A Comprehensive Guide to CI/CD & CI/CD Tools

CI/CD Continuouse integration and continuous delivery

CI/CD or continuous integration and continuous delivery exemplify a culture, set of working standards, and an assortment of practices that empower application development teams to convey code changes habitually and dependably. The execution is otherwise called the CI/CD pipeline.

Using CI/CD tools is probably the best practice for DevOps groups to carry out. It is likewise an agile system and the best method. It empowers software improvement groups to zero in on gathering business necessities, code quality, and security since organization steps are computerized.

In particular, CI/CD presents progressing automation and continuous observation through the lifecycle of applications, from integration and testing stages to delivery and arrangement. The associated practices using CI/CD tools are collectively included in the CI/CD pipeline.

They are upheld by advancement and task groups cooperating in a coordinated manner with either a DevOps or site reliability engineering (SRE) approach. CI/CD is a technique to regularly update applications to clients by bringing automation into the phases of application advancement. 

The fundamental ideas ascribed to CI/CD are continuous integration and continuous delivery of the code system to ensure their smooth functioning. CI/CD is a solution to the problems that new code coordination might generate for improvement and operations teams. Let’s learn more about CI/CD and CI/CD tools in this comprehensive guide.

CI/CD: What it is, Differences, Tools, and CI/CD Pipeline

What is CI/CD?

Let’s discuss continuous integration and continuous delivery here:

What is Continuous Integration (CI)?

Continuous integration is a software development concept and set of practices that drive development teams to execute minor changes. Since most present-day applications require creating code in various stages and devices, the group needs a component to coordinate and approve its changes.

The specialized objective of CI is to lay out a steady and computerized method for building, bundling, and testing applications. With consistency in the integration interaction set-up, groups are bound to submit code changes regularly, which prompts better cooperation and software quality.

Continuous integration (CI) assists developers with combining their code changes back to a common branch, or “trunk,” all the more regularly at times, even every day. 

When a designer’s progressions to an application are combined, those changes are approved via naturally constructing the application and running various degrees of computerized testing, normally unit and integration tests, to guarantee the progressions haven’t broken the application. 

This implies testing everything from classes and capacity to the various modules that contain the whole application. Assuming automated testing finds a contention between new and existing code, CI makes it simpler to fix those bugs rapidly and regularly. The concept of CI was introduced two decades ago to avoid “integration hell.”

What is Continuous Delivery (CD)?

Continuous delivery is a software improvement strategy where the delivery interaction is automated. Each software change is consequently constructed, tried, and conveyed to production. Before the last push to production, an individual, a computerized test, or a business rule concludes when the last push ought to happen. 

Although each effective software change can be quickly delivered to production with continuous delivery, not all changes should be dispatched immediately. Continuous delivery is an augmentation of continuous integration since it naturally conveys all code changes to a testing or potential production environment after the test creation stage.

This intends that you have an automated delivery interaction on top of automated testing, and you can send your application any time by clicking a button. The main objective of continuous delivery is to deliver the client with software with zero errors and make the delivery process a low-risk event.

In continuous delivery, each code in a sequence is finalized for the delivery of the final product, which also includes test automation and code delivery automation in the process. Toward the finish of that process, the development team can send an application to the delivery team rapidly and without any problem. The concept of Continuous Delivery comes into play where Continuous Integration ends.

What’s the difference Between CI and CD?

The abbreviation CI/CD has one or two implications. The “CI” in CI/CD generally alludes to developers’ continuous integration and automation interaction. Effective CI means new code changes to an application are routinely assembled, tried, and converged to a common vault. It’s an answer to the issue of having such a large number of parts of an application being developed without a moment’s delay that could struggle with one another.

The “CD” in CI/CD alludes to continuous delivery or potentially continuous sending, which are connected ideas that occasionally get utilized reciprocally. Both are tied in with different computerizing phases of the pipeline, yet they’re sometimes used independently to outline exactly how much automation is occurring.

For the most part, continuous delivery implies an engineer’s progressions to an application are consequently bug-tested and transferred to a storehouse (like GitHub or a holder vault), where they can then be sent for final production by the development teams.

It’s a response to the issue of unfortunate permeability and correspondence among dev and business groups. With that in mind, the reason for continuous delivery is to guarantee that it requires insignificant work to convey new code. Here is a table differentiating Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery.

Continuous Integration (CI)Continuous Delivery (CD)
Completely automated integration, construct, and test processes with fast outputCI + an automatic programming discharge process with a manual trigger
Uses only unit testsUses business and unit logic tests
The team should compose automated tests for each new component, or fix a bugThe test suite should cover most of the codebase
takes place following the developers’ checks-inConveyances occur until the team feels the code is prepared for delivery
Developers blend their progressions as frequently as could be expected (something like one time each day)The team has the choice of utilizing feature flags
Requires a CI server to screen the repositoryRequires a solid CI establishment.

What are some common CI/CD Tools?

CI/CD tools can assist a group with automating their turn of events, organization, and testing. A few tools explicitly handle the integration (CI); some oversee improvement and delivery (CD), while others represent considerable authority in continuous testing or related capacities.

Some of the commonly used top CI/CD tools are as follows;

  1. Jenkins

Jenkins is an open-source automation server where the continuous delivery and continuous integration process happen. It is an independent Java-based program with bundles for Windows, macOS, and other Unix-like operating systems. With many modules accessible, Jenkins upholds constructing, conveying, and mechanizing for software advancement projects.

  1. GitLab

GitLab is a set of tools for overseeing various parts of the software improvement lifecycle. The center item is an electronic Git store administrator with highlights, for example, issue following, investigation, and a Wiki. GitLab permits you to set off forms, run tests, and send code with each submit or push. You can assemble occupations in a virtual machine, Docker compartment, or another server.

  1. Bamboo

Bamboo is a CI/CD tool that automates the administration of software application discharges, consequently making a continuous delivery pipeline. Bamboo covers building and user testing, allotting forms, labeling discharges, sending and initiating new forms on production.

  1. Team City

TeamCity is a constant integration instrument that helps construct and convey various tasks. TeamCity runs in a Java environment and incorporates Visual Studio and IDEs. The apparatus can be introduced on the two, Windows and Linux servers, upholding .NET and open-stack projects.

Read also: Continuous Integration, Continuous Development, and Jenkins

How does CI/CD relate to DevOps?

Continuous integration and Continuous Delivery are the cycles where the DevOps teams include successive code changes pushed in the principle branch while guaranteeing that it impacts no progressions made by engineers working parallelly. Its point is to decrease the opportunity of deformities and clashes during the integration of the complete task.

Regularly utilized by DevOps teams, the CI/CD pipeline is a technique that forms, tests, and sends code by using automation. The effect of this kind of pipeline incorporates more enhanced updates to software and applications and a more cooperative, spry workflow for DevOps teams. DevOps teams regularly start with CI since it’s right up their alley. 

DevOps can assist companies with finalizing the design, production, and delivery of software that has to be created using the CI/CD technique. DevOps simplifies the process of continuous integration. Although CI/CD and DevOps are not similar, they support each other.

CI/CD security tools are used to alleviate the risks of delivering the software into production. Its effectiveness depends intensely on automation, so making progress with DevOps stands or falls on how well the development team functions with automation and which instruments are available to them.

What AppSec Tools? Are Required For CI/CD Pipelines?

The advantages of application security (AppSec) tool integration in the continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline are more useful when performed simultaneously. Development organizations are proceeding to move left to carry out security before the CI/CD pipeline. 

Software security development teams must know where AppSec tools should be used in the CI/CD pipeline and their implementation across various stages. It’s essential to pick the proper AppSec tool and design and run it brilliantly so you receive the most advantage in return. Two of the requirements for AppSec tools are accuracy and speed. 

On the off chance that a tool can’t meet the arrangement speed of the team, its possibilities being taken on effectively are low to nothing. AppSec tools should have the option to consistently coordinate inside the development environment, where engineers like to work. 

Fundamentally, developers are open to involve them every day of the week. AST tools should also coordinate effectively with the form climate to guarantee continuous integration, delivery, and organization; if not, they will become pointless because of potential pushback from the DevOps teams.

Some of the AppSec tools that are required for CI/CD pipelines are as follows;

  • Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) Tool
  • Runtime Application Security Testing (RAST) Tool
  • Runtime Applications Self Protection (RASP)
  • AWS Security Service Tool

What are the Benefits of CI/CD Tools?

The following are a few advantages that have made continuous integration vital for any application development lifecycle;

Early Bug Detection: If there is a mistake in the script of the code that has not been checked beforehand, a script rejection happens at the beginning phase. This likewise helps the QA team since they will generally chip away the bugs at early stage with an error-free script.

Lessens Bug Count: Bugs will probably happen in any application development lifecycle. Be that as it may, with Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery being utilized, the quantity of bugs is diminished.

Automating the Process: The Manual exertion is diminished since CI automates production and several tests. This ensures that the way is clear for an effective continuous delivery process.

Continuous delivery (CD) provides the following benefits when integrated as CI/CD tools;

Decreasing the Risk: The primary objective of Continuous Delivery is to make arrangements simpler and quicker. Designs like blue-green organizations make it conceivable that organizations are exceptionally safe in general.

High-quality Application: Most of the cycle is automated; analyzers currently have time to zero in on significant testing stages like exploratory, convenience, security, and execution testing.

Decreased Cost: When speculation is made on testing, building, and sending, the item advances considerably throughout its lifetime. The expense of regular bug fixes and upgrades is diminished since specific fixed costs are related to the delivery.


The Tools and tests for CI/CD programming help companies to streamline the process of software or application development using automation. This automation facilitates quick changes in the system and the execution of tests. CI/CD tools are intended for organizations that need to develop applications and update it frequently and require a dependable delivery process. 

Once set up, it empowers groups to zero in on the method involved with enhancing applications and less on the framework subtleties of conveying it to registering conditions.