Continuous Integration (CI) is a software development practice that involves integrating code changes from multiple developers into a central repository frequently and automatically. The main objective of CI is to detect and resolve issues early in the development cycle, rather than later during testing or deployment.
In a CI environment, developers check in their code changes to the central repository multiple times a day. Each time code is committed to the repository, an automated build and testing process is triggered to ensure that the code changes are integrated correctly with the existing codebase and that no new errors or bugs have been introduced.
The key benefits of continuous integration include:
- Early detection of errors: By integrating code changes frequently, CI enables developers to detect errors and conflicts early in the development process when they are easier to fix.
- Faster time to market: Frequent integration and testing allow teams to deliver software updates more quickly and with greater confidence.
- Improved collaboration: CI promotes collaboration between developers and ensures that code changes are integrated smoothly, reducing the risk of conflicts and delays.
- Increased software quality: Automated testing helps to ensure that software updates are of high quality and meet the required standards.
Continuous integration is a foundational practice for continuous delivery and DevOps, as it enables teams to build and deliver software quickly, efficiently, and with high quality.
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