Manufacturing | CI/CD

Achieving CI/CD Fast – What are your choices?

Words by Alex Matheson
Achieving CI/CD Fast – What are your choices?
An illustration representing CI/CD

We’ve written about continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) before. It comes up often in the topics we discuss and it’s an important part of most modern businesses. But what routes can we take to achieve it? There’s a few options available to us all that we’ll discuss now.

Why is CI/CD important?

We won’t waste any time discussing what CI/CD is here. We’ve got an article linked above if you need a run down. If you’re here, we can assume you know the concept and you’re investigating your options for achieving CI/CD.

But why does it matter? Well, we live in a world that pretty much demands CI/CD. A big portion of our lives are spent in the digital world and these days, with high speed internet and agile development cycles, we expect the digital apps we use to be maintained and improved upon.

That’s exactly the same for any customers or businesses you may work with. Twenty years ago it may have been acceptable to sell a packaged product that fits the bill until the next version is sold some years down the line, but that’s not the world we live in today.

This is one of the big differences when we discuss SaaS vs COTs. SaaS (or software as a service) applications operate using a business model that includes the expectation that the service you offer with your software is one that develops over time.

So, the value you offer to your customers or clients needs to operate on that same basis. It needs to be good, it needs to iterate, and it needs to improve. That is the essence of continuous integration and continuous delivery.

What types of systems can help you achieve CI/CD?

The rather pleasing answer to this question is, there are many types of systems that can help you achieve CI/CD. Technology has progressed to the point that solution architects with incredibly diverse skill sets can find software that allows them to create and deploy business value that can be continuously integrated and continuously delivered.

Traditional software development

This is your most hands, most manual, most resource intensive option. It’s also your most flexible option. Assuming you have the right technical expertise at your disposal, traditional software development can meet almost any technical challenge.

The obvious downside here is that it is resource intensive on all fronts. You’re going to need the right people with the right knowledge and the ability to make the most out of those resources.

Value that you create can be perfectly tailored and your CI/CD cycle is covered entirely, but it’s going to cost time and money.

Low-code platforms

Stepping away from pure software development you find low-code platforms. These are systems that allow a reasonable amount of flexibility in creating business solutions but also require some knowledge of specific coding languages.

Because the back-end of these platforms do a lot of the heavy lifting, automating the building of much of the code, they do go some way to democratising the innovation within a business. You don’t need years of experience in specialised areas of software development, but you do need some expertise and specialised training.

low-code platforms can really speed up the rate you work through a CI/CD cycle. Much of heavy lifting in terms of coding, building, testing, and releasing is handled by the platform. However, it is still limited in terms of scope compared to the more time intensive traditional options.

No-code platforms

As the name suggests, this is where you move away almost entirely from the traditional end of solution development. Unlike no-code platforms, development knowledge is virtually unnecessary. Although some experience might be beneficial.

You are, however, limited in scope. The solutions you create within a no-code platform will be tethered to the scope of the platform you’re using. This might be restrictive or completely fit the bill, depending on your business goals and the platform you choose.

When it comes to CI/CD though, this is as speedy as you can get. With the coding, testing, and releasing all happening behind the scenes, you can focus on the innovation end of your CI/CD cycle.

Moreover, you’re not limited on who can get involved. A good no-code platform brings your whole workforce into the mix. Innovation can arise from anywhere and each individual person or department can create business value fast.

Atlas Play is a no-code platform that allows any user, in any business, of any size, in any sector to create business value. Every process you map in Atlas Play can be iterated, integrated, automated and improved. We love the idea of helping you achieve your CI/CD goals so why not check it out and give it a try for yourself?

How does your business achieve CI/CD?

We’ve discussed our thoughts on how to achieve CI/CD, but we’d love to hear your thoughts too. Let us know on Twitter and over at LinkedIn how your business achieves great things.