The advent of new technologies has fundamentally transformed software development workflows and processes in the last decade, which has further changed how consumers consume services daily. Today, organizations are working hard to keep up with these consumption practices and avoid obsolescence, which has resulted in the swift adoption of DevOps, the tech responsible for agile and scalable software development and delivery.
Powered by automation and an agile, collaborative workflow, DevOps enables organizations to deliver enterprise-grade software products with speed, reliability, personalized features, etc., while simultaneously ensuring compliance with customer demand and expectations. It is, hence, leveraging this workflow that organizations worldwide are currently accelerating software development and delivery.
So, let us take a thorough look at the DevOps Workflow and understand how it is helping organizations achieve agile development.
In this day and age of rapid release and delivery, DevOps workflow is efficiently improving the cycle of work from development to deployment and producing useful outcomes in both software and processes. Moreover, it allows teams to safely and rapidly deploy changes to applications and infrastructure. Designed to reduce friction, automate tasks, enable rapid iteration, and reinforce best practices like security, efficiency, and auditability, etc., DevOps Workflow is the key to developing and delivering quality software at a higher velocity.
Other characteristics that define the DevOps Workflow are:
- Increased collaboration and communication among teams.
- Use of effective tools for rapid and reliable deployment and innovation
- Provides speed, scale, and consistency.
- Helps manage complex environments at scale.
- Mirrors ideal process in the configuration jobs.
- Ensures the latest code is always in a deployable mode and production-ready.
Essential Elements of DevOps Workflow:
DevOps workflows generally vary from one organization/project to another. However, certain elements are essential to all workflows. These ensure reduced risk of miscommunication or misalignment among team members and agile software development and continuous delivery.
These essential elements are:
- Planning: Involves assigning user stories, tasks, defects, etc. to product owners and developers and planning the next iteration of software development. Here, the team identifies the schedule planning and task tracking tools that are needed to achieve a seamless and efficient project management cycle and ensure timely product delivery.
- Development: Once the tasks are assigned, the developers start working on the development. During this time, the source code is version controlled and stored in Git, along with the changes committed by the developers. Finally, the code is shared among the developers using GitHub, as it ensures privacy and security of the code as well as seamless collaboration.
- Continuous Integration: Continuous integration involves the integration of multiple pipelines and the preparation of the main and customized build. The team configures and automates the environment setup and auto triggers alerts and reports. This helps minimize risks when various new changes are implemented on the main build. Here, tools like Jenkins are used to pull the code and the build is done, during scheduled check-in, using tools like Maven or ANT.
- Continuous Testing: This phase of the workflow encompasses virtualizations and simulation. Moreover, the team develops and triggers the test script automation, with simulation and physical devices and performs unit testing, code analysis, and more. To minimize the time and effort devoted to testing without compromising the quality of the code and user experience, tools like Jenkins, CircleCI, JUnit, SonarQube, and GitLab CI are used by the team.
- Continuous Delivery: After continuous testing, continuous delivery is executed on different environments based on approvals through various tools like IBM UrbanCode Deploy. Furthermore, the team deploys the build on devices and sensors, rollbacks management on live environment, generate automated alerts and reports on failed scenarios and issues. This phase also involves functional and acceptance testing in suitable test environments using various automated testing tools like Selenium.
- Continuous Monitoring: Finally, after software deployment, the team monitors and troubleshoots the production and test environment to ensure stable performance and functionality for increased customer satisfaction. This is an ongoing activity that also involves performance analysis and logging, raising automated alerts on various issues, gathering customer feedback, validating device health, among other things. These tasks are automated with the help of tools like Prometheus, Datadog, Pingdom, New Relic, Grafana, Elastic (ELK) Stack, Splunk, etc
DevOps and its workflow have had a tremendous impact on the current IT infrastructure and software process, which has enabled organizations to integrate innovation, agility, and value into their software products. Hence, a carefully managed DevOps workflow and the culture of learning within an organization can ensure quick identification and rectification of issues, monitoring, prediction of failure, environment management, and delivery and execution of reliable software as soon as possible.