In most cases, software application development has become time-consuming due to its standardization and complexity. To deliver high-quality applications in a short period of time, software developers are following a broad set of practices called the DevOps lifecycle.
So, what is role does DevOps play in software application development? Let's get insight into its meaning, purpose, and each critical phase of the DevOps lifecycle.
What is a DevOps is?
Before DevOps, practitioners used waterfall or Agile development models: Waterfall models or sequential models are a pioneering approach in software development lifecycle (SDLC). Software development becomes a linear process where different stages and tasks are positioned sequentially located. In comparison, agile development involves using various methods and the collaboration of multiple teams in SDLC. The linear and agile development of cross-functionality of waterfall models fails to ensure rapid and continuous delivery of defect-free software applications.
The software industry is increasingly aware that development and operations must be closely coordinated on time to deliver software products and services. In such circumstances, DevOps came into being.
Source: graph 1
DevOps is a simple abbreviation derived from the words "development" and "Operation," which involves practicing the task of application development in a specific way. More broadly, the combination of software development and IT operations is called DevOps.
The effectiveness of DevOps in promoting the agile relationship between IT transport and software development is supported by several factors. By achieving better communication across multiple business segments of the software development and IT operations and maintenance departments, DevOps improves the overall software production through the combination of the following advantages: stable operating environment, ultrafast delivery, solid cooperation, time optimization (especially in the repair/maintenance phase), and continuous innovation. Such technological advantages make DevOps a highly sought-after method for software application development in the world.
To understand how DevOps achieves these advantages, it is essential to understand the complete DevOps life cycle. Let us break down the critical stages in DevOps and find out the process of achieving perfect, continuous, and fast software development.
Deciphering the DevOps lifecycle
DevOps is primarily used for application development on e-commerce websites, local cloud applications, and other large distributed platforms. It consists of multiple stages, collectively known as the DevOps lifecycle: continuous development, continuous integration, continuous testing, continuous feedback, continuous monitoring, continuous deployment, continuous operation, and maintenance.
These seven stages are a significant component of ensuring the entire development process that enables DevOps optimization from presentation to production to full delivery. Below are the phased, complete decomposition and analysis of the DevOps life cycle.
1. Continuous development
The process of maintaining the code is called Source Code Management (SCM), in which version control tools such as Git, TFS, GitLab, Subversion, etc., are used.
Git is the preferred tool to support distributed versioning during SCM processes. It contributes to the data guarantees through cyclic nonlinear workflows. For large projects involving many collaborators involved in development activities, Git builds reliable communication between teams by submitting messages.
With version control tools, you can build stable versions of your application code during continuous development stages. Developers can also package the code with Garden, Maven, and similar tools. The exe (executable) file.
2. Continuous integration
At this stage, errors in the source code will be detected early on. To be new code that brings more functionality, developers run unit testing tools, code review, integration testing, compilation, and packaging. Continuous integration of the new code into the existing source code helps to reflect the changes that the end-user experiences when using the updated code.
Jenkins is a widely used reliable DevOps tool to get updated source code and build builds as. exe form. These transformations are performed seamlessly, and the updated code will be packaged and go to the next stage, the production server or test server.
3. Continuous testing
Some developers perform the ongoing testing phase before the continuous integration phase. Depending on the updates in the application code, you can reposition this phase around the ongoing integration phase in the DevOps lifecycle.
At this stage, continuous Bug was tested on the developed software. Use the Docker container to simulate the test environment. With automated testing, developers can save the energy and time normally wasted in manual testing. Reports generated by automated tests can improve the test evaluation process, and it becomes easier to analyze test cases that have failed. After the UAT (user is tested) process, the generated test suite is more straight forward and has no Bugs.
TestNG, Selenium, and JUnit are some DevOps tools for automating testing. These tools can also schedule the execution of the test cases on a preset timeline. The Quality Assurance Engineer (QA) can use these tools to test several other codebases in parallel. It ensures that applications achieve functional perfection and network connectivity. Finally, the tested code was resent to the continuous integration phase to update the source code.
Source: graph 2
4. Continuous feedback
Continuous testing and integration are two critical stages of constant improvement in application code, and continuous feedback is the stage of analyzing these improvements.
Developers can evaluate the results of these modifications on the final product. Most importantly, customers who test these applications can share their experience at this stage. In most cases, this phase of the DevOps lifecycle provides a turning point in the application development process. Timely ate feedback and developers begin new changes. That way, customer feedback quickly gets a positive response, paving the way for releasing new versions of the software app.
5. Continuous monitoring
Monitoring of application performance is critical for application developers. During this stage, developers record data about the application use and continuously monitor each function. "Server has no access" or "insufficient memory" are common system errors that can be resolved at this stage.
