The software development landscape is constantly evolving, and in 2024, DevOps CI/CD pipeline trends play a central role in creating faster, more reliable and less costly development cycles.
As a supplier of automated testing solutions, we've noticed a number of trends that are becoming increasingly homogenous.
In this article, we explore these key trends shaping the future of DevOps CI/CD this year.
CI/CD - Their respective definitions
To get things off to a good start, let's differentiate between continuous integration, continuous delivery and continuous deployment.
Together, these practices make deploying an application less risky, so it's easier to publish changes to applications in small chunks, rather than all at once.
CI or Continous Integration
Continuous integration (CI) is an essential practice in software development. It involves frequently merging code changes into a central repository, enabling teams to detect and resolve conflicts earlier.
This process begins as soon as a developer submits a change to the version control system.
This practice enables developers to test every change made to an application's underlying code, enabling teams to speed up their process and fix bugs earlier in the development cycle.
Continuous integration involves several crucial development stages:
Version control: Each code modification is recorded in a version control system such as Git. This enables efficient management of different versions of the code and better collaboration between developers.
Automated build: Each time a change is submitted, the code is automatically compiled (or interpreted, depending on the programming language) to check that it is free from syntax or compilation errors.
Unit and integration testing: After build, unit and integration tests are run to ensure that new changes do not adversely affect existing functionality.
Code review: Code review processes can be integrated to enable peers to review changes before they are merged into the main branch, thus ensuring code quality and consistency.
Merging and integration: If the code passes all tests and reviews, it is merged into the main branch. This step ensures that changes are integrated regularly, reducing conflicts and long-term integration problems.
Unlike continuous delivery, which automates the entire process from software release to production, continuous integration focuses on the creation and automated testing of code.
Continuous Delivery / Continuous Deployment (CD)
Continuous Delivery (CD) implements Continuous Integration (CI), enabling efficient automation to integrate various changes into a test and then production environment, such as the introduction of new features, configuration updates, and bug fixes before release.
This phase aims to shorten the "Move to Prod" and improve software quality. Code is delivered at regular intervals for acceptance testing (UAT, User Acceptance Testing, also known as Beta testing) in the test or pre-prod environment.
CD solves the problem of overloading operational teams with manual processes that slow down application delivery. It leverages the benefits of continuous delivery by automating the next step in the pipeline.
At the heart of this process, the importance of automated functional testing is paramount, as it enables in-depth examination of all operational aspects of the software, including business rule logic. This approach aims to anticipate and reduce unexpected performance problems and functional malfunctions during production release, thus helping to significantly minimize the risk of bugs or other problems affecting the end-user experience.
The aim of continuous delivery is to ensure absolute reliability for every modification made to the code, thanks in particular to the rigorous implementation of automated functional tests.
Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment both automate production deployment, but in different ways. With Continuous Delivery, every change that passes testing becomes eligible for production deployment. With Continuous Deployment, on the other hand, these changes are automatically deployed to production as soon as all tests have been validated.
Why take an interest in pipeline strategy trends?
The CI/CD pipeline forms the basis of the DevOps process, accelerating the deployment cycle while enabling a continuous flow of new features and bug fixes.
The ability to publish code quickly and qualitatively is a major competitive advantage!
A CI/CD pipeline strategy involves the implementation of automation and continuous monitoring of the development process, making it possible to have several branches of software under development at the same time, while remaining organized.
Without a CI/CD pipeline strategy, DevOps teams can be encumbered by a clumsy development process that sacrifices efficiency, exacerbates delays and compromises the reliability of the entire delivery process.
Using the latest CI/CD tools and processes, teams can modify their software to take account of user feedback and market developments in an Agile way.
That said, the following trends in DevOps pipelines make it easier to optimize a pipeline strategy by automating as much as possible while minimizing the risks involved in development cycles.
DevOps pipeline trends 2024
1. Intelligent Automation and AI
The integration of intelligent automation and artificial intelligence (AI) into DevOps pipelines is gaining in popularity.
They are useful for CI/CD pipelines because they help identify code vulnerabilities and limit waste in cloud-hosted environments, make decisions based on site performance, improving software quality and detecting patterns that could indicate systemic problems.
This leads to more reliable deployments and proactive identification of potential problems.
2. Automated DevOps security (DevSecOps)
Integrating security into the DevOps process, known as DevSecOps, is becoming increasingly important.
The rapid nature of development and deployment without sufficient security can expose the pipeline to catastrophic risks, such as :
- Vulnerability of sensitive data
- Use of insecure code or third-party components
- Unauthorized access to source code repositories or internal tools
DevSecOps ensures that security measures are integrated throughout the development cycle, leading to more secure applications.
3. Using containers for greater portability
These technologies facilitate application portability, accelerate deployment and enable efficient resource management.
4. Infrastructure as Code (IaC)
IaC becomes an essential pillar of DevOps pipelines. Automating infrastructure with scripts promotes reproducibility of the deployment environment.
Teams can manage infrastructure in a similar way to source code, ensuring greater consistency between development, test and production environments. An example: Red Hat® Ansible® Automation Platform.
5. Edge Computing
With the rise of decentralized computing and Edge Computing, DevOps pipelines are evolving to support these new architectures.
Edge Computing aims to bring data processing and storage closer to data sources, to speed up response times and save bandwidth.
An Edge device is generally an IoT device, but what constitutes an IoT device continues to evolve.
It will therefore be increasingly important for development teams to reliably deliver the latest versions of programs and services to these devices.
There are currently a few services that facilitate Edge delivery, but new tools and plug-ins are likely to emerge for CI/CD pipelines.
6. Continuous monitoring and analysis
Teams rely on continuous monitoring tools to collect real-time data on Web performance and gain end-to-end visibility.
This facilitates rapid problem detection, trend analysis and continuous process optimization.
7. More code updates
As teams apply CI/CD best practices to development processes, update integration will be smoother than ever.
Thanks to this increase in flexibility and productivity, we will inevitably see an increase in the number of code updates implemented in production environments.
8. Remote working tools for distributed teams
Withthe percentage of teleworking now exceeding 50%, tools to facilitate collaboration and communication between distributed teams will become even more essential.
These tools need to integrate seamlessly with existing DevOps workflows.
Mr Suricate - French leader in no-code automated testing
Companies adopting these trends are better positioned to accelerate their development cycles while delivering higher quality applications.
At Mr Suricatewe contribute to the evolution of DevOps CI/CD pipelines by providing a no-code tool that detects bugs in real time on your websites, mobile apps and APIs by reproducing your user paths at regular intervals.