What a Permanent Deployment Tool Can Do For You

Distributed work and collaboration have been part of everyday software development for many years. For example, systems such as Github allow developers to work on outstanding open source applications that are used around the globe. However, distributed work can lead to problems that inconveniently show up right before the release date. You can avoid these kinds of problems by using a permanent deployment tool.

Classical Vs. Agile Development

Many of the problems that show up right before a release are caused by poor collaboration. Poor collaboration is often caused because programmers use classical development strategies.

In classical development, programmers work independently in silos for months on new features. When everything has gone according to plan -- a situation that rarely happens --  the new code from different open-source developers is put together. If the plan immediately fails, the team faces major obstacles. Under the pressure of the deadline, errors must be manually identified and fixed. This takes up resources and stresses everyone out.

More and more, the classic development process is giving way to the use of agile methods. Agile development encourages planning and collaboration across teams and between individual programmers. Agile methods help programmers coordinate their efforts and avoid those annoying errors that crop up just before the scheduled release.

Agile Techniques Require Continuous Integration

Agile work requires a different approach when it comes to code integration and deployment. This different approach -- Continuous Integration -- is often used as a buzzword, but it is a critical part of agile development. Continuous Integration first appeared in the environment of agile software development.

What Is Continuous Integration?

Continuous integration is a simple concept. The developers integrate their code into the source code long before the project’s completion. The transfer of the new code takes place several times a day. However, since only shorter code sections are involved in each transfer, the integration of the code does not take so long.

The continuous integration approach primarily relies on each developer to fix their own bugs. They must first check their own work against the code that has been changed by other developers. This system of continuous integration helps developers identify errors immediately after they occur.

This continuous model also affects the delivery of software: the deployment.

Continuous Deployment Brings Benefits But Is Not A Miracle Cure

If the developers continuously work on the source code, and thus create new functions at shorter intervals, it would be useful to roll out these new features regularly. This is the basic idea behind Continuous Deployment.

Continuous deployment automates the various steps, including compiling the current source code, compressing code, and updating assets in a CDN. It also allows developers to automate the customization of databases, scripts, and the build and compile processes. These steps prepare the main application to be rolled out permanently.

Continuous deployment brings a number of advantages:

* The search for errors is possible at an early stage.

* The developers receive constant feedback about their own work.

* Errors caused by the stress situation of the classic release are avoided.

* There is always a working version with the latest functions.

Continuous Deployment has two goals: faster cycles for rolling out new features and continuous improvement of the software. The combination of agile development and automated deployment enables a rapid response to market and customer requirements. Since smaller and more manageable units are developed, errors should be found faster and easier.

However, you cannot benefit from agile development and automated deployment unless your team is willing to make some changes. This begins with the necessary discipline of the developers themselves. Regular uploads of the new code are vital. If just one team member fails to upload their new code, the other developers will assume the wrong prerequisites in their code. This inevitably leads to more significant mistakes later in the development process.

Overall, continuous integration and deployment require tighter control of teams and development resources. It is also necessary to set up an automated test environment that guarantees the functionality of the product before release.

It is important not to lose sight of your original end goal to produce great products for customers with as few errors as possible.  Faster development is a means to an end, not an end itself. If you simply pursue faster development, your team will create a habit of pushing for shorter cycles. That doesn't help anybody. Always keep sight of the big picture.

To find out just how permanent deployment can really help your team, you should just give it a try. If you create the necessary environment, the right tool can really put the flow back into your workflow. Or as our user Geshan recently put it: “Woo Hoo! I just figured out automated #deployment is so cool. Just run one command and new version of the app is on prod.”

When you are ready to give agile and continuous development a shot, DeployBot may be exactly what you need. It speeds up your entire development process while saving valuable time for coding and testing.  You’ll be guided through the first steps and you can always turn to support for any help you might need. Check it out!