Continuous monitoring helps to maintain the availability of services in the application. It also confirms the threat and root cause of recurring system errors. At this stage, security issues can be addressed, and defects are automatically detected and repaired.
The IT operation and maintenance team is more involved in this stage than in the software development team. Their roles are critical in monitoring user activity, checking the system for abnormal behavior, and tracking the existence of errors.
Sensu, ELK Stack, NewRelic, Splunk, and Nagios are the essential DevOps tools for continuous monitoring. These tools provide complete control of the system, production servers, and application performance. With the help of these tools, operation and maintenance teams can be actively involved to improve application reliability and productivity.
When major problems are detected at this stage, the application will re-run quickly in all the early stages of the DevOps life cycle, so finding ways to solve the various problems becomes faster.
6. Continuous deployment
Generally, the continuous deployment phase occurs before continuous monitoring. However, developers need to ensure that this phase is always active during the DevOps lifecycle, especially after the application is online and receiving lots of traffic.
At this stage, the final application code is deployed to the production server. Configuration management is a critical process at this stage, which performs the precise deployment of application code on all servers and establishes and manages the consistency of application performance and functional conditions. Publish the code to the server, schedule updates for all servers, and these configurations remain consistent throughout production.
Ansible, Puppet, and Chef are effective DevOps tools for configuration management that often perform the rapid and continuous deployment of new code.
Container tools are used for continuous deployment through the configuration management process. A vagrant is a containerization tool that develops consistency across different environments, from development and testing to stage and production. Similarly, the scalability of continuous deployment is handled by agencies such as Docker. These tools eliminate production failures and system errors by copying and packaging software coupling from testing, staging, and development stages. Eventually, the app can run smoothly on different computers.
7. Continuous operation and maintenance
8. The DevOps lifecycle is deliverable
Source: graph 3
- The end product enables companies to resume rapid development while improving the user experience.
- High return on investment (ROI) simplifies cost control, and development and operational teams can work together organically.
- Combined with continuous deployment solutions, sending programming code to more than 1,000 production servers is feasible. During the DevOps lifecycle, some advanced modes are designed for deployment. Similar features are used for delivering on-demand deployment and audit.
- With the technology that continues to evolve, DevOps continues to grow at the highest quality and speed. Today, it has become a strategic part of the digital transformation journey of millions of companies worldwide.
- The DevOps lifecycle breaks the barriers to teamwork when you can use DevOps to build a responsible business environment without any redundant work.
- Reports generated by the DevOps tool provide business insight and enhance visibility in SDLC. DevOps systematically improves delivery speed through end-to-end value management.
- With DevOps, the task of project management and planning will eventually be completed. Both large and small enterprises can use DevOps. It becomes easier to organize, schedule, adjust and track projects. All phases of the DevOps life cycle remain fully traceable.
- Most software developers can benefit from the branching tools provided by DevOps. It can efficiently design the application UI and manage UX code, securely develop and store project data.
- Since each change in the code affects the production phase, the tools for automated monitoring and release administration help detect errors and simulate user responses, respectively.
- The workflow is not interrupted due to a single distributed version control tool and providing high-value business products with fast iterative degrees of freedom.
- Use the DevOps package management tool to create a reliable supply chain for software applications. Applications and their dependencies are bundled into containers, which are further managed. Developers can quickly build code packages with secure container registers and repositories. DevOps accelerates free, uninterrupted processes through an automated software development pipeline.
- Automated testing allows teams to fully accept different stages of the DevOps lifecycle, which helps maintain high standards of product quality. Encoding, verifying, changing, building new code, and even integrating them into the source code is straightforward.
- In addition to automated testing, there are processes like code quality analysis, dynamic analysis security tests, and static analysis safety tests to gather important feedback and pass it on to developers and testers. This enhances the ability of the development and operational teams to improve code quality.
- Access to crucial infrastructure configuration information (password and login ID) is protected by tools disguised as hidden variables. For additional security, DevOps provides limited access to only authorized users and processes.
With its independent development environment and faster development methods, DevOps became an essential contributor to the technology market. It is the essential toolset for addressing technical business challenges by creating dynamic applications. As this approach provides benefits to both developers and users, the DevOps adoption rate continues to increase. Domestic big factories such as Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei, and others have their cloud DevOps solutions.
Source: graph 4
Although DevOps is currently conducted in the technical context of software development projects for most businesses worldwide, it will continue to receive diverse applications in the development of modern static web pages and dynamic software applications in the coming years.
1. Amol Muratkar.What is DevOps Lifecycle and How to Manage Yours [OL]. (2020-03-26)