Every mobile app development company realizes the importance of Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) as both significantly contribute to making the app development process more efficient and time-saving. App development companies using CI and CD can save as much as 20% of development time, which in turn cut costs of app development. This is why IT decision-makers are using it or recommending its use for their companies.
What are CI and CD?
The process of Continuous Integration (CI) involves the merging of build copies daily or frequently in a day into a shared code repository. Each integration is then verified using an automated process that scans for errors or faults and detects the main cause of the problem that requires rectification so that the mobile app development process stays on track.
Continuous Delivery (CD) is a custom mobile app development practice of regular delivery of the integrated code to production. The result of this stage is that builds are ready for deployment or release with just a single click.
As a leading mobile app development company, we have strong expertise in CI/CD integration. Hire mobile app developers at Mobi India and avail a plethora of benefits of integrating CI/CD with the mobile app development process including automated builds, improved communication, automated shipping, and zero server maintenance. Avail our complete suite of mobile app development services to take advantage of CI/CD tool integration with mobile apps.
Different Stages of CI/CD in the Mobile App Development Process
The process generally involves 7 stages including:
1.Coding: The coding process is a crucial part of any app development process. It starts with the development phase and continues until the maintenance stage. In the CI/CD process, coding is done for the integration elements with regards to the automated steps that follow.
2. Building: The build phase includes several app developers developing apps on a daily basis and adding their completed work several times a day to the CI application.
3. Testing: Once the code elements are added to the platform, the CI application tests the code elements and evaluates the app’s performance after each new update. The CI software gives developers detailed reports about the app’s performance as well as some useful analytics from the application.
4. Packaging: After the performance and quality tests are performed, the app is ready to be deployed or launched at this stage. This stage is applicable for both a new app and an updated version of an existing app.
5. Release: At this stage, the new URL for the app will be applied on devices for release in the CI/CD process.
6. Configuration: This stage involves the configuration of the app infrastructure. This is done by formatting the coding and management tools that provide people with regular access to the CI platform.
7. Monitoring: Once the app is launched, continuous monitoring is absolutely necessary for analyzing the app’s performance. Any newly written code by app developers for enhancing the app’s performance also undergoes the CI process to minimize the chances of any bugs, error, or technical issues affecting the performance because of the update.
Why Should a Mobile App Development Company Use CI/CD in the App Development?
As a reliable mobile app development company, we follow the best practices to deliver high-quality mobile app development services to our clients. We suggest that by automating the steps of the CI/CD pipeline, the faster quality releases can be accomplished. Here are some advantages of using CI/CD in the app development process.
1. Instant Feedback Loop
In application development process, not getting valuable feedback can really slow down the application development process and impact the changes and the quality of the work. It is quite easy to get disillusioned that you are developing rapidly if you are committing codes frequently and proceeding with other tasks without performing any tests. While in reality, it is extremely difficult to identify the changes in the code and who changed the code, when an issue arises.
CI/CD for mobile applications fixes these issues by giving you an instant response to the questions if anything broke in a commit.
2. Better Visibility & Transparency
When a mobile app development company sets up the CI/CD pipeline, the entire dev team would know what is going on with the builds besides getting the latest test results. This would help the team to plan their work in context and get a clear idea of what changes are breaking the builds more frequently.
3. Avoids Integrations Mess
If you’re looking at software as legos where each component is created by individual developers, the entire software development process becomes one in which all the legos meet to become one final product. What makes it a smooth process is the lack of friction. Even if a lego piece is working fine, you will still have to ensure that the piece works well with the entire system. Continuous Integration does exactly that by bringing the different pieces together every day.
4. Identification & Resolving of Issues Well in Advance
An unavoidable stage of software development is bugs and errors. The more bugs pile on, the more difficult is to identify them and solve them. With various kinds of automated tests running in the Continuous Integration pipeline, you’d be able to identify what needs to be fixed the moment a test fails.
5. Improves Testability & Quality
If it’s easier to test something, it’s more convenient to test the quality. The testability efforts depend on how easily the new builds are made available and the kind of tools you use and the control you have on the test environments.
Best CI/CD Tools to Use in Mobile App Development
Jenkin was founded in 2006 and is the top open-source continuous integration server. Developers have developed more than 300 plugins for implementing Jenkins into various builds, tests, and automated workloads.
This tool helps developers to release codes by automating the build, test, and deployment process. It enables them to detect and fix bugs and issues much before it is sent t the customers.
3. Travis CI
This top mobile continuous integration tool is a distributed, hosted service used in the development phase and testing of projects that are hosted on GitHub. Travis CI also offers custom deployment of a proprietary version on the client’s hardware.
Bitrise is a continuous integration & delivery Platform as a Service that is useful for every mobile app development company. The developers can use this tool to easily automate the test and deploy phase of their applications within a few clicks.
5. Visual Studio App Center
This Microsoft-supported tool combines different services and is generally used by developers in an individual, integrated product. It allows mobile app developers to build, test, deliver, monitor their apps while letting them create an installable application with every push made to the repository.
While these are just five continuous integration CI/CD tools there are various continuous integration and delivery service providers available in the market. Here a few essential points that should be considered when researching the choices:
How to Choose the Right CI/CD Tool for Your Mobile App Development Requirements?
1. Proprietary vs Open-source
There can be some open-source tools that might not fit your business requirements. However, investing in a proprietary tool can be a bit expensive affair. If the open-source tools meet your needs and budget, there are various options present in the market.
2. Cloud-based or Self-hosted
If you wish to host the CI/CD service yourself and have enough time and resources for setting it up, configuring, and maintaining it, Self-hosted services are the best options for you. However, if you don’t have time to take care of the build infrastructure maintenance, you should opt for a Software-as-a-Service solution.
3. Easy Setup
A smooth adoption of CI/CD can get everybody on board easily. Therefore, choosing a tool that takes a lot of time in setting up can work against your business goals.
Why Choose Us for CI/CD Integration?
With our esteemed years of experience in mobile app development, Mobi India is the right partner for your CI/CD integration. Our expert team has strong expertise in open-source as well as proprietary CI/CD tools. Hire mobile app developers to ensure a smooth transition to a self-hosted or cloud-based solution that empowers your organization to improve productivity and save money.
Q.1. What’s the main purpose of Continuous Integration?
Ans. The Continuous Integration is intended to provide a faster feedback so that if a bug is introduced into the code base, it can be identified and rectified as early as possible. Using Continuous integration software tools helps to automate the testing and build a document trail.
Q.2. What is Continuous Integration?
Ans. Continuous Integration (CI) is an application development practice that requires developers to integrate code into a shared repository several times a day. Each new check-in is then verified by an automated build, helping dev teams to detect problems well in advance.
Q.3. What is the difference between CI and CD?
Ans. Continuous Integration (CI) is the process of integrating code into a mainline codebase. Continuous Delivery (CD) is about the processes that will be carried out once the code is integrated for app changes to be delivered to users. These processes include testing, staging, and deploying code.