibility into how our code works in production.”
Ben Hofmann, Manager of Web Development, PennWell Corp.