What is Continuous Integration?

CI as a Development Practice

Continuous Integration, or CI, is a development practice where developers integrate code into a shared repository multiple times a day (or at least at very short intervals). Each check-in is then verified by an automated build of the codebase, enabling teams to identify issues at an early stage.

Therefore, the practice avoids developing larger features over an extended period, to then only incorporate them into the codebase. Instead, it involves creating as small but functional code "pieces" as possible to integrate frequently and quickly and get feedback. Regular integrations let you quickly spot and easier locate errors.

The Advantage of Continuous Integration

Because you integrate so frequently and validate a shared codebase, there's much less troubleshooting to determine what went wrong, freeing up more time for developing new features.

Continuous integration isn't really more expensive. In actuality, not integrating continuously can end up being costly. If you don't practice a continuous approach, you'll have longer intervals between integrations. This makes it exponentially more complex to find and fix issues. Such integration problems can derail a project schedule or even cause it to fail.

iLert offers self-service integrations and plugins for all popular CI/CD software, such as Github or Gitlab, so you can better monitor your CI flows and immediately inform the right development team in case of errors.

By the way: The DevOps topic of CI is closely related to CD.

